Countless curves await us on the eight-hour busride to Luang Prabang. The scenery is pretty as we expected, and makes up for our diet of dry cookies and sodas. I remember having a can of beer during the break, but apart from that, don’t expect any events from the busride.
Arriving at Luang Prabang comes with the expected dose of tourist stress.
“Hey, pssst. Motorbike? Tuktuk?”
-“No thank you…”
“Which hotel where ya staying sir? I bring u there very cheeeeep.”
-“No, we’re fine…”
I am stubborn and Yeon has to persuade me to hop on a tuktuk to move towards the heart of this touristic mecca. There are tourists everywhere and handicraft markets as far as you can see. We stroll around the night market where handicraft and textiles are displayed in such abundance that a naive visitor might doubt Laos’ poverty. I don’t buy anything here, probably because I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the carvings and batiks.
We stay in a backstreet guesthouse, in (vain?) attempt to support a struggling Lao family rather than an expat nouveau-riche. The staff of the obviously family-owned business is very friendly; the boy who shows us our room is preparing for some school exams.