Location: Luang Prabang, Laos, May 5th -10th
Luang Prabang is special.
Luang Prabang is situated along the Mekong and it feels like a place where you could live, run a bar and eat a lot of steamed fish with dill that is cooked in a banana leaf. There are palm trees and buildings with wooden shutters, people painting along the river like Paris and countless cafes to sit down, relax and watch the fishermen or scooters move on by.
Most people really love this town. I’ve only read one review from a travel blogger who was deeply bothered by it, saying that it felt like Disney World. I think she thought that in Laos if you weren’t fully surrounded by poverty and dusty roads that you weren’t having an authentic experience. That is still here but it is less visible. This writer actually loved Van Vieng which is a place in Laos where you run around in your bathing suit (a no no here at large in this country) and where you can buy narctotics off restaurant menus before you go tubing down a river that may or may not kill you. Seriously, people have died.
Even with people ending their lives in this river, it is still open and sometimes it is so low that really you just hit a bunch of rocks along the way, get a ton of bruises, drink bucket size portions of whiskey and then act like you are George of the jungle and swing on a rope into the aforementioned river that has no water in it. See how this could be risky? I didn't go because A) I'm not 20 years old and B) I'm traveling alone and C) I think I would have just been acting like Grandma Yetta from The Nanny, yelling at everyone while wearing large shades and some sort of dramatic caftan with beadwork.
But, if you do decide to go, because you are looking to get your extreme rage on, make sure you do yourself a favor and look up United Healthcare's policy on airlifting from Van Vieng. For real. And, please let me know so that I can follow along on Instagram, so I can make fun of you and post your picture on this gem of a web destination.