Day two in Laos began with a grueling bus ride to the beautiful city of Luang Prabang. Less grueling for John who sat next to an intriguing Israeli girl or Bradley who knocked out on Dramamine so really it was Kelli who spent twelve hours trying not to puke or pee. That night we relaxed at Utopia, a bar perched right on the river (and I mean don't fall off the open bamboo deck) and enjoyed a cold Beerlao. (Beer is cheap and cold and safer than water.)
For every US Dollar we get 8,000 Laos kip. We had a scary moment withdrawing 2,000,000 kip from our bank accounts followed by a vulnerable 10 minutes of the three of us standing on a street corner trying to stuff 4,000,000 kip into our money belts.
Luang Prabang is a beautiful city full of golden temples, lush gardens, monks in bright orange cloth, French colonial buildings with teak decks and wooden shutters all set against the hazy Mekong River. Everything we ate was spicy and tangy and excellent. The dogs don't bark, the kids don't beg, the vendors don't hassle tourists. It ranks up there in the top ten places ever. We spent our first day getting a feel for Laos and then hatched a plan to head up north to the tiny village of Muong Ngoi.