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Luang Prabang: The secret gem of Asia

I’ve been to about twenty countries, but Luang Prabang, Laos is my favorite spot so far. I’ve been lucky enough to call it home for the last four years and I’d like to share my best photos of it with you today.

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Even though it’s a small town it has a very diverse amount of visitors. I’ve met tourists from almost every country, even ones I’ve never heard of before. They love watching Thai shows and listening to Thai music and Lao is very similar to Thai so they can understand Thai, but most people can speak English. Laos was once a French colony so some people can speak French. A lot of people can speak Chinese as well.

Vietnam

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Not a lot of people have heard or know about Luang Prabang or even the country of Laos, but everyone knows Vietnam which is next door. Laos is a landlocked country that also borders Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and China. It’s about a 45-minute flight from Bangkok, but you can also take their new high-speed train from China or Thailand.

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When my old Navy buddy invited me to visit him in Hanoi, Vietnam, I had to take him up on the offer so we could talk about our time in Vietnam when we are old men. These guys invited us to drink beers with them. They were some of the best beer drinkers I’ve ever met. When they’d pour a drink they’d always say, “Gombai”, which means buttons up. When I puked in the street and said, “No more Gombai”, they all laughed heartily.

Kuang Si Waterfall

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The first thing we did after arriving in Luang Prabang was visit this fantastic waterfall. If the Garden of Eden were real I imagine it would look a lot like Kuang Si. I recently made a HIVE post and a Youtube video about it.

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I’ve spent most of my life as a teacher but realized how much I like working in hospitality after I got a job at Pullman Hotel. It’s an expensive five-star hotel on the way to the waterfall, but there are also many nice guest houses in town that will only cost about $10 a night.

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Temples and the King’s House

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This beautiful house that looks like a temple was once the king’s home but is a museum today.

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You can’t miss Phousi because it’s on top of a hill downtown and can be seen from almost anywhere in Luang Prabang. It also serves as a good marker if you get lost.

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La Pistoche Pool and Bar is a great place to bring the kids, have some food and drinks, or just get out of the sun.

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They take a lot of pride in their local beer, Beerlao, and rightfully so because it tastes great and usually costs less than a dollar.

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Thanks for checking out Luang Prabang today. If you are planning on visiting South East Asia it’s really worth a visit.

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Another day in Paradise at Kuang Si Waterfall:
https://peakd.com/hive-184437/@jeremiahcustis/another-day-in-paradise-at-kuang-si-waterfall

Kuang Si Waterfall:
https://www.tourismluangprabang.org/things-to-do/nature/kuang-si-waterfall/

Pullman Hotel:
https://www.pullman-luangprabang.com/

La Pistoche Pool and Bar:
https://lapistochepool.wordpress.com/

Sunset in EDEN: Kuang Si Waterfall in Luang Prabang, LAOS

Luang Prabang truly is a magical place. It feels like it’s Christmas every day here. When I was a kid in Catholic school, I remember reading about The Garden of Eden. I imagine it was here, or someplace similar.

Toe Nibblers

I came here with my Dutch friend Frank. He is 53, but way more energetic and fit than I’ve ever been. He had a stroke when he was 32, but is doing very well now. He is a Muay Thai fighter, so he knows how to overcome things like a warrior.

We used his iPhone 7 to take these at about 14:30. I’ve taken great shots and even video here with an iPhone 5 with good sun. Frank said people want to see the natural wonder of Kuang Si Waterfall, not two old white guys hitting on Chinese ladies and our selfies. I agree.

We went for a dive from the big tree with the sign warning NOT to jump in. It’s 9 feet deep, so you can dive in. I would just suggest arching up to surface or jumping in feet first.

If you stay still for longer than three seconds, little fish will come and nibble at your toes.

Layers

You’ll see the bears after paying the three dollar entrance fee. People hunt them, so they need help protecting them. They are very shy and hard to get on camera.

The hike up to the waterfall isn’t arduous. You’ll think you’ve arrived at the best spot, but it keeps showing you it’s many levels of natural beauty.

If you hike up ALL the way to the top, you’ll find a cool swing to show off on. No one seems capable of getting on it, so they’ll take pictures of you or try to do the same. It’s funny either way.

Sun Ray

Southeast Asia has some spectacular islands. In a way, Luang Prabang is one of them. Rather than being surrounded by ocean, it’s an island surrounded by beautiful and farmable mountainous jungle.

I almost deleted this shot because of the sun ray, but I think it looks like a blessing of light.

Farm

It’s about an hour drive from town so we started heading back. Farmers don’t rely on automation or chemicals here like in the west. This makes the food taste good. Organic food is one reason why people here look healthy and happy.

Mekong Sunset

We made it back to town in time to see this. Thank you for exploring beautiful Luang Prabang, or my nickname for it, The Garden of Eden, today. Just don’t eat any apples from The Tree of Life!