Have a drink at RED BULL in Luang Prabang, LAOS

When you live in a small town like this, the bar scene seems to develop patterns. There will be a few warm up bars, then just one or two where the real drinkers will end up. This one plays by the rules and closes by the 23:30 curfew.

Whoever thought of getting this pool table deserves credit or a big bonus. It’s probably paid for itself a hundred times over. So many locals come here just for the table, but there’s a lot more to this place. Having the only pool table in town doesn’t hurt though.

The entrance is at an ideal location. It’s at the top of the hill of one of the main streets that runs along the Namkhan river.

They cook western foods right and have plenty of cheap local choices on the menu too. These lights are probably a fire hazard, but the don’t have so many crazy rules here like we do in the West. It might be more dangerous here without all the codes and regulations, but you feel way more freedom in your life.

It seems that bars that have a lot of 70s art, look, and accessories tend to do better than modern looking places here. Luang Prabang is one of the few places resistant to change and modernizing except for vehicles and smart phones. Other than that, I’ve talked with lots of old travelers that say it hasn’t changed much when compared to other cities in Southeast Asia.

The mosquitoes never where a problem for me here, but it’s nice to have these candles. They look romantic too.

If you visit Luang Prabang and wander the streets, you’ll find Red Bull naturally. I hope to see you here soon. Cheers!

Welcome to the Temple of HELL

You can see this from almost everywhere in Luang Prabang because it’s on a hill looking down on the town and rivers.

It is near the police station where you have to do immigration and visa stamps in your passport.

I’ve taken photos of the outside, but this was the first time I saw that the inside was open to the public.

You can see some of the art behind the Buddhas.

This shows the reincarnation cycle. It’s the what goes around comes around wheel of suffering.

Maybe the elephant will get freaked out by the white rat after you throw it and the cobra forgets about you after you throw the black one down for it to snack on while you escape.

There are hundreds of great paintings inside. I regret now that I only snapped a few of them.

The lesson here is to not anger the dudes with trained dogs and big birds who are also a great spear chucker. Just apologize when you see him even if he’s wrong.

All the windows have beautiful green views.

This one may be saying that we shouldn’t kill animals because they could be our friends or family reincarnated to another form.

The woodwork in the windows has more positive imagery.

I like the mix of the Roman style pilar with the Siamese woodwork.

There are many trees that have flowers outside.

Thanks for checking out this place with me today. I hope that none of the horrible things depicted in the paintings become your lot.

Sanctuary in Luang Prabang, Laos

Home Alone

My friend from Germany is the only guest staying at this hotel due to the virus. I wouldn’t have even known about this place if he hadn’t invited me over for some beer.

entrance

entrance

I’ve walked or driven by several times, but because of the sign, I always thought it was a religious place and just ignored it. It’s not religious, but it’s quite expensive.

discount

discount

My buddy and his girlfriend are the only guests staying here, so they got an 80% discount.

Mai Too Restaurant

Mai Too Restaurant

Nice, but empty.

Nice, but empty.

Around here, mid-level and cheaper businesses are doing fine, but these fancy places have become bare.

pond

pond

Seating for No One

Seating for No One

It may be a sad story for the hotel owner, but my friend feels like royalty staying here alone.

Beautiful Roof

Beautiful Roof

You may appreciate the lovely pond, but I can only see a beautiful, but dumb roof. It collects way more than enough solar energy a day to run everything. I would like to have a hotel just like this, except that the roofs will collect solar energy like Elon Musk’s roofs do. It could be marketed as a green off-grid place to stay.

supermarket

supermarket

If you do fancy staying at this hotel, it’s south-east of the Dara Market.

How far from home?

How far from home?

I personally despise America. The food tastes like GMO shit, the people are fat, dumb, and judgmental. Everything is fake, including the religion, the news, the financial system, and the whole “American Dream”. I’m glad it’s all over 13,000 kilometers away from here.

Haunted Bar

Haunted Bar

This is a sad picture because I really wanted to do a post about this place after it re-opened after the lockdown.

Hive Bar

Hive Bar

I was planning on showing the owner our HIVE community and how to post here, but it looks like it is another unnecessary lockdown casualty. Things feel almost normal here in Laos, there just aren’t any Chinese tourists, and a third of the businesses never came back.

New Restaurant

New Restaurant

This travel blog has been a great motivator for me to try new places. I’m a creature of habit and love to go to the same spot and eat the same thing every day, but I’ve been trying new places a lot now.

”Resfaurnt”

”Resfaurnt”

The artist got the Laos spelling right, but not the English, because fuck spelling right?

playtime

playtime

The staff was warm and friendly. It was nice of them to think of the kids.

Riverside View

Riverside View

I’ve swum across the Mekong river before but decided not to join my friend this time. I was super hungry and was already drunk so we just enjoyed our food and beer while we tried to keep an eye on him.

menu

menu

I always get mad at my friends who have something like this printed before checking with a native speaker. I mean come on, how hard is to ask someone to check it for a minute before you go and permanently make it look like you don’t give a shit?

Start the swim.

Start the swim.

My friend probably got HIV and Covid-19 by swimming in this river, but that’s how you boost your immune system right?

Small Dot

Small Dot

You can barely see him in the center of the shot here. His head is just a small little dot.

Jet Ski Time

Jet Ski Time

The lifeguards were at the same restaurant as us, so maybe they could jet ski to him in time if he cramped up, but he was fine. I still follow my military training of always having a swim buddy and told him not to swim alone, but he didn’t listen or care.

The End

The End

Thanks for checking out another restaurant with us today here in Luang Prabang. Don’t swim across rivers alone!

Constructively Enjoying Lockdown in Luang Prabang, LAOS

I couldn’t think of a better place to end up during these crazy times. Luang Prabang truly is a hidden gem that I’ve been lucky enough to call home for two years now.

farm work

I was in the military then became a teacher, but it wasn’t until I came to Luang Prabang that I discovered I love working in hospitality.

tractor

I was a general manager before the pandemic, but there are almost zero high paying tourists left, so some of the things I ended up doing were farm work and construction. An old guy I’ve known since I got here was laughing at me helping a chicken that had fallen out of the tree. He thought it was really funny that I used to be wearing a suit and now I was a chicken farmer.

Before and after lacquer.

I lived on a sailboat in San Diego for two years where I learned how important wood maintenance was. The wood lacquer here was cheaper than foreign beer and brought all the doors and frames to a shiny finish. I had to do a before and after of half the door so the owner would agree. This picture convinced her we needed a lot more wood lacquer.

Crocodile cement

All the construction workers here use this crap they call Epson. I think it’s a liquid version of drywall. Whatever it is, it sucks, so I used cement to repair many things.

more cement

Fixing cracks and holes in the walls works best with cement here because they don’t use drywall for walls. It’s mostly bricks and mortar construction.

after

It will take a bit more paint to cover up later, but it is permanently repaired.

Only use 3M.

I don’t know what kind of painter’s tape you have where you are from, but here in Laos, there is only one choice, 3M. If you use any of the cheap Chinese ones, they’ll fail you. The paint will leak through. Sticky residue will be left behind. And worst of all, it won’t even stick to anything longer than a day. What’s the best painter’s tape in your opinion?

Murica

If I were from here, I’d hate Americans for all the bombs the CIA dropped here that are still exploding and killing kids today, but they have the attitude that it was in the past and forgive my generation for what our elders did to them. This very American screwdriver was made in China.

Make the cut.

The first room I started to renovate had false windows with thin plywood. I could hear the owner talking in Laos and watching songs on YouTube like she was in the same room, so I got some better plywood and cut it to fit the window. I glued and cemented it in and it added some privacy to the room.

Sanding the flakes out.

I wish it was as easy to rid life of flaky people as it was to sand out the flakes of the plywood.

art time

After cementing and painting, it was time to bring life to this boring windowless room.

Kuang Si

I used my pocket projector to trace the famous waterfall with pencil.

paint

I didn’t have the best paint or brushes.

abandoned painting

The owner told me to finish this by the end of the day. It made me not want to paint it any more and I just left it like this.

hammer time

Heavy foreigners warped this bed so the owner used a strap and a hammer to warp it back.

Line it up.

They most likely used strings to line things up even before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids.

Get your wiring right.

The electrician did something wrong, so they will have to rip out some of the new ceiling again.

drywall

The drywall here is different. It’s the cheapest junk from China.

bad idea

This plugin was loose and it always had the TV power cord falling out so I thought I could make the holes catchier by adding cement and paint. It achieved the goal of keeping the TV plugged in, but it looks very *Flintstones*.

Not this time.

This time I put tape over the face so it would look the same, but it didn’t come out so well. I really need to work on making plugins look nice.

finished ceiling

It only gets too hot here in the summer so you don’t need airconditioning, but all the rooms will have it if you want it.

Mekong sunset

Thanks for reading. How have you been killing the time?

Published
Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged

UTOPIA in Luang Prabang, LAOS

This is the most famous place in Luang Prabang to drink, chill by the river, and watch the game. Everyone in town knows where it is and it’s easy to find on Google Maps.


It is near the good ATM opposite the street of Wat Aham. You can see Mount Phousi if you look up too. This is a great landmark, because you can see it from most spots in Luang Prabang. They light it up at night. I’m using an old iPad to take this shot, so I took this at 13:00 to get the best lighting.


There are three ways to get here. This is where they keep the garbage, so not many people come in from here.


This way has a cool bridge though. I have a lot of great memories crossing this bridge. There will be some dogs that may bark at you to the left, but they are all sweet ones.


Most people will come from this way. There will be several tuk-tuk drivers here at night. They will charge you around 50,000 kip to go somewhere else in town. If you have a big group, you can try to negotiate, but 50,000 kip is around $5.


You can come in by the ice cream stand and walk past Wat Aphay. If you miss this entrance you will see Red Bull Sports Bar and people playing pool inside. It’s a good place too.


This is a famous ancient temple here in Luang Prabang. I like to come here and add audio to my Youtube videos, because it’s quiet here.


There are plenty of signs to lead you there. There are a few other bars and cheap places to stay along the way.


This is the entrance. If there is a live sports game on, you’ll see a lot of people in this area watching it on the projector screen.


All of the staff are friendly and can speak English well.


There are UXOs or unexploded ordinances as decorations. Don’t worry. The fuses and explosives have been removed. These were not so nice little gifts from Uncle Sam during the Vietnam War. The CIA and US Air-force had a not so secret war here.


You can sit or lay down and enjoy the view of the Namkhan River.


This is the central area and what you’ll see when you first walk in.


This is where they will have fires to stay warm at night. Sometimes guests will chill out and chat and sometimes it’s the dance floor. I spent New Years 2019 here. It was one of my best memories ever.


I couldn’t find the menu on their Facebook page, but my iPad was able to get a clear shot. I just had to crop, rotate, and adjust the lighting a bit, but you can read it.


You can check out their Facebook page here:
https://web.facebook.com/Utopialaos/

Their Facebook page has way better pictures, but I couldn’t find the menu. They accept Bitcoin here as well. Thank you for checking out Utopia today. Hope to see you here one day!


View this post on TravelFeed for the best experience.

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!

TOP Ten Photos of the Year

Welcome to the ancient kings’ house. I shot all of these with an iPhone 5 or my old iPad Pro. They were pretty out of date, but the right lighting helped them capture these survivors of the delete button.

ED241CF895FB4E61A755C92008B83FC5.jpeg
Even though this is only nine pictures, most of them are of my favorite place on the planet, Luang Prabang, Laos.

495862FC209D4D36B807E0926E0DA63F.jpeg
Capetown, South Africa was a good memory. People there all had a great sense of humor and enjoyed my jokes. I got to meet up with an old friend from Korea I hadn’t seen since 2007.

ACFB8B1CD43A45FDA29DD474172BFEA6.jpeg
When I asked these models for this picture they thought I was going to make it my new Facebook Cover photo. I wish I’d had something better than an iPhone 5 and fixed my tie.

19ABD822AC67451D95D6B116D4F4D95A.jpeg
These baby elephants eat around two hundred kilograms of food a day.

A918733E5EC34AD2BD2173A50583A4D6.jpeg
The southern islands of Thailand are always fun!

3ECB66B14DA64168854156C21614BC12.jpeg
This came out pretty good. Too bad my friend’s man purse got jacked thirty seconds after this shot.

31249AD8928A4A139C8E42008EFF87CE.jpeg
Stupas are one of the hardest things to shoot. I walked very far and was sweating like a pig in the hot sun, but it was worth it for this.

And the Winner is…

73B6C8C2CB5F4BD989C03CC664C534E6.jpeg
Not only was Lowcow one of the best dogs, she was one of my best friends ever. I truly believe that when dogs pass, they also pass on the light and stay with us as guardian angels. She was really tough. When we would play fight, she’d run at full power and take me down like a bowling pin. This may not be the best picture photoshooting wise, but it’s the winner in my heart.

02FD8C173524410E9CEE07AEDFF7FFB0.jpeg
Thanks for checking out my favorite pictures from last year. I should’ve done this for New Years, but I just thought of it now. Cheers!

Midnight bike riding in Luang Prabang

My days usually start around noon when I wake up.

20200605_150717.jpg

I’ve been dealing with this white elephant of a gift for a few days now. It was a nice bike until no one seemed to be able to repair it.

20200605_144529.jpg

Carrying it across the bridge of death wasn’t any fun.

20200606_181456.jpg

Then the best bike mechanic in town sold this to me for fifteen dollars. I did stripes with electrical tape then spray painted it pink.

20200607_230245.jpg

The final product came out like this after adding white paint and nail polish.

20200607_225727.jpg

It doesn’t have any brakes so I’ve got to go all Flintstone and drag my feet.

20200607_225412.jpg

Are you ready to cross the bridge of death without any brakes?

20200607_104308.jpg

I couldn’t separate these two mosquito repellents and broke one, but doesn’t it kind of look like the Death Star?

20200607_211920.jpg

I added a Bluetooth speaker and a Nokia burner phone.

20200607_214432.jpg

Does the red fingernail polish look like blood?

20200607_122757.jpg

Like the purple sparkles?

20200606_193121.jpg

I may have gone too far with the white paint.

20200607_230838.jpg

Enjoy a Beer Lao and

20200608_180723.jpg

Remember there’s a rainbow in the sky all the time.