For the second half of our 10 day trip, we hopped a quick flight from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, Laos. LP has been one of the most talked about trips from some of our friends and Dave and Em said it was a highlight on their two month honeymoon last year. We knew we had to go for a visit before tourism overtook this quaint, sleepy town. Our time in Laos did not dissapoint. We spent two days in town, taking in the colonial architecture, lazy cafes, fantastic night market and cruising the Mekong River.
|Sunset on the Mekong
|Monks and Eric crossing the bamboo bridge
|Morning sunrise from our balcony
|We hiked to the nearby village and enjoyed Lao hospitality for a morning
|The view from the dining room
|The spring fed natural pool that felt like Barton Springs...awesome!
The highlight of our entire 10 day trip was our experience at Elephant Village, a quick 5 minute boat ride from our resort. We participated in the one day mahout training, where we rode the elephants, learned basic commands, took a trip to nearby waterfalls and bathed our elephants in the river. Overall, this was the most responsible tour we have been on in Asia. The group was kept small and the elephants were all treated with respect by their handlers. All of the elephants were rescued from logging and now "earn" their living through responsible tourism. Hands down, this was one of the best days we have had living in SE Asia. All I wanted to do was ride an elephant bareback and that was more than accomplished. The very best part of the day was bathing the elephants in the river, where each of our elephants laid down, completely submerged with us on their back. A truly memorable and magical experience. Enjoy the joy on our faces!
|Local kids giving treats of sugar cane to the elephants as they passed through the village
|Eric the Mahout
|Eric channeling his inner Indian Jones
|5 1/2 months pregnant riding bareback on an Elephant!!
|Eric showing off on his elephant, while mine decided she needed to lay all the way down!
|Get ready for the....
|The pregnancy dismount!