Well we awoke from a very disturbed night. Neither of us had sleep, due to squawking gekos in our room and then a very heavy storm outside. We can normally put up with the storms as we are getting quite used to them now, however the water was comming through the rough and dripping onto our ceiling tiles then eventually onto our floor. Still we should get a chance to catch up on our sleep during the 7 hour bus trip to Luang Prabang. We were due to be picked up at 9.30am for the 10am bus, we ate breakfast and sat there waiting and waiting. We were starting to panic when we were eventually picked up at 10.10am ten minutes after the bus was supposed to leave from the bus station. We shouldnt have worried, but should have remembered what we had been told earlier during our time in Laos. The PDR in Laos PDR does not stand for Peoples Democratic Republic but for Please Don't Rush and that is true in this most laid back of countries. We got to the bus station to see the most run down bus we had yet traveled on, where the air conditioning consisted of large open windows. The bus was packed and we wetre lucky to get seats together, as when we left there were no spare seats, although this didnt stop us picking up two more passengers half way to Luang Prabang. The two newbies had to sit on stools in the aisle. As the bus left we were dreading the 7 hours of hell that lay in front of us. Again we shouldnt have worried, this trip gave us some of the most spectacular views either of us had ever seen as we made our way up, over and round the mountains that lay virtually all the way between us and our destination. Some of the roads were narrow and extremely windy, I was just hoping we didnt have the only manic depressive bus driver in Laos, or a mechanic that had forgotten to check the brakes. We made our way up mountains where we looked down on the world, the green covered landscape undulating below us. When we made our way down again, we became enclosed by mountains all around stretching high into the sky. So although we were both tired we had no sleep on the journey either as we passed through this fantastic landscape. We also passed throgh villages at the side of the road. Their houses made of bamboo and on stilts that were clinging to the hillside for fear of sliding down into the valley below. Nearly all of these houses however, had satelite dishes.
After 7 hours of traveling we arrived at the bus station on the edge of Luang Prabang. We were quickly accosted by the usual gaggle of tuk tuk drivers. After negotiating a price for one to take us to our hotel. When we arrived at the Rama hotel the lad on reception informed us that the hotel was full (we had prebooked), he did have room in their sister hotel for one night at the same rate, which was next door so not that much of a hardship. So we moved in there for the night.
We decided to spend the evening window shopping at the famous night market before grabbing something to eat, however just as we got to the edge of the market we were greeted by yet another storm. We were lucky as the nearest bar was about 15 yards away so we set up camp in there to watch the storm and drink a beer or two till it abated. The storm went on for well over an hour so a ouple of beers were consumed as we watched a rather wet world scurry by and stall holders dismantle their stalls and leave. When the rain stopped we made our way through what was left of the night market, promising to return tomorrow to catch it in all its glory. We found a nice restaurant that seemed fairly popular, wandered in and had a nice meal with another beer, before making our way back for some much needed sleep.