Luang Prabang, Laos

Our time in Luang Prabang was limited, but we left a city we knew next to nothing about with a rich fondness for the area and the marvels it had to offer. Day one saw us staying in one of the most beautiful (and of course most expensive) places of the trip.

An anniversary gift planned months earlier, it lived up to and far exceeded the expectations we had for our short stay. Stepping up onto our balcony of the Laos Spirit Resort each morning we held our breaths and drank in the astonishing view; across the wide, fast moving river was a small farmers home running rampant with wild elephants who drank from the stream and stomped their enormous feet.

At the restaurant the following morning, we spent an hour after our food was gone drinking average coffee and staring at the elephants as they played and strolled in the open air. The other guests kept very quiet as well around the small resort which allowed the area to maintain its reserved serenity.

The following evening we spent walking along the famous night market, a short side street from the Mekong River and the bright, dancing epicentre of Luang Prabang after sunset. Our noses drew us to the food stalls selling gloriously cheap food to hungry tourists. Some rice and noodle dishes and local favourites, as well as ice cream milk shakes, crepes and stacked baguette sandwiches- a nod to the lasting colonial French influence. Our eyes were drawn again and again to the brightness of the nighttime stalls; all run by locals whose smiles were as vibrant as the garments they sold.

Our final day was spent at the Kuang Si Falls, an unmissable stop if you find yourself in Luang Prabang. Don’t bother with a coffee; a quick dip in the chilling waters of the falls is enough to wake you right up! We walked up to the top of the falls and though we weren’t able to find the greatest viewpoints at the top, navigating the pools on carefully placed logs and rope bridges at the waterfalls peak was as exciting as it was challenging. The waters immaculate colour of turquoise still illuminates my memory and glows brightly whenever we think of the time spent in Laos.