Stop 25 Luang Prabang

Since I needed to get to Singapore for my cousins wedding before the 1st of May, I only have 10 days left for Laos. I was even considering doing something else. But some friends said that I can’t miss Laos so I went for it nevertheless.

First prelude ist actually someone called Jade. I got matched with her on Tinder. On the day when I was moving from Bangkok to Luang Prabang she was already asking whether we should move to a cheaper hostel and share a room to save cost. That came across as a bit surprising and alerting. I guess that crossed my line too quickly. She was even trying to call on LINE and I did not understand why. (I guess I am just not comfortable with some stranger wanting to call me very badly)

The landing in Luang Prabang is actually very nice scenery since it is within the mountains. It resembles GuiLin in some ways (it is also geographically close). At the airport, with no big problems I got into a taxi into town. Everything seemed smooth and people appreared to be more relaxed here and something was soothing your mind somehow and I can’t say what.

At the hostel I first met Stephen who was sitting in front of the reception after I checked in and came back out to ask more questions. It turned out that he is Swiss and works for the Aargauer Kantonalbank. After some minutes a Dutch couple asked us whether we want to join some dice games. We happily accepted. I forgot the name of the game but it involves rolling 6 sices and collect points and get above 10k. 3 dices of the same kind would be a few hundred points and so on. The Dutch guy runs the main bar at the main square in Eindhoven. He met his girlfriend while she was working there. I believe there are 10 years of difference between them. It was pretty fun hanging out with them and we went to dinner together where we also met a French girl whom Stephen talked to in a cafe and along she brought her friend from HK as well.

The French girl is doing consulting on career changes and is somewhat taking a time off from Bali in Laos. The HK girl has a lot of cats at home and while she is travelling her mom is taking care of them (I believe she has at least dozen). We continued our conversation at a bar called Utopia and went back afterwards.

At the hostel I got to talk to Sylvia/Jade. She was complaining a bit of how it was difficult to communicate with me since I never picked up the phone. Well, whose fault is that? We briefly said that we can go to the water fall the next day and went to sleep.

The next day I went first to MandaLao, an elephant refugee program that Stephen recommended. It was not the cheapest but it sounded very morally correct since they don’t let you ride one them (Which hurts their physics and make them infertile). Coming back to the hostel there was again some problems with Jade. The hostel owner said that my friend wanted to take the minibus at another hour than what we initially had planned so I got consufed. Finally we sorted it out and the water fall is amazing!

On the ride we bought some food and shared with others, amongst them a Korean uncle as well. This is a good way to make new friends, I got offered once in train in Myanmar and in my flight back to HK from Taiwan as well. The Korean uncle recognized us later as well and said hi.

At night, we went to a good cheap restaurant. But of Course Sylvia had to stream the whole dinner since she has 50k followers on instagram. More on that later… Back at the hostel we rolled a joint and met actually another Swiss guy. He is tamil and it’s a funny encounter indeed. The following picture sums it up well.

Then it was the elephant experience day. Sylvia joined last minute and I was wondering why she can afford this but needs to count pennies for accommodation. We got some general information up front from the guru who also works with Rapperswil Kinderzoo. (More info about the elephants maybe later, I took some notes, but it is not needed for this post) We met also Renee, a Deloitte finance partner who has a few days off after her Singapore business trip. She seemed easy to talk to. On the road back Sylvia told me a bit more about what she is doing.

She used to do financial consulting in HK and has her own company. But it can’t compete with the big 4s with the customers and now she is trying to persue her dreams of making movies. She thinks that she is a female entrepreneur and wants to prove that it is possible to make it. Her instagram account has 50k followers. It is possible to express your thoughts and influence people on instagram by having more followers and there is nothing wrong that many women on instagram try to motivate everyone that a woman should be independent and deserves the same right as men. But then she complains that she can’t even a discounted dinner at a good French restaurant in Luang Prabang with her 50k followers. (They were only willing to give a free desert) Well, if this is what you are looking for when you have more followers then I don’t have much sympathy with you not being successful. She lamented about how hard it is to be a female entrepreneur, it is not easy not to have to show your skin in order to become successful. After all, I have a feeling she is pressing too much on finding excuses why she is not successful (or things not working out) rather than to action on things that she can improve on. Sometimes there are so many other reasons that things don’t work as expected. It does not always lead back to your gender, skin color or where you are from. Also she talked about her ex in Singapore. She was not able to pay the bills anymore and her Ex did not like that . She said, comon, she will pay later once she has made it. She sort of has a strong expectation towards the support of her Ex, which well … I didn’t like either.

The next day we also went to a story telling show. With the intention of a friend, I told her that I can reserve a spot (buying the ticket already) for her since she is not able to find the spot. When I asked her to pay me back the entrance fee, she said: “oh I thought you are treating me”. It did not even jump to my mind that she still thinks that I am interested in her. That gave me a chuckle.

Actually I lot have happened in Luang Prabang, and I liked the vibe very much so that I extended for another day. The last morning I also met the Japanese American girl who I briefly talked to in Dalat.

Oh yah, there were also 3 Israel guys in my dorm, with only small talks, I did not get to know them much.

Otherwise, more pictures. Sunset on Mehkong.

Feeding the elephants

Me, having drafted this on the trip to Guarija, finishing up in Santa Marta and desperately wanting to catch up with all the posts.

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