PROGRAM DOWN RIVER : Houei Say -> Luang Prabang:
Day 5: Kamu Lodge – Pak Ou – Luang Prabang (Breakfast, Lunch)
A continental breakfast is served at the restaurant from 7a.m. Kamu boat leaves at 8a.m. and stops opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit Pak Ou caves where there are two caves ‘Tham Ting’ and ‘Tham Phoum’ and thousands of Buddha images are found. The boat arrives in Luang Prabang (a UNESCO world heritage city) before lunch. A set menu lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Saturday 27th of December 2014 and I woke up 10 minutes before 8. What the foock happened with my wake-up call? I had asked them several times to wake me up at 7, breakfast at 7 thirty and the boat would departure at 8 thirty. 4 days of good mood while cruising the Mekong River turned in to a very bad mood.
And the fact that there was no hot water in the shower didn't made things any better.
I was on board the boat just before 8 thirty and now I had to sit here and wait for the other three passengers going to Luang Prabang.
I was not very happy, the nitwit that was supposed to wake me up at 7 came to my tent at 8. I was in the shower and I wasn't very polite. I told him that he had confirmed that he would call me at 7 o'clock. Now it was 8 and the boat is soon leaving.
Hot water, dream on. I have tried the shower yesterday and today, no water. They told me that the water had to run for 5 minutes. I told them that there was no hot water. They told me that I had to turn the handle to the left.
HEY! I have an education! If there is no hot water coming out from the shower head after 15 minutes I move the handle to the opposite position!
I quote from Kamu Lodge's web page: “In the spirit of sustainable lodging, solar panels fixed to the roofs gather just enough juice to keep your fan turning all night and your interior lit. Every lodge features a whitewashed stone annex, and the familiar trappings of a traditional bath. Hot water flows from Kamu showerheads. And there’s ample space to maneuver about as you make your daily ablutions” Hot water flows! What a foocking joke! Is it allowed to promote your place with lies like this?
They also have the TOP 5 RICE MEALS RECIPES IN LAOS on their web page. So why not serve some of those good meals instead of the smelly mushy mash we had for dinner yesterday.
When they brought down three French guests for transportation to Luang Prabang I asked the owner why they had not woke me up at 7 o'clock. He looked at the Guide and he, as I have got used to working with people from se Asia, never answered. He told the owner that he had told me that the breakfast was at 7 thirty.
Well, he also told me that he would call me at 7 and when I asked him why he had not called me, instead for a simple “foock, I forgot” he refused to answer and I never got any answer even though I asked several times. Well, good enough if you're on a 200 US Dollars per month salary and having no will to improve your situation. It was nice to leave the Kamu Lodge behind.
I was hungry and as we were on a new boat, ordinary transport boat there was no food. I asked for a cup of tea and I got my tea. I asked for milk and they told me they didn't had milk. I threw the tea overboard and I handed her the cup. I will wait until I'm back in Luang Prabang.
We had about 1 hour to go to the Pak Ou Caves where we would make a stop. The three passengers from France had seen the cave on their way North on the Mekong River.
And they were not interested in seeing the caves and Buddha statues a second time so they were waiting in the boat while I went to have a look at the cave.
MY Guide told me that they had hidden a golden Buddha in the cave during a war a very long time ago. Now there were thousands of Buddha statues. I asked him how many of them there were.
- 2000, but now there are more because they but a new Buddha there every new year.
Well, I understood the French passengers, it was interesting in the cave. But one time is enough. There was some students from Luang Prabang and it was more fun to talk with them. And they wanted to have pictures and I was standing with one girl. Another girl sneaked up on us and I was surprised to discover her next to me.
I spent, well, maybe 40 minutes at the cave and I we returned to the boat. It is about one hour from Pak Ou Caves to Luang Prabang where we would have a lunch. And I was hungry by now. I had not been eating since the rice and butter at Kamu Lodge yesterday.
We saw bigger houses the closer we came to Luang Prabang, and the traffic increased a wee bit on the river. There were many small tour boats taking tourists to the Pak Ou Caves. We passed a prison and we were soon seeing Luang Prabang and the landing place. Good, the restaurant next.
According to the program for today they serve a set menu at a local restaurant so it will most likely be Lao food. And if it is as good as the food we had the first 4 days of the cruise it will be excellent. But first of all we will need to walk up to the road from the river.
It have been a fantastic cruise and I can recommend the Luang Say cruise if you ever come to Laos. Skip the Kamu Lodge, since they dropped me there yesterday the whole Lao experience went downhill. But the 4 first days were very good.
And the people are very nice. And the tourists I have meet really like it. And I have meet tourists skipping Thailand. Something I thought was impossible as I thought the tourists in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam came from Thailand for a few days only. But I have met many of them never been to Thailand, only changing flight at Suvarnabhumi.
Spending the holiday in SE Asia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos as they have heard that Thailand was no good. And not the reason you might think, the military coup and the martial law. But destroyed beaches, scams, trouble and unfriendly people. And yes, Thai people are very unfriendly, in Phuket and Pattaya. Last time I was in Phuket was 1992 and I said never again. People coming to Bangkok from Pattaya and Phuket say the people are so much friendlier in Bangkok.
Then imagine going outside Bangkok, like out photo walk in Tha Chalom. The people were so friendly is was very fun to walk around the area. The people I have meet here have loved Laos and the other countries they been to. And they will never go to Thailand because of all the bad things they have heard. In if this continues Thailand will soon not have any tourists coming anymore.
Well, I'm off the boat and I see the stairs in front of me. Will I make it to the street? Will I run in to a cardiac arrest half way up? Just click HERE to find out!
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