Saturday, January 24, 2009

Flashback: Laos

(PICTURE: About to board our propeller plane to Laos.)

Lets see, where did I leave off with my trip with Hannah. Oh yeah, we were about to go to Laos.

When Hannah and I left Chaing Mai we had two options:

Option 1: Spend two days on a bus and a boat to get from northern Thailand to Luang Prabang.

Option 2: Spend $100 more and fly to Luang Prabang in an hour.

Yeah, tough call. We went with the flight.

At the airport in Chiang Mai I saw a strange sign:

Hannah and I both thought this was pretty interesting. You could pray in this special area if you were a Buddhist Monk or a novice. I mean, I'm like a novice in a hundred things so I could totally chill out in there.

What a novice really meant wouldn't occur to me until a few days later when Hannah and I met/were swindled by a novice. Stay tuned for that.

So.... Hannah and I boarded our propeller plane to Laos and took off for the hour flight. If you haven't flown on a propeller plane before -- and I had but it had been a while -- it's amazing how much slower you feel like you're going. You almost feel like you're floating through the air and not soaring...and then thoughts like this start to creep into your head: "Uh, how old is this death trap?"

The flight to Luang Prabang was quite beautiful. We passed seemingly endless mountains and appeared to be following the winding Mekong River for a little while. Finally we started to come in for our landing and I saw a small village...which turned out to be Luang Prabang.

When we stepped off the plane I immediately noticed two things:
1. A dozen kids standing and waving at us from behind a chain linked fence.

2. We were the ONLY plane at the "international airport."

Here's a picture of the airport I took the next day. If you click to enlarge the picture or squint really hard you'll notice there were NO PLANES at the airport. Air Laos seemingly has one plane.

After exiting the airport Hannah and I caught a taxi and headed into Luang Prabang, my new favorite city in Asia.