You won’t want to miss a thing! WOW! It is so truly beautiful here, there just isn’t a picture I could ever take that would do this landscape justice.
It will take the breath from your lungs, the words from your mouth and the heart from your chest.
We crossed the border from China almost 3 days ago. The first night we waited 11 hours for a barge to take us across a 15 metre wide river because the vehicle bridge has “a problem”… it’s been like that for two months haha! We arrived at the bridge at 8pm and boarded the barge at 6.45 the next morning. Suffice to say we were very tired but arrived in Luang Prabang at 7am to find a whole host of excellent cafes with strong coffee made from locally grown and roasted beans, heaven.
It has literally been thrill-a-minute driving here, the roads are chaotic (if they are still in tact) but after 5,000+ kilometres of Chinese highways we are absolutely loving it. There are animals and birds and toddlers and school kids and bikes and mopeds and trucks and cars everywhere. While trying not to take a life you are also trying to avoid catastrophic sized potholes and falling down a mountainside… very excited to see the rest of this fabulous country.
We saw many beautiful things in China but only ever behind walls built for collecting ticket money. The cities seem fantastic too but we never stopped for more than a night and that was frustrating for us. We enjoy modern cities and what they have to offer but we just didn’t get a chance to do what we really wanted to. We would travel China again in a heartbeat but we wouldn’t take the car… it’s too restrictive having a guide, especially one who thinks he’s on his own tour and not yours. A guide who insists his impossibly tiny budget be adhered to at all times. A guide who paces around while you eat your breakfast and then immediately and relentlessly starts eating once he is inside the car. A guide who pulled so much on the back of the seat I thought he was going to snap the blimmin’ thing off. Gah! Don’t take your own car to China… but do travel there, it’s actually fantastic!
We loved a lot of things and didn’t love a lot of things. We saw incredible sights but had to pay through the nose for the privilege… although the worst ones were paying through the nose and then finding it a bit crap. We were so attractive in our orange vehicle that people would circle us on the highway (awkward) or overtake us and then slow down to have a good look (infuriating). We had fast smooth roads but each one came with a hefty toll attached (approx 500 NZD in total). We must feature heavily on China’s mobile phone photo albums too because people took pictures of us all day and all night whilst doing the most ordinary of things (boiling water for instance). There were endless pretty photos to add to Instagram and we would recommend a lot of really unique and interesting places to visit… we will go back for sure and see more of China.
We are tired, the car is filthy and all three of us need a bit of down time so it’s perfect timing to meet the family in Phuket for 12 days. My precious Pa’s 70th birthday celebrations! Can’t wait!