When I made it to Luang Prabang, I was suffering from Paradise hangover. I know, I know, my life is very tough. I had just spent an amazing week with a beautiful Swiss girl in a mountain oasis, and I wasn’t ready for the shock of an incredibly touristy town. I had heard good things, but on initial encounter, I was quite disappointed.
After settling in, and having spent my first night doing nothing, I decided to walk around the town. I had heard about great waterfalls to visit, but I felt that I had to try and seek the out what my traveling friends had felt when they said they loved LP.
After walking from one end to the other, and seeing the riverside attractions for both rivers (the Namou and Mekong) I decided to take refuge at a small stand selling cold drinks. This is where my day got interesting.
Before I could sit down, a few off-duty Tuk Tuk drivers invited me to their table for a glass of beer. There were five drivers and two spoke English decently. They asked typical questions of travelers and offered me tours for the next day. After they got over the sales pitch, the beer started to flow. One glass turned into multiple, and before I knew it, I was eating a meal with them.
After getting a hardy buzz, and buying a round to keep the conversation going, I found myself in transit to one of the driver’s friend’s places. Apparently, his Tuk Tuk was acting up, and here we could get it fixed and continue to eat good food and drink beer. This sounded like a great plan to me!
The place itself was interesting and far of the beaten path. The father of the friend had built a hamster ball type contraption for training his prized fighting cock, and there was a line of Tuk Tuks down the block. My new friend and I parked his ride, and then sat at the table inside the home/garage.
As the night began to fall, I found myself quite hammered, and quite tired. My friend was also quite drunk, so his friend offered to drive me back to my hostel. Before I left, though, I was extended an invitation to eat breakfast with my new friend and his family the next day. I agreed and said goodbye.
The next morning, much to my surprise, I found my friend waiting outside my place, chipper as ever. I hopped in his Tuk Tuk, and headed to his home. As I arrived to his house, barely able to stand from my hangover, I was greeted with a humble home and a beautiful view of the mountains. I was also handed a cold Beer Lao. Apparently, this is normal practice for the Tuk Tuk driver and his family. I nearly vomited as I took an appreciative sip of Laotian hospitality.