LUANG PRABANG

New Year in Laos, i.e. wet, wetter, the wettest! The verification of stereotypes on the go and a bit about the truth of blogging vs. reality.

Kitty R.

Kitty R. continues the river wandering through Laos, that is, she flows with the Mekong River to another small town - Nong Khiaw. All this is still happening with the good company of Sir Last, Y. and L., constantly wonderful people, with whom time passes lazily, without social compulsions or unnecessary small talk. They call themselves Pumpkins due to the few-day worship of the local homemade pumpkin soup.

Sir Last asks the waitress: ‘I’m sorry, the spring rolls in Lao style, what does that mean? What’s their uniqueness?’. And she replies: ‘Well… they’re fresh!’ (Lao bad joke that really happened)

One morning Kitty R. comes out, sits on a bench in front of the house and opens her eyes in amazement. It turns out that the her host invited his mates, so they came with cockerels under their armpits and now they organize a fight, as a neighborly meet up. This is again the moment when Kitty R. competences end, she can’t intervene or do anything more than choose between looking at the situation with widely disbelieving opened eyes or just go away. Therefore, she makes a compromise, that is, she looks at the roosters that are being stirred up every now and again (jerk by the tail, tossing it up by surprise); fighting in a amazingly sharp way, hurting each other to the delight of the men gathered around. Kitty R. doesn’t wait until the end of the fight, she looks away and leaves the situation.

At night, lying in bed with a faint light bulb, Kitty R. in suspense listens to the sounds of the jungle coming from outside the house. Some sounds she can already attribute to specific images: oh, gibbons again! oh, loud time of cicadas! oh, that’s the song of her favorite asian bird! oh, again the gecko calls! And then something scrapes, scrapes more and jumps … something somewhere squeals … something … so Kitty R. extinguishes the light, thinks about M.* and falls asleep. The house is still leaky and dubious, so if anything decides to eat or bite her again, it will happen anyway, so at least she can just rest and have good night dreams. By the way, the wounds of a not fully known origin, that means burns on Kitty’s eye and neck (the previous post from Muong Ngoy) begin to slowly heal (it is possible that it’s getting better thanks to a dusty antibiotic, which Kitty R. received from a half-naked kind of doctor somewhere in the countryside, very charming gentleman, no warranty if real doctor). The scars on her neck now look like scratches from a tiger, so who knows what actually happened then in the morning before she woke up surprised by mysterious burns (?!).

And then Kitty R. and Sir Last with Y. and L. go to Luang Prabang.

This is where Kitty R., Sir Last and their Pumpkin comrades fall into the social-travel whirl. The city quickly catches them with new activities and is filled with visitors and cheerful inhabitants who celebrate the Buddhist New Year - 2561! Along the street are set inflatable pools, buckets, barrels, all connected to the live source of water. From dawn to night, by pots, cans and buckets, people every now and then, with a swift movement pour water over the drivers or passers-by. No mercy, no selection, and yet in such a way that no one is angry after receiving a solid splash in the face, on the head or inside the shirt. The whole city is drenched in one cheerful fun, without any division between residents and visitors, all together taking part in the water frenzy. Kitty R. never once sees a crying child, anyone dissatisfied or simply sad. For a few days Luang Prabang turns into a land of water fun, full of smiling soaked to the bone people. And the same Laos Love breaks again into the heart of Kitty R., and even Sir Last gets into the game as never before (!). From now on, if you celebrate New Year’s Eve do it only in Laos and only in April! Kitty R. recommends.

For a few days, even going to a nearby store is associated with a splash of water in the face and generally getting wet. Despite this, Kitty R. and Sir Last move to the Kuang Si Waterfalls, meaning the must see near Luang Prabang. This trip has been hatched during breakfast and by getting to know other travelers, thanks to which all interested parties form together a group of half a dozen people consisting of six different nations. What a responsibility in representing your country of birth and creating new stereotypes **(Polish! I am reporting that Kitty R. does not complain too much or drink vodka by pints, but she smiles a lot and tells others how beautiful forests and meadows are in Poland, only … do her companions see this or something else?). **

The waterfalls are beautiful and full of tourists in its lower parts. Note stereotype: the Chinese are too lazy and do not like to walk, so the top of the waterfall is empty. Verification of the stereotype: people for various reasons remain in more accessible parts of the attractions and there is nothing wrong with it, and it’s not related with any place of birth. Funny, huh?

Before Kitty R. begins to climb up, she loses Sir Last somewhere, and then finds him embracing several ladies simultaneously and posing for a photo. It is not the first time he is an attraction added to another tourist attraction for coach trips (no certainity whether it is his long hair or some glint in the eye, in any case picture below, see for yourself).

Finally.

Kitty R. gets a little closer to the unfamiliar world of blogging. Man 7thousandsfollowers on instagram introduces her to the secrets of blogging and Kitty R. gets extremely intrigued by seeing the whole system. She is intrigued as to how different original photos can be to those posted on instagram. What is more important for a good photograph, analogue or computer editing skills? How do we recognize a good photo and what is the definition of good photography nowadays? The most intriguing question for Kitty R. is when looking at a travel photo do you believe it shows a real place or are you ready for a bloggers interpretation of it? For someone who is looking for truth and inspiration it becomes a reality challenge. Who is really responsible for building a parallel and not so true world? Is it on the travel-bloggers side or on the readers? Kitty R. wasn’t born yesterday, so she knows that photos often have little to do with reality, but … she is amazed how far it can go (remove crowds, change colours completely and set objects, suggesting that there is pure peace, nature and beauty and a lack of a touristic crowd, rubbish and ads around?) Creating a new reality is also a skill, and it can be treated as a work of the imagination, both for the creator-blogger and his reader.

However, Kitty R. prefers nobigphotoshop style and she says:

Laos is enough beautiful without photoshop, instagram filters and other programs. It’s beauty is noticeable naturally. With the naked eye.

* M. is Kitty’s friend she always thinks about when she is anxious or stressed.

Water Festival, New Year in Luang Prabang.

Celebration of New Year in Luang Prabang.

Happy New Year!

Full commitment.

Wet, wetter and the wettest... no matter the age or

style

The temple in Luang Prabang.

Buddha.

Kitty R. doesn't go to any attraction related to elephants, but here the elephants were brought to the town centre on the occasion of the celebrations of the New Year...

...to the delight of many tourists and local residents who fed them during the parade with some bananas. A sad sight for Kitty R. but she will not pretend she wasn't that day on the streets with the crowds.

Various parades on occasion of New Year's Eve in Laos.

And another parade. (By the way how much of their quality the photos loose while uploading..)

Kuang Si waterfalls are naturally beautiful.

Sir Last posing again and again... does Kitty R. miss something in his CV?

Kuang Si Waterfalls. (Psst... while taking the photo, Kitty R. was in the line with quite a lot of other visitors)

Kuang Si is a fun for local children as well.

Near the top of Kuang Si Waterfalls.

A sunset in Nong Khiaw.

comments powered by Disqus