My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 2

Second day of Luang Prabang visit revolved around the element of water.

Prior to our trip, we already arranged a tour with Klook for the visit to Pak Ou Caves, then to a wine-making village and finally, to the popular Kuang Si Falls.

Call time was 8am and we were fetched by a van. We were brought to Khem Khong Street which is behind the Royal Palace Museum. A few steps down to the banks of the Mekong, a long boat was waiting for us. It’s a traditional long boat that could probably sit around 30 people. When we got to the boat, we realized that we were the only passengers on that day. Our guide had instructed the boatman to head for the Pak Ou Caves.

Mekong River, the lifeline of Indochina.

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My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 1

There are stories of long cross border trips and unreliable sleeper buses in and out of Laos. There are also stories of scenic boat rides on the Mekong which take more than a day to reach Luang Prabang. But no matter which mode of transport you choose, a planned trip to the old town of Luang Prabang is worth all the journey.

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Day 1 of my Luang Prabang travel began the moment when the Air Asia plane touched down at the LPIA. Laos is one of the 3 remaining ASEAN countries which I haven’t visited yet. I heard a lot of wonderful stories of Laos and why every traveler always include it in their trips. I always felt that Laos has a deep story – heritage and culture as enigmatic yet profound as those of neighboring countries like Cambodia or Thailand.

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Old Town of Luang Prabang

Most of us are not familiar with the city of Luang Prabang. But for those who have traveler and backpacker friends, this city is often mentioned for its heritage charm and tourist-friendly vibe on top of its old-world colonial draw. Luang Prabang is the heritage pride of Laos.

There are several ways to reach Luang Prabang. By land, there are sleeper buses from Hanoi, Vietnam or other places. There is no existing train network heading to Luang Prabang. Please do note that the distance from Hanoi to Luang Prabang is almost 900km and the trip might take forever to reach Laos. I had a terrible experience with the sleeper bus from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap so I put this one as the last resort.

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Asik-Asik Falls of Alamada

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A beauty in a form of water streaming out and down from lush green cliff walls joining the meandering Alamada River in the highlands of Cotabato – a simple description of a hidden gem in the town of Alamada, at the foot of the Blue Mountain that is Mt. Ragang or Mount Piapayungan to some. Asik-asik Falls, the pride of Cotabato, is a unique and beautiful curtain waterfalls tucked in a rift formed by the Alamada River.

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The Province of Quirino

Even up to this day, the province of Quirino is not on the list of must-visit places by the weekend warriors and the local tourists. Quirino is not found on the same path leading to terminal points of Tuguegarao or of Sta. Ana in Cagayan. Progress has yet to be felt in this laid-back province consisting of 6 municipalities and a population of less than 200,000.

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Most often, people would ask what’s there to see and visit in Quirino. It is not as popular as its neighboring provinces like Isabela and Cagayan or even Nueva Vizcaya to its south. It is relatively young, having formed as a sub-province in 1966 from the forested portion of Nueva Vizcaya and eventually became a province 6 years after.

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