Sunday, January 12, 2014

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Hey guys!

This is my last antips post, and I shall be picking up from when we left Hanoi for Luang Prabang to do some sight-seeing :)

DAY 14, 17th December

Today we left Vietnam for Laos! We woke up pretty early and had some breakfast at the hotel before leaving for the airport at around 9. Before we let, Diem, Sadie, Emma, Abbey, Georgie and I decided to go and get drinks from New York Coffee.
The place which we took to Luang Prabang was actually so so tiny it was a bit like wot but the flight ended up being alright.
We arrived at Luang Prabang at about 2 and wooowwweee it was such a massive contrast to Hanoi. It was so quiet and calm and just really, really nice. There were heaps of tourists too so quite a lot of people spoke English which was good.
We pretty much had free time all afternoon, and Diem, Abbey, G and I spent our time shopping around until dinner. LOL we actually ran into another one of the antips groups while shopping, which was a bit awks cause the teachers had arranged to meet up with them later in the night for Rosie's birthday.
 Had dinner at this really nice restaurant right on the Mekong River, and I had sweet and sour fish which was fab. After dinner we went to check out the night markets which were AMAZE omg. Like, I went around and literally wanted everything, bought so much stuff before heading back to the Guesthouse at around 9:30.

DAY 15, 18th December

For breakfast today we went to this amaze restaurant where i got a banana and chocolate pancake *U* was so good oml
We then all walked to this really nice temple. It was up heaps of stairs and lolol took us so long to find because we walked right past the stairs then couldn't find it for ages. Once we did get up all the stairs, there were so many beautiful statues and monuments as well as this cool imprint of Buddha's foot. Talked to this 19 year old monk outside the footprint for a while before buying a ticket and heading up to the top of the temple where we could see a 360 degree view of Luang Prabang which was so nice.
After we were done there, we went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. I had fried rice which was actually the best thing ever, and while waiting for our food I went over the road to book the elephant tour for tomorrow!
After that we just basically had free time again in our little groups of four. A, G, D and I went to this little bakery to buy some chocolate croissants, and our quick trip to the bakery basically turned into a two hour D&M, and by the time we were done there we needed to meet up with the rest of the group again. 
The group decided to have dinner at the markets (cause there was so much food their, like literally an entire alleyway with just food), so once we were done chatting we headed over to the night markets. We did some shopping before getting dinner, and I had these poffertjes things, heaps of dumplings and this meh sausage skewer.
After the markets, we went back to Abbey and Georgie's room to chat a bit more. After a while we decided to go back and get more chocolate croissants so we did lololol bringing my daily total to three. ily chocolate croissants.

from the temple



A&G's room after :)

DAY 16, 19th December
(ps this is gonna be a long one lol)

Had a quick breakfast at a bakery since we were getting picked up for the elephant tour at nine. Got two chocolate croissants hehehehhehehehehheheheehehhe
The tour guide picked us up and we arrived at the elephant place about an hour later. The elephants were so cool, and we got on them almost straight away. lol I sat on a chair thing on the back of an elephant with Diem, while Em sat on the neck. Our elephant was actually so funny. It was like really impatient and kept running off the path it was meant to follow. It would like stop all the time too and like do nothing, then suddenly run and overtake all the other elephants. It was actually really fun lol but glad I wasn't on the neck.
side note, elephant pee is like a river.
After that, about half the group (including me) went to get changed into our togs for elephant bathing, which turned out to be the coolest thing ever. Srsly. I had an elephant to myself (with the mahout) but some people had to share theirs and LOL. The water was really cold so the elephants weren't too keen on getting in. My elephant kept running away from the water and oml it was kinda scary. I was sitting on the elephants neck and whenever it's head moved I would be shaken to the side. Omg Bei and Taylah's elephant was the worst and actually kept trying to buck them off.
Once we were done with that, we went to have lunch at this Lao restaurant, then headed off to the Kuang Si Waterfall which was a m a z i n g.
The water was like this ridic bright blue and omg so pretty. There was this rope which we could use to monkey jump into the water and it was SO FUN. like ridic fun. ALTHOUGH the water was freezing so I had to swim to the edge fast and my swimming skills are a bit lol. Plus heaps of water went up my nose. But still SO FUN.
After all that was done we headed back to the guesthouse and went  to the night markets to get street food for dinner. There's this bookshop here that plays a different movie every night, and tonight they played Perks of Being a Wallflower which I actually really wanted to watch, so a group of us went to see it. You have to buy a drink to watch the movie so I got a choc mint shake which was so goooooooood. The room was really cosy and there were pillows all over the floor, and the movie was amaze, and the whole experience was just really really good.
Once we got back to out room, we repacked our bags a bit then slept :)


stopped at a little village quickly after lunch

lololololol bear in a hammock

The bluest water you've ever seen

DAY 17, 20th December

For breakfast today we were planning on going to this nice restaurant near the bookshop, but on the way there, we ran into this other really cheap restaurant so we ended up just going there instead. The service there was actually the worst thing ever. Like I swear we were sitting there for about an hour before any  meals came, and there was like this coughing baby in the kitchen which was dodge. Most people hated their meals, but I ordered this chocolate and banana pancake which actually turned out alright lol. Anyways, people wanted to eat somewhere else after that so we all went to the bakery and I got another chocolate croissant lol, actually getting a bit sick of them though.
Once we were done, we had some free time but I had to spend my time doing all these annoying budget calculations since I was in the leadership team. We were meant to meet with the rest of the group at 12:30, so at approx 11:55 I ran off to get a half an hour Khmu massage which was omg so good.
That afternoon we had planned to go bike riding, but no one really wanted to do it anymore so instead we all went to the bookshop for lunch, and while we were there we asked them to play a movie for us. We ended up watching Silver Lining's Playbook which was so good, and for lunch I got a tuna melt which was omg even better. 
Once we were done with all that we had some free time so Diem, Abbey, Georgie and I went to check out this fish pedicure thing, but we didn't end up doing it because the fish weren't biting :( Instead, we went to get crepes then we just headed off to the markets to basically spend the rest of our money since it was our last proper shopping night.
OH BTW we had dinner at this restaurant with only half the group (since half the group wanted market food). Bought so much stuff from the markets and ended up having a pretty early night.

DAY 18, 21st December

So so so sad that today was our last day at Luang Prabang, but the teachers decided to plan the whole day for us and the day ended up being so amazing. We had all this money lying around (lol cause we were good on budget) so all our meals today were like amaze.
We all woke up super early and met at 6am to go and see the alms. Heaps of monks walked past us and a few people in our group gave them food, and yaah was really interesting.
After that I went back to sleep before waking up a couple of hours later and going out for breakfast at Joma. Our breakfast budget had been increased from 23000 kip to 50000 kip, and I got this smoked salmon bagel and an ice cocoa which was a m a z e.
Once we were done eating, Em appeared as our tour guide (omg was so funny) and told us that we would spend the morning on a scavenger hunt around Luang Prabang for a list of things including some facts from the museum and a strange item of clothing for a teacher to wear all day. Our group had six people, compared to the other two groups of four, so we ended up finishing really early and since we had some extra budget as well we managed to all go and get ice cream before meeting up at Utopia (our meeting/lunch place) and still being the first team there.
Lunch at Utopia was the fabbest thing ever. I had another tuna melt, and once we were done eating we basically just sat and relaxed for a couple of hours. The place was so relaxing as well, and they literally had heaps of beds and cushions on the ground where you could lie and have this beautiful view of the Mekong River. 
After a couple of hours there, we went and had a really nice sunset cruise on the Mekong River. We then went back to the guesthouse for a while before heading off to dinner at the prettiest restaurant ever. The setting was so so nice and there were little lights everywhere and when we got there, Kim and Em had left little notes for everyone on the table, along with these bracelets <33
Dinner was amaze, and once we were done we went and got crepes before quickly dashing over to the markets to buy a couple of things quickly.
All in all, today was such a fab ending to the best trip ever.


our teachers >>>>>

DAY 19, 22nd December

Today was the last day of the trip :(
We mostly spent the day travelling. We had a quick breakfast at Joma, before heading off to the airport and flying to Bangkok airport where we had to wait for nine hours before we could catch our plane back to Brisbane. I thought it would pass a lot slower than it did, and I actually ended up having heaps of fun shopping, playing cards, chatting with everyone, etc.
We eventually got on our plane, and after 8 hours we were back in Brisbane!

That concludes my antips updates, and I realise that I'm really far behind on updating anything else lololol shall get right on that.



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