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The Adventures of the Little Blue Backpack: Part Two, Laos

The Little Blue Backpack arrived in style into Luang Prabang, Laos. 

Although slightly uncomfortable - due to being strapped down to the front of a small, flimsy, wooden boat - zooming down the Mekong River watching the sun slowly set was the way to do it.

The girls had found a cracking place to stay, and when the 40-degree heat of the day had died down, they would sit out on their comfy chairs and plan where they were taking Little Blue next.

One day, at the crack of dawn (literally - actually literally), they climbed a billion, million steps up to a temple to watch the sunrise. It was a rather misty day so they only got to see a faint red tinge to the sky gradually grow lighter - pretty nonetheless. 

Yawning on their way, they descended back down a billion, million steps and found a cosy café to have some breakfast. 

The trio happened to be in Luang Prabang for the Laos New Year, and as they wandered away from the café they found themselves in the midst of a celebratory parade.

As far as he could tell, perched on Aimee's back, the townspeople were all gathered around a shiny, gold statue. They were moving it slowly from the centre of the town, where it was being covered with flowers and water, to a shiny building. This was returning the Prabang Buddha - the most sacred Buddha statue in Laos - to its temple, having spent the week being ritually bathed by all who wanted to.

Oh so shiny.

Along with the city's sights, the girls seemed to really enjoy the night market in Luang Prabang and so Little Blue left the town with a considerably lighter purse and a considerably fuller pouch - bulging with presents.

After the bumpiest ride of their lives - Katie spent her time wishing she was anywhere but that bus, clutching hold of various plastic bags - they arrived in Vang Vieng.

And oh was it beautiful.

The gang ventured out of their hotel in its beautiful surroundings to explore more beautiful surroundings. 

The Little Blue Backpack was bundled into the front of a bicycle and bounced his way through the countryside. On the hunt for the elusive Blue Lagoon, the girls managed to take a wrong turn along the way and came across a secret cave. Little Blue was a little nervous when they entered a pitch black hole with no more indication that humans had been there than a few wooden planks nailed together acting as ladders and bridges.

An eerie Buddha sat alone in the heart of the cave - only visible in the torchlight. The hole through its heart was one of the many things making the girls' legs tremble. LBB was particularly grateful that Katie seemed to find it as creepy as him and was very happy to scurry out towards the light of day.

Eventually they pedalled the four kilometres to the Blue Lagoon and trekked their way up some very ropey looking steps to a vast cave cut in to the mountainous karst. This one has clearly been well-trodden by countless travellers before the trio and so Little Blue felt a lot more at ease. It was kind of spectacular in fact.

They got back to the mouth of the cave after exploring in reverent silence and heard, just seconds before seeing, that the heavens had opened and sheets of rain were plunging into the lagoon.This didn't stop the girls cannonballing in and getting to know the fishes whilst Little Blue was safely on dry land with a friendly Australian couple. 

They had some wonderfully lazy days in Vang Vieng, sitting back, drinking beers and admiring the views.

The troop then headed South to their final stop in Laos, the capital city: Vientiane. Having been fabulously and pleasantly surprised in the last two destinations, they had high hopes for the capital city which unfortunately were dashed upon arrival. 

It was a rather grey, miserable city with few signs of colour or character. Little Blue enjoyed standing out against the dull background.

Their last day in the city took them to the bizarre "Buddha Park" which was, for all intents and purposes, a large plot of land with a load of statues on it. With seemingly little religious sentiment other than the fact the statues were based on Gods and legends, it was still a fun wonderland for the group to wander around.

Laos had been quite the treat for all of them. The Little Blue Backpack could only imagine what wonders could be in store for them in Vietnam.

To be continued...