I ended up spending more time in Luang Prabang than I had expected, which was just fine with me. Normally I have an aversion to overly touristy places, but even though Luang Prabang is the most touristy place in Laos, I still love it. It’s just too easy to lose time wandering around all the old temples and shop houses, chasing kittens in the monasteries, and tasting all the yummy things at the french bakeries.
Normally I stay in pretty cheap places, and only partially because it extends the travel budget and is a one of the main reasons I can justify traveling as much as I do. The other reason is because when I hate the room I’m staying in it ensures I’ll actually get out of it the minute I wake up. This time I decided to splurge on a few nights in one of the lovely little boutique hotels in town. I got a great deal at the Ramayana Boutique Hotel & Spa on agoda.com before I left on the trip, and my “splurging” still only cost about $50/night. Of course it meant that I spent a lot more time in the super pretty room being lazy, but it rained a lot of the time and I was sort of sick while I was there, so between lazying around in the hotel and several Laos massages, it worked out to be a perfect relaxing end to the otherwise seriously dirty trip.