Many have waxed lyrical about Luang Prabang, a beautiful UNESCO Heritage Site in Laos with its glorious Buddhist temples, rustic villages and French colonial architecture. That’s a post for another day.
For me, the adventure began when I was trying to get to Luang Prabang. All because I sprained my knee running for our connecting flight, that we eventually missed anyway. It was a short 5-day trip, but I learnt to appreciate that travel is sometimes more about the journey than the destination.
- Not every road leads to Luang Prabang
There are very few flights to Luang Prabang, at least from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Our options were to wait 2 days or take a 23-hour route on another airline via Hanoi, Vietnam. We chose the latter.
- Kent, The Fixer
There is an interesting situation at KLIA. If you have a problem, you will be directed to a man named Kent. We were given Kent’s number twice but we chose to ignore it. After we were led on a merry go round which left us stranded at the airport with no tickets to a flight that was departing in half an hour, I burst into tears (I’m not proud of it). That was when Kent magically appeared. Now, I call him Kent, the Fixer. With deep reverence. Even though I ended up paying double for my tickets. But he got everyone working to get us on our flight.
- Make the most of a bad situation
I had to be in a wheelchair when I arrived at Hanoi airport because it hurt to walk. In an odd way (I’m certainly not recommending it!), I felt like a rockstar as I breezed through customs clearance for diplomats and airline crew. The next day, I was escorted to the plane in this medic vehicle with a hydraulic platform. The hubby was extremely amused and took tons of photos. He’s not very efficient at the uploading though.
- It’s a chance to try new things
I would never have worked an overnight stay at the airport in any of my travel plans. But as we had a 7-hour overnight transit at Noi Bai Airport, we decided to check in to a sleep pod. It’s so cool because it was a twin pod with a bunk bed, wifi and a tv!
- Appreciate the once-in-a-lifetime adventure and smile
When we finally landed in Luang Prabang and checked in to our hotel, it struck us that just a day ago we were in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. And now we are in Laos. Four countries in 32 hours, quite a feat for me.
It is another situation that calls for an ‘Ommmmm my god, you’re awesome’ card :). I decided to get fancy and use this luxurious Japanese shinwazome chiyogami paper to fold the lotus.