My First “Real” Couchsurfing Experience
Couchsurfing isn’t a new concept to those who, like me, constantly lust for travel, but never have thick wads of cash to spend. To those unfamiliar, Couchsurfing is a website connects “surfers” a.k.a. travelers to hosts in the country to be visited.
While I thought this would be an idea I would immediately gravitate towards, given my cheapskate-ness, I didn’t actually have my first “real” Couchsurfing experience until my 45th day of traveling, while I was in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Though I’ve met up with some Couchsurfers in Siem Reap, Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang, and got hooked up with Hariharalaya Retreat Centre thanks to a Couchsurfer, this would be my first time to spend the night at a host’s home.
Utopia in Luang Prabang, Laos
August 2012 - Luang Prabang, Laos
Tucked away somewhere inside the small and narrow streets from Phomma That Road is this dreamy, almost surreal, hidden (yet popular) Eden in Luang Prabang aptly called Utopia, a peaceful and inviting environment for everyone, whether you’re into yoga, reading, writing, having alone time, enjoying good food and drinks, or hanging out with friends and playing board games.
Languor in Luang Prabang, Laos
August 9-15, 2012
I find that some of my favorite places are those in which you can really just while away by hanging out at more affordable neighborhood cafes with wi-fi or bookshops with friendly and accommodating owners, walking along streets with nostalgic charm, visiting the occasional exhibit/museum, watching the sunset by the Mekong River, and partake of food from the night market.
Read the rest of this post for some cheapskate tips and lazy snaps c/o this lethargic traveler. :P
My First Recommended To-Do in Luang Prabang:
Slow down, Stay Another Day
August 9, 2012 - Luang Prabang, Laos
When traveling, it’s so easy for tourists to cram “all” possible activities in a matter of 2-3 days. The perhaps not all-too-mainstream Stay Another Day Exhibit on the second floor of Kopnoi in Luang Prabang is one of those things that I recommend travelers to visit and learn from on their first day in Luang Prabang.
“Up” and About: An Age-defying Love & Adventure Story :)
On the long bus ride from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, I also couldn’t help but notice the couple seated in front of me through the gap between their seats. I’m a sucker for old couples, so I was really curious about their story.
When we got off the bus and boarded a tuk-tuk to the centre of Luang Prabang, I was fortunate enough to be in the same tuk-tuk as they were in. My Luang Prabang travel-mates, Yasuko, Mako, Jenney and I then learned that they’ve been traveling for 10 years now, with their sailboat. :) SOBRANG SWEET.
I knew at that moment I had to take their picture and get their full names and email address. I knew I’d have to write about them.
Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls and Bear Sanctuary
August 8, 2012 - Luang Prabang, Laos
The great thing about not really knowing what a place has to offer but just going anyway is the awe when you finally see / experience them.
Tat Kuang Si is among the most popular tourist activities in Luang Prabang, and rightly so. It was my favorite excursion / touristy thing to do here. Even with the jaw-dropping waterfalls in Iligan, this was uh-mazing, with its lush surroundings, clear pools, and the great Kuang Si waterfall drop when you climb further up.
Impromptu Wet Pak Ou Cave “Adventure”
August 7, 2012 - Luang Prabang, Laos
The rain wasn’t very cooperative at all in the first few days of my stay here in Luang Prabang, though it was significantly better than the weather situation in Manila at the time.
Nonetheless, Yasuko, and Jenney and Mako (who we met on the bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang) and I braved the rain and went out to explore what we could in the rain.