-Luang Prabang-

I have entered my 6th country in the last month, Laos (pronounced Lao). To get here, in Luang Prabang, I had to cross the Mekong river in a boat from northern Thailand over to Laos to get my visa. Then the next day I got on a slow boat and rode down the Mekong for two days. It is very beautiful here, with lush green jungle and sharp, jagged rocks jutting out of the brown, swirling Mekong. Going down the Mekong was like being on a water ride at Disney Land, passing by almost fake looking rocks on a very slow boat with a whole bunch of other tourists. It is hot and steamy here, but is much more bearable when you are sitting in the shade. The spiders spinning webs in between palm tress are huge, the mosquitoes haven't been biting yet, and the praying mantis that fell from the ceiling while I was eating dinner was pretty cool.
I really don't know much about Laos. I am learning more about it's history during Vietnam, but hope to learn more about it's ancient past and it's more current events. The people have been incredibly friendly and accommodating. For almost every exchange I get a 'thank you' and a smile. During the day it is fairly common to walk by a home and see the locals just laying on the floor, staying cool and preserving their energy during the height of the day. I think between the heat and the general laid back attitude of the people, Laos moves at a slower pace than Thailand. The food isn't as good as in Thailand, but it may be slightly healthier. A few nights ago I ate a Laotian dish with buffalo meat, rice, and least 5 kinds of green vegetables: chives, cucumber, lettuce, cilantro, and mint leaves. It was the greenest dish I have ever had.
Luang Prabang, is a decent sized city located in the hilly area of northern Laos. It is a Unesco city, for it's mixture of French and Laotian buildings and is quite pretty with it's wooden french buildings, buddhist monasteries, and green palm trees. Although, it is swamped with tourists, which may help it lose just a touch of exoticness. Tomorrow I hope to catch an eight hour bus ride to Phonsavan which is very close to the Plain of Jars.
Recently, I have been missing being home a little bit. This is partially because I am a little bored too. There is so much going on back home that I feel like I am missing out on between politics, current events, sports, and everyday goings on. I also have a huge list of recommended books, movies, tv shows, artists, and activities I am anxious to get started on. While I am still excited to see Angkor Wat, Phnom Penn, traipse through Malaysian jungle, go scuba diving and go to the Full Moon Party in Thailand, I am looking forward to coming home. One of the major signs that I need to find some kind of activity to do to keep me busy during the heat of the day, is that I sewed up two holes in two pairs of shorts today. And I enjoyed doing it too. Yikes.