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Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Amsterdam, The...
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Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Thanks to the advice and help of TA'ers 'dobsonshow' I got in touch with Bouasy ('See' for short) who is a registered guide and driver here in Luang Prabang. I just spent two great days with him seeing the area sights. He is extremely knowledgeable, incredibly hospitable and helpful and speaks excellent English. After he picked me up at the airport he sorted me out with a Lao sim card, drove me around town for a good orientation and then we talked about what we could do for a couple of days of touring. He has a perfect van with all the amenities (water, Pepsi, refresh towels, even fresh-picked bananas one day).

Besides the usual things (Pak Ou, waterfalls, etc) we spent one half day visiting some villages in the surrounding mountains. One was a Khmu village and the other a Hmong village. These are places that you won't normally get to with the tuk tuk tourist services. And even though I saw one tuk tuk offering Khmu and Hmong villages, if they are the same ones See took me to, it is not a drive you want to make in the back of a tuk tuk. In the Hmong village I had quite a surprising and memorable spontaneous interaction with a lovely deaf-mute young woman who makes traditional Hmong clothing which will become I think one of the highlights of my visit. After this post I will be heading off to the photo store to get some prints made and See will make sure this woman and some kids get the pictures we took. I also got to visit and walk through See's own village and meet his family. With his translation I was able to ask questions to people we met along our walks.

Admittedly you can get to most of these places in a tuk tuk for less money but you won't be able to have the kind of extensive conversations we had about Laos and its history, society, politics, education system, Buddhism, village life, etc. Perhaps I would have seen almost as much but I wouldn't have learned a fraction of what I did with See.

This is an incredible city and beautiful and quite intriguing country. But the only way to get some deeper insight into what it's really all about is to spend time with a knowledgeable local who is eager to share his country with you one-on-one. See is the guy to do that with! And he can not only show you around LP and area but can also take over night and multi-day trips to places further away all over the country.

So if you are heading this way and want to get the most out of your stay, I urge you to see Laos with See. Feel free to pm me if you want to discuss further. See can be reached at bouasysouliya@yahoo.com or +856-20-5872149. He doesn't check his email every day since he lives out of town in a small village but he always replies within a couple of days.

Eastbourne, United...
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1. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Hi Lenny,

Thanks for your 'live' report. I totally agree with the idea of hiring a local guide who would take you along and share everything with you on the way.

Enjoy your time and keep your interesting reports coming.

Cheers

Irvine, California
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2. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Hey Leonard ,

Thanks for sending me the link over to you info on See.

I enjoyed reading about him and your adventure. I will definitely hire him when I get to LP Dec 5th.

I will email him tonight.

Thank you

Ginny

from Colorado

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Good on you Ginny! You will be very happy you hook up with him!

Singapore
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4. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Hi Lenny,

Thanks for your LP report. Sounds like you had a fabulous time. My husband, 9-year-old son, and I will be heading to Laos for 3-weeks next month and will be in LP for about a week.

How much was your guided tour to the villages, and Pak Ou caves + waterfall? Depending on cost, we may be able to take a guided tour with See.

Thanks in advance for you help on this!

Cheers,

Joy

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Lenny

thanks for the heads up on this guide. We actually just got back from LP and I wouldn't have thought about hiring a guide here as we use it as our relax section of the holiday but I must say after reading your report I will keep See's details for our next visit.

Ojai, CA
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6. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

It sounds like See was a great guide. We only have one full day in Luang Prabang in late January 2010. What do you suggest we see on that one day? How much does See charge for a full day of touring? Cathy

Vientiane
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7. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Don't waste your money on a guide in Luang Prabang. The town is small enough so that you can easily see it by yourself.

Kurashiki, Japan
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8. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Cathy-

As Rufus says, you can walk around and explore on your own. There are dozens of temples- get a map at one of the shops (or better yet, a guidebook before you go!) and do a walking tour. Also be sure to visit the Royal Palace Museum- very impressive.

In the late afternoon head up to Phousi and explore th temple, then hang around for the sunset. After that, you can descend the mountain and you can hit the night market.

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

I also agree that to to see the town itself you don't need a guide unless you want a very in-depth tour of some of the primary temples. But it's a tough question if one only has one day to spend it in the town or to see a few things outside the town. See's daily charge is around $60.

San Francisco,Ca
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10. Re: Live from LP - Had a great guide!

Cathy-

If I had only one day in LP I would definitely stay in town even though the nearby villages are interesting. LP is a charming place to explore on foot with many temples, cafes, both a morning market for food stuff and a night market for crafts and other wares. You will also find stores selling high quality local crafts and antiques and good restaurants.

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