Friday, January 12, 2018

Luang Prabang Airport

Day 4 (13 November 2017)

Airasia departure time was scheduled at 9:25 .m. but had been retimed to 9:00 a.m. However, I had made arrangement with the hostel to call a taxi to pick me up at 7:00 a.m. I did not have much time for breakfast. Lao Coffee Shop (N19.88802° E102.13226°) near Phothisarath Road-Chao Fa Ngum Rd roundabout opened at 6:00 a.m. and I was hoping that food would be ready to be served in time for me to go back to the hostel before 7:00 a.m.

I left the hostel at about 6:00 a.m., reached Lao Coffee Shop at 6:08 a.m. and my breakfast of rice porridge was served at 6:19 a.m. The You Tiao (bread stick) vendor had not sent his supply to the coffee shop yet. Yes, I would be on time, sans the bread stick.

I wasn't expecting monks to be collecting alms at that time, because two mornings earlier, I saw them leaving the nearby temples at 5:30 a.m. to collect alms. If visitors would like to see alms giving without the hordes of tourists joining the devotees, then come to Chao Fa Ngum Road near where the roundabout was located. I know of at least two temples here, but which I did not bother visiting.

The 'taxi' arrived before 7:00 a.m. The driver went to talk to the receptionist (wife of the Dutchman), and I was surprised when she told him she did not speak Laos. I was curious about her nationality and she said she was Cambodian.

We reached the airport in 11 minutes, at 7:02 a.m. The airport was small. At that early hour, the currency exchange booth had not opened, and I could not do anything to exchange the balance of about KIP350,000 to USD or other currencies.

On the airside, there were two floors of departure gates. On the first floor were the departure gates for Airasia. There was also a smoking zone and a food court. The food stalls had not started business yet, until much later.

The arrival of the plane was delayed by over one hour due to bad weather, and we departed at only about 10:10 a.m.

In the plane, the two couples whom I heard speaking Foochow on my first day in Luang Prabang occupied the seats right on the row in front of me. What a co-incident!

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