Turning 30 in Laos – The Prince of Bel Air

After returning from Vang Vieng, it was time to start celebrating my 30th birthday! We’d booked in to a lovely hotel (called “Le Bel Air” – hence the title)for 2 nights for some R&R and as a treat for my becoming an old man.  It was about 10 times more expensive than our normal nightly budget on this trip – but still about the price of a Travellodge in the UK! Here’s some photos:

Le Bel Air Hotel, Luang Prabang, Laos Le Bel Air Hotel, Luang Prabang, Laos

It’s so posh, they collected us from our guest house, give us free bikes to ride around, carried our bags to our room, give free trips into town and will drop us (in about 30 mins from now) at the airport. It’s not at all what we’ve been used to – and a very nice way to celebrate my birthday.

The first evening we sat and watched the sun set from our balcony, had a HUGE bath (took 30 mins to fill!) and headed into town for some shopping and eating.

Sunset at Luang Prabang

Then it was off to bed for the last time as a 29-year-old and to wake up as a 30-year-old! The next morning, whilst I was at breakfast, Lizzy decorated the room with balloons and when I came back, I opened the cards that Lizzy had carried half way around the world with her (thanks if one of them was from you!) and the presents she’d bought me (although I’d already had loads in the UK before I left).

We got up slowly and then headed into town again by bike to do more shopping and eating! Had lunch at a lovely french café and bought a few pictures before heading back late afternoon to chill out at the hotel and make friends with what I think was a sloth (the animal perhaps I’m most like!).

Princess of Le Bel Air I think it's a Sloth

Then after a few phone / Skype calls to family, we headed back into town once more for a rather posh meal at the Aspara (again, posh for here – still only the price of a meal for 2 at Pizza Express in the UK probably!). The meal was magnificent! It was all very well flavoured and interesting combinations -I had buffalo sausages with chilli jam, followed by duck curry with a refreshing cucumber & ginger dipping sauce – YUM YUM YUM! All washed down with a bottle of rosé and we were both rather happy. A perfect meal for my birthday.

Cheers - for my 30th!

Once we were done with our upper-class meal, we headed to a bar where we met the 4 Scots from Vang Vieng for a few more drinks. (Lizzy had tried to arrange their being there as a surprise for me, but then I waded in and arranged it myself anyway, so that took the wind out of her sails – oops!).

On returning to the hotel room, there was a big surprise – A CAKE! In fact it was a surprise for Lizzy too really since she’d mentioned that it was my birthday to the hotel, but wasn’t sure they were going to do anything.

My birthday cake!

We were too full to eat much of it, so it’s now in our rucksack awaiting a convenient time for us to demolish it. Will they let it through customs? We hope so, because now it’s off to Hanoi, Vietnam!

Author: Alex

I am X3JA

10 thoughts on “Turning 30 in Laos – The Prince of Bel Air”

  1. “Turning 30 in Laos” – sounds like one of the anthropology books on my reading list in 60’s Sociology course! XX

    1. Thanks “Gran”… are you sure you’re my Gran though? I’m pretty sure they don’t have the Internet in heaven… Maybe you mean “Grant” 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday! Sounds like your having an amazing time. Glad I subscribed to the email alerts 🙂 Keep posting the amazing photos.

    1. Indeed – a second cake too (Lizzy already made me one in the UK for our party before we left!).
      Mmmm cake (Lizzy’s was more tasty)!

  3. And you thought turning 30 when u were away was gonna be just another day of travelling! Ha ha! Do you have to eat leaves for the next 2 weeks to make up for it?! All sounds amazing! Good effort!

    1. Eat leaves? We should be so lucky! It’s just stream water & rocks for brekkie, lunch & dinner!
      And yes, it did turn out to be an unforgettable birthday – YAY! 🙂

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