A good feeling runs through Luang Prabang. It sounds cheesy, but there is something almost cosmically happy and upbeat about this place. Part of this “feeling” no doubt has to do with the beautiful setting. More than that though, the locals’ positive attitude and laidback demeanor surely rubs off on tourists. The owner of our hotel told us that he and his wife can tell how long a tourist has been in town by the speed of his or her gait. A faster clip on day one gives way to a gentle stroll by day three.
We made our first serious blunder of the trip.
Stepping off the plane in Hong Kong at 7 p.m. local time, extremely jet lagged and blurry-eyed, we were approached by a man wearing a surgical mask, who appeared out of nowhere and zapped Jude in the head with what looked like a radar gun.