17 Oct 2013

We've moved!

Thanks for visiting our blog! 

We've moved to www.paddyandmaddy.wordpress.com so please head there to read about our latest adventures. 

Much love!
Maddy & Paddy xxx

29 Aug 2013

How Did We Spend Our First Wedding Anniversary?

Dearest lovelies, 

Those of you who are on Facebook will have seen us post all sorts of lovey-dovey messages and photos about our first wedding anniversary. We can hardly believe it's been one whole year since this...

So how to celebrate? 

Maddy is a huge fan of Royal anything, and Paddy likes to keep Maddy happy so...

Behold, the royal receiving wat where up until 1975, the king of Laos graciously received his visitors...

Unfortunately we had to put our handbags and cameras in lockers so no photos of the amazing rooms and exhibits, but the bit that we were allowed to photograph was a very impressive wat within the grounds, which reminded Maddy of the ballroom in Sound of Music actually! 

The very intricately carved ceiling


Looking through the royal carrying box....

Help! I'm stuck in a gold palace!
For our special anniversary dinner we chose to eat at Tamarind, which is a restaurant which introduces Westerners to Lao food with taster dishes, and explanations given by the super friendly waiters. We had read rave reviews about it, and as soon as we walked in and met the manager Rudy, it was a hit for us! 

We drank champagne, toasted the future and ate delicious food. We highly recommend the Laos taster plate and the stuffed lemongrass - om nom nom. 

Thank you for all your lovely messages of congratulations and love from all our lovely family, friends, and all the support we receive from Balanced View

We love you too!

Maddy and Paddy xxx

Dang! Luang Prabang, You're Beautiful!

Gorgeous painted bamboo plates at the market
WOW! Luang Prabang! What an amazing and beautiful place!

So, Luang Prabang is actually on a peninsula between the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers. Needless to say, they're both very, very big, especially in monsoon season. They kind of make the Thames look like a babbling brook. 

For those fact fans out there, here's the location of Luang Prabang in Laos!
Close-up view of the town
Once we arrived here after our beautiful two day journey down the mighty Mekong we completely fell in love with this luscious green town. We were a little worried because August is the rainiest month of the rainy season, but that's nothing some stylish 
umbrellas couldn't fix. Plus rain in 30 degrees makes it all a little easier to bear!

Side note: As soon as we landed in town, we sat down for a cold drink before heading off for the usual guesthouse search, and before we knew it we were befriended by a very sweet little boy named Alan who had six toes! Yes count them, 6 bad boys!

It's a wonderful town to walk around in, with luscious greenery everywhere, and amazing views of the water, the surrounding jungle-y hills and temples at every turn. 

Something we kept spotting everywhere we walked was a gold temple up on the hill, and so it was that we found ourselves climbing the 400 slippy steps (see aforementioned rainy season) up Mount Phu Si (pronounced Poo-see) where we saw an imprint of Buddha's foot (!), several gold Buddhas, and an almighty view over all over Luang Prabang. Look, Maddy even stood on the edge! (talk about resting with your fears)

Imprint of Buddha's foot......


Of course, we sampled the delights of traditional Lao food... 

There's Khao Soi (pork balls in noodle soup)...

These little bad boys look like blinis but taste sort of like custardy pancakes, served up in banana leaves and are sold as street snacks straight off the pan. They are delicious!

And oh boy do they like their barbecues..nice of bit of ping sin (grilled pork) Paddy? It's a buffet for a quid a head - let's dig in! Now we're ready for the deep fried spiders and grilled snake in Cambodia (uh...)

There were also stalls full of who-knows-what-part-of-the-animal of which we did NOT take photos but instead have a photo of Maddy's reaction to said stalls.

Of course Laos used to be a French colony, and the influence is obvious in several different ways. The main one? BAGUETTES. Oh bread, how we have missed thee (but not the pounds you have added to our tummies).

The beautiful teak buildings are a reminder that this part of Laos is completely surrounded by teak groves. Makes everything look very luscious, particularly when posing next to nice cars, of which there are many down the more expensive end of town. Simon just borrowed this one for the day.

We also visited the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong. This wat was built in 16th century and it is considered one of the most important of Lao monasteries as up until 1975, all Lao kings were crowned there. The complex consists of over 20 structures of different sparkly pavilions and shrines.

This mosaic on the back wall of the main wat depicts the tree of life.
Maddy fell in love with all the blue and green mosaics...

That's a nice blue!
We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary in this beautiful town, but more on that in a later post...

On our final day in Luang Prabang, Maddy had some admin to do (work, eh?!) so Paddy took himself off for a cycle ride to some local waterfalls...they were truly stunning. (Side note from Maddy: almost jealous, but then she heard about the snake eating the lizard and thought maybe not)

Luang Prabang - we love you!

With love from Laos,
Maddy and Paddy xxx