I woke up early every morning at my hotel, La Résidence Phou Vao, in the tiny former royal capital city of Luang Prabang, to watch the fog over the iconic Mount Phou Si. The entire stay was pretty much ridiculous. I woke up at 7 a.m. to do yoga by the spa with views of green mountains and a lotus pond. I imbibed in the hotel's signature drink, the Lao-tini (YUM) alongside copious amounts of sticky rice. And the best meal of my time in Laos was one I helped to cook during a class at the hotel.
You can take one of their bikes and zip off to town, which I highly recommend. It's a bit removed from the center of Luang Prabang which is so nice to relax but just a short bike ride away (or you can take their shuttle).
All of these things certainly help ease the awful jet lag you get when you go to Asia. It hits me so badly. Just when I think I've got a handle on it, it's time for me to go home. But yes, I know it's a small annoyance in exchange for a life-changing adventure.
I wish you had been there with me - it was so dreamy in that wonderful, exotic "I can't believe I'm here" kind of way. If you're interested, I wrote a piece for my National Geographic column here, called "The Mystical Riches of Luang Prabang."
Here's a little tour of my hotel, starting with my room, the balcony, and the views you'll want to wake up for - or maybe you're a prisoner to jet lag like me, and already wide awake at 3 a.m. Either way, you'll want to be up early to just....stare.
Then there was this gorgeous little courtyard area outside my room - those stairs lead up to my door on the left. This was such a honeymoon hotel - in fact, my entire trip to Laos & Cambodia was. I had just gotten married, but sadly, my husband was at home.
At 6:50 a.m., this is the path I shuffled along to get to the Mekong Spa & my yoga class at 7 a.m. Pure bliss.
And how gorgeous is this doorway? Just off the main restaurant and infinity pool area, you'll find this which I thought was so cool.
Finally - if you go, order yourself a Lao-tini! It was addicting.