fun at the Nam Khan River

2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (1 of 9)

Like we said in our post about biking, Luang Prabang is the place where the Nam Khan River meets the mighty Mekong.  Most people have heard about the Mekong.  It’s a pretty impressive river.  Here in Luang Prabang, it’s already pretty big and moves quite fast – a little bit intimidating.  But we’ve also got the Nam Khan, which is a little more tame and friendly.  There are beautiful sandy beaches for the girls to play on (although, littered with the occasional broken bottle that we try to avoid.)2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (2 of 9)  During the dry season there are two charming bamboo bridges that visitors cross for a fee.  You can see a couple pictures of them on our Instagram feed (as well as many other’s tourist’s instagram that visit here!)2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (4 of 9) 2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (5 of 9)

The girls have fun collecting river weed on sticks just like the local kids.  The river weed here is dried in sheets and fried for a snack.  It’s one of our favorites.2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (6 of 9)

We also had fun one day catching tadpoles with the plan to take them home and watch them grow into frogs.  We should have done some internet research first, though, as we ended up killing them because of our negligence.  We’re read up on frog raising now so we won’t be making the same mistakes next time.2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (7 of 9) 2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (8 of 9)The Nam Khan has been a great place for us to go if we have a free hour or two and want to relax while the girls play and explore.  We’ve talked about swimming in it but haven’t yet.  2015-03-27 fun at the Nam Khan river by Melissa Crossett (9 of 9)Where do you go to chill out when you get the chance?

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weekend adventures: butterfly park

Ryan is going to be doing some of the writing here now so that we can keep this blog going!  So start checking the author if you’re wondering which one of us wrote it.2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (1 of 17)

Tourism is the fastest growing industry in Laos.  Wanderlust magazine rates Luang Prabang as the top city to visit in the world!  We’ve often missed enjoying the places we’ve lived because we’ve been so focused on life and work.  So, this time we’re trying not to let this golden opportunity slip by.  We’re living here now, so we might as well figure out what all the fuss is about.

2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (2 of 17)

The Kuang Si butterfly garden is listed as one of the top places to see.  We’ve been pass it before on the way to the waterfall of the same name but didn’t have time to check it out.  With a family full of girls it is bound to be a hit!2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (3 of 17)

The Dutch couple that put this place together did an amazing job in a relatively short amount of time.  The grounds of the park are beautifully landscaped and full of butterfly attracting flowers.2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (4 of 17)

At the end of the path is the main attraction – a huge butterfly enclosure.  There can be up to 80 species of butterflies in here during rainy season.2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (5 of 17)

One of the best things about the park for the girls were the admission tickets with the butterflies on them.

2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (6 of 17)

I decided to just go for it with the closeup butterfly nature shots.  Nat Geo will probably be knocking on my door next week.2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (7 of 17) 2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (9 of 17) 2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (10 of 17) 2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (11 of 17)

We’ve got a couple information nerds in our family, so really enjoyed the guide they gave us at the entrance to the park and learned a lot.2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (12 of 17)

A little bonus was the free fish spa.  I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of these.  They usually have them at a spa.  You stick your feet in and the fish nibble off your dead skin.  Lucky little devils!2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (13 of 17)

There was a lot of squealing going on from the tickles.  Sad to say, I didn’t get to do it, so I guess I’ll be nibbling the dead skin off my own feet.2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (14 of 17)  2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (16 of 17) 2015-03-17 Luang Prabang butterfly park by Melissa Crossett (17 of 17)We are having fun taking advantage of where we are living right now as local tourists.

What’s the best thing to do in your area?  Have you gone and done it?

weekend adventures: biking to the river

2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (9 of 12)On the weekend, we love getting out as a family and getting to know this quaint little town of Luang Prabang.  Before returning, I found a Burley bike trailer on craigslist that had never been used, so I bought it and brought it over as one of our check-in bags.  I was envisioning being able to get around with the three kids on my own, but that hasn’t really happened here.  There are a few too many hills and busy traffic roads for my liking.  But, when Ryan comes along, we can use it.  You wouldn’t believe the stares we get from some of the locals who have never seen such a thing!  I just hope we don’t cause an accident with all the rubberneckers! 2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (8 of 12)

The kids love riding in it and taking in the sights.  Our favorite spot so far, is down at the end of the peninsula where the Nam Khan River meets the Mekong River.  It’s gorgeous and complete with sandy beaches and hand made bamboo bridges.2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (3 of 12) 2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (6 of 12)

The girls could play for hours with sticks, rocks, water and sand.2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (5 of 12) 2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (12 of 12)There is so much to see and explore, like tadpoles, little fish, and river weed.2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (11 of 12)These are the kinds of experiences I just LOVE giving to my kids.  2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (7 of 12) 2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (1 of 12)We also found some decent quality bikes and trikes for the girls to ride here at home.  They spend hours on them, though it’ll be a long time before I trust them to ride on their own around town. 2015-01-29 biking with kids in luang prabang by Melissa Crossett (10 of 12)For now, Isla is snug in a baby carrier and usually enjoys a nap on our bike rides.

Do you bike as a family?  Where are your favorite places to go?