I arrived in Luang Prabang feeling exhausted and very unhappy with Laos. In the last couple of weeks everything had gone wrong, from being stuck at the border with a passport that wasn’t mine to mini buses going the wrong way. At that point I had decided that Laos and I just weren’t going to become friends.

Determined to leave, I walked through the city looking for a travel agency when the sun started to set.

Monks were making paper lanterns and decorating the streets, kids were running around in between. The river was sparkling in the evening light. Milkshake in one hand, camera in the other a smile slowly came back to my face. Maybe the city wasn’t so bad after all. I stayed until my visa expired.