An Emotional Sunrise in Laos

I sat at the end of the wooden pier, perched on the bottom step, looking out at the scene in front of me. The sun was just starting to peek above the hillside, the mist was curling its way across the surface of the lake. There were a few squeals of laughter and soft splashing from the guests who had gone for an early morning dip. Apart from that, peace reigned.


I was staying at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sayaboury in Laos. I had spent the previous day trekking after and observing elephants, it had been an inspiring but exhausting day. I had been so tired I had fallen into bed by about 9pm, but I had woken up early.

I didn’t sleep that well, (but that’s not unusual for me!) and had to take a midnight trip to the outside toilet which was interesting! Battling with spider webs in the middle of the night is a guaranteed way to wake you up!

I lay in bed noticing that it was getting lighter and lighter outside. A part of me wanted to stay curled up in bed – it was still very early after all. But a bigger part of me (and the part that doesn’t like to miss out on anything!) wondered what was going on outside the walls of our wooden hut.  So, as we had to get up at seven o’clock anyway, I thought I would drag myself up and see. I knew that I would regret not looking if I stayed in bed!

And wow, how glad I was that I had made the effort!! It was spectacular.


Our little bungalow didn’t face in the direction of the sunrise, although the view from it wasn’t half bad!  At that time in the morning the lake and hills beyond were shrouded in the mist. 

View from our bungalow


I wandered down to the pier, where we had landed the previous day, to get a better view and to watch the sun rise above the hills.

Apart from the few of the guests already in the lake, having an early morning swim, there was no one else around and it was quiet and so peaceful. As the sun started its ascent, it cast a soft pink glow across the vista in front of me.


I wandered around for a little bit, taking as many photos as I could, hoping that they would capture what I was seeing.

I then took up position at the end of the pier to just take it all in. As I sat there, a few tears escaped from my eyes. I was so happy to be there, so utterly taken aback at where I was and what I was seeing. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed, it was so utterly beautiful, peaceful, transfixing.


I sat there for quite a while feeling very glad that we had the opportunity to visit this magnificent place. It was truly captivating and I just couldn’t believe that I was there seeing it with my own eyes. 

My partner had risen a little after I did and came down to join me on the pier, a hand squeezing my shoulder acknowledging that I was getting emotional at the experience.


That wasn’t the only time that I cried during my time at the centre. Seeing the elephants roaming around was pretty unbelievable and a tear or two may have dropped from my eyes when I saw them for the first time! 

DSC_0208.jpgI get a little embarrassed when I get emotional on my travels, and fear that I sound too ‘gushy’ when I talk about these experiences.

But this is how they make me feel and I am very glad that, even after all of the travel that I’ve done, the sights and experiences I encounter still hit me with such a force of feeling.

I hope that I will never get travel weary.











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