Down the River in Laos
The convergence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers around Luang Prabang makes for a beautiful view. But after a day or two of strolling and lounging at cafes, you get this urge to get on a boat. We decided to take a day trip around Luang Prabang and go visit some large four-legged friends while we were at it. Lonely Planet recommended All Lao Travel, so we picked one of the many tours offered and were very happy with the result. Our day began on the river. It was still a bit cool but the heat was beginning to creep in. The engine was making a lot of noise, but there is something about going up the Mekong that makes everything seem serene.
Our first stop on the boat trip was Ban Xang Hai, known as the whiskey village. This whole village caters to tourists on boat trips. Store and home fronts are filled with scarves, whiskey, and other souvenirs. Vendors can be a bit aggressive, but then I’m really not easily swayed.
If you walk past it all, we found a Buddhist temple that had a neat collection of old photos:
Lizard in alcohol? Anyone?
From the whiskey village we continued up river to the Pak Ou Caves. The caves are filled with thousands of Buddhas. I couldn’t confirm this, but I heard someone saying that the Buddhas were taken here by villagers to protect them during a time of war. If anyone knows more, let me know.
I could have easily stayed here for hours as the light changed just photographing all of the different Buddhas. It was a bit much to take in and every time I would look at a spot, I would notice another statue.
Back down river:
We grabbed some noodles at a small place in Luang Prabang before driving to the Kuang Si waterfall.
I had a hard time taking a photo with all the mist:
And if the waterfall wasn’t enough, there just happens to be an area with bears nearby. Don’t ask me why, because I have no clue. Just another one of those mysteries that you shrug off while traveling.
After staying by to our furry friends, we went to go meet a very special lady…