Back to beautiful Thailand

Trip Start Dec 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 12, 2009

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spend a few more great days in Luang Prabang before heading towards Thailand. We rented bikes one day and just cruised around the town. There were so many quiet tree lined streets with beautiful old houses. We sat along the river edge watching the daily life on the Mekong... kids splashing away and the old men sitting in the shade chatting the day away.

We took a cooking course where we learned the fine art of Laos cuisine. It was a full day affair and we left absolutely full to the brim. The day started off with a group trip to the local market... which is always interesting, no matter how many times you have been there. We shopped for all of the food for the day and learned about all the ingredients. We were able to make 6 dishes which we had for lunch and dinner. Hopefully we will be able to recreate some of the great food when we get back home!

We also took a tuk tuk to a beautiful waterfall. It felt great to jump into the cool water pools after all the heat. The waterfall area was like an oasis in the middle of the jungle... as Will would say, it was a paradise in the middle of paradise.

The morning that we left Luang Prabang, we got up at 0530 to watch the Alms giving for the Monks. Every morning at this time the monks walk along the street and recieve their food for the day from the local Buddhist people. Its quite the sight to see with the long line of orange robes walking by. I was invited to participate in the alms giving by a 19yr old girl that worked at our hotel that Will and I befriended. I kneeled on a mat next to her and her family on the side of the road and was taught how to give the monks each little balls of sticky rice. Although I have very limited knowledge of the Buddhist religion and culture, the whole experience was really quite touching. We were then shown how to place an offering on a small shrine (most houses have a small shrine in the corner of the yard or compound). We felt really lucky to be invited to share this daily ritual with our new friend.

Every year in August, Luang Prabang holds a huge Dragon Boat race. People from all over Laos, Thailand and Vietnam come to town to enjoy all of the festivities. The big race was held the day that we left so the town was getting very busy leading up to it. It seemed like every little street was filled with street vendors and food stalls, with people buzzing around everywhere.

We decided to take the slow boat on a looooooooong 2 day journey up the Mekong River towards Thailand. It was a beautiful couple of days, with some great scenery but after 10hrs each day on the same wooden seat.... it all started to look the same. We did alot of napping and reading to pass the time. Our boat was only a few foreingers and the rest were locals so we stopped often to pick poeple up and drop people off at little villages along the way. One couple with their young son just kept stariing and smiling at us the whole time... I don't think they see that many curly haired and blue eyed people very often.

We crossed the boarder to Thailand yesterday and then took a 6 hr minibus ride to Chaing Mai. It feels good to be back in Thailand and we are looking forward to spending about a week in the Chaing Mai area.
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pattiandlen on

your recent posted pics are beautiful. the red apron that you are wearing at your cooking class is the same one that I bought!! Was wearing it just the other day. hahahahaha........... same same but different!
I wish we had gone to the Buddha park! Was that is Vietainne? We missed that! Too bad for us.

your elephant trip sounded great. can't wait to see your pics of that day. enjoy the rest of the journey! xoxox mum and Dad

patkiley on

We love your beautiful pictures and your moving descriptive narration!

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