Ethnic Cultural Festival along the Mekong River
Trip Start Feb 14, 2010
187Trip End Sep 15, 2011
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After two days lazily floating down stream on a rickity slow boat, my arrival coincided with a major ethnic cultural festival and celebration of the end to the monsoonal season. As we pulled alongside the dock, the sounds, sights and scents quickly eluded something festive was about to take off!
I'd made friends with a group of a dozen with whom I shared the slow boat, and I would spend the next few days enjoying their company. The somewhat modern-built town is an exception to much of undeveloped Laos. In comparison, a bit pricey, but well worth a few days exploring on bike and lazing about, watching shadows of passing clouds dance atop the river and surrounding impenetrable jungle
The festival was electric with excitement, and illuminated with thousands of burning candles floating atop boats and prayer offerings released into the river. Exploding fireworks lined the waterfront as glowing lamps were released into the night sky. It was a time of showing grateful appreciation and giving thanks for the many things there are to be thankful for, a good reminder for myself. A most spiritual experience.
After a side trip south, I returned to town for Halloween with three awesome girls I'd became friends with. Reaching deep into my bag of tricks (consisting of a pathetic selection of halloween costume potential), in a limited supply of time I pulled out a nerd outfit. Scarily true, I fit the shoe and declared the many arguably useless facts of scientic knowlege I had to share. It was such damn silly fun with good friends, celebrating a western holiday in such an unlikely place in the east.