Paying alms and Water Falls

Up before the sunrise to give alms to the local monks. We handed rice to some of the hundreds of Monks living in Luang Prabang. It was a very humbling and spiritual experience. Buddhist Monks can not hoard food, so what ever they need to survive they must be given. They rely on patroons to give them their meals each day. I loved seeing the procession of monks in their orange robes. It was truly unforgettable and well worth the early wake up.

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Then a couple of my mates and I went to brunch. I had the most amazing lemonade with mint leaves. It was so refreshing and sweet. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recreate it.

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Once the rest of our group woke up we were able to head to Kuang Si Falls. We hiked through the jungle and past some gorgeous sun bears (in captivity) to the beautiful water falls. Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 2.09.00 PM

The water was my favorite color teal. It was clean, cool and refreshing. There were tons of little fish that would try to feed on your feet which I didn’t like. But other than that it was magical.

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Later in the afternoon we had free time. So Becky and I explored the dense markets of Luang Prabang. We did a lot of shopping and had the BEST sandwich from a street vendor. It was ham, cheese, avocado and more on fresh french bread. Seriously heavenly.

Halloween in Luang Prabang, Laos

Hopped back on board the boat this morning and continued sailing down the Mekong river. We stopped at Pak Ou caves. The caves are built into the side of a mountain, just above the water where the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers join. There are thousands of Buddhas in the cave!10672411_10152735706400813_8092534399608441127_n

Then we reached Luang Prabang, a city rich in culture and left unchanged by time.

We checked into our hotel and had a little bit of free time before our bike tour. So Becky, Sam and I found a great little cafe and had watermelon juice and the best fried spring rolls ever!

Where did I stay?

VisounNam Sok Hotel

1471107_10152735601940813_7340185049767382171_nThen we took a seriously fun bike tour around the UNESCO World Heritage town. We rode down cobblestone lanes, past French style homes and shops and up a hill to Wat Xiang Thong. At the temple we saw monks praying and ringing traditional bells. We continued our tour and stopped at a roadside bar where we did shots of Snake Whiskey!

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After the bike tour our guide recommended we hike up the mountain to a temple and watch the sunset. Our guide said it “was only a couple of steps to the top”. No, it was 356 steps. To get to the top I pretended that I was on The Amazing Race. It was a struggle but in the end the view was worth it.

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Then it was time to celebrate Halloween!

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Everyone dressed up for the party. I was pretty impressed with the costumes since most people used what they brought in their suitcases. There were zombies, tiki girls, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a couple of kittens, a rock star, Jesus and much more. I dressed as a flapper! We had a family style BBQ meal at a very fancy restaurant in town. The seats and tables were made of concrete…pretty swanky but very uncomfortable. We also started playing “The Game of Life.” A hilarious drinking game that we will play for the rest of the trip, non-stop.

Rules of The Game of Life:

  • Drink with the opposite hand
  • Don’t say Drink
  • Don’t Point
  • Don’t Say Mine

Consequences: 

  • Drink
  • Push-ups or squats