Friday, April 29, 2005

Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos, April 23, 2005

As I was waiting to get my knapsack from the boat I met up with a fellow traveller from Osaka, who said he would show me a good place to stay.

Hiromi Saori is a writer for Lonely Planet and has been travelling for forty years. He has worked as a diplomat, a broadcaster and freelance writer. He is also a self professed hippie. He led a bunch of us from the boat, like the pied piper, to a guest house that rents for two dollars a night.

Here's the Guesthouse I stayed at. It was very simple, with showers outside the rooms, but very comfortable and clean.

These are two Japanese girls who arrived with us on the Slow Boat. I'm sorry I can't find your names but it was very nice meeting you both.

After settling in at our Guesthouse, Hiro took a couple of us to his favorite bistro and we had noodles for 1000 kip (one dollar US). Then we found a bunch of children playing, so Hiro made them some origami birds and butterflies.

These kids wouldn't let me alone until I took all of their pictures.

The next day, I just hung out and relaxed. I didn't realize how tired I really was. I found a copy of a book Nancy from Winnipeg had suggested: Atlas Shrugged and spent the day reading. It wasn't until 7am the next morning when I suddenly realized I was a day behind in my thinking. I sprung out of bed, headed for a travel agent, bought a ticket for 10am for Vang Vieng and grabbed a tuk tuk driver to give me a very quick tour before leaving.

This is considered to be the oldest Temple in Laos; 300 or more years old.

In my Lonely Planet guide, these carved walls are described as exquisite. I agree.

The Seven-Headed Naga is a common Motif in the Thai Temples.

The attention to detail, even in the pillars of these Temples, is staggering.

I noticed a strong Chinese influence in the Pagoda style structures.

As I was passing by, a young Monk called me over. I thought he wanted to talk about the mystic secrets of Buddha. What he said was: "Hey, you got email?"

I agreed to send my new friends, copies of these pics.

The face of this Buddha gave me shivers. It felt so familiar.

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