Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 3

Up at 5:15 to watch Tak Bat – the morning alms procession that Luang Prabang is famous for.  There are about 200 monks that go past the front of our guesthouse.  Very few older monks – apparently the really old monks just do a very small lap close to their Wats  Many teenagers and a few really young ones.  It is all done in silence and the people giving the food are required to just place the food into the bowls and not actually look at the monks.  Really quite moving.

Organised a trip out to the Kwang Si Waterfall – 28km from Luang Prabang through amazing scenery, steep hills, opening into little valleys with rice terraces and tiny villages.  Took about 40min in a jumbo (overgrown tuk tuk) and cost 150,000kip. Driver parked in the designated spot and we walked the final couple of hundred metres.  First stop was the Bear Rescue centre – they had about a dozen Asiatic black bears which had been rescued from various horrible versions of captivity.  Most will live out their days at this centre because they lack the natural foraging skills to survive in the wild.

The Kwang Si falls are amazing – huge, in terms of height of the main drop, and their width – they have carved a network of tiny falls, about 100m wide.  Walked up to the main waterfall on both sides – it looked like there may have been a little bridge that crossed the water, but it appears to have been washed away, so to see the whole thing properly we had to return to the bottom and go up the other side.  Lots of people swimming in several waterholes, but the water was too cold for me.  Incredibly noisy, really clean and with a little café half way up. 

On the drive up we passed a family of western tourists heading to the falls on push bikes – they arrived at the parking lot as we were having lunch –just before we headed home – it had taken them about 3 hrs to ride.  That is NOT my idea of a fun way to spend a few hours!

Back to town mid afternoon, wandered around a bit, tried my ATM card in the machines and unable to get service.  Oh bugger!  Have emailed the credit union – hope it turns out just to be a down server or something. 

Mekong River weed makes a great accompaniment to an afternoon beer lao.

Dinner down at the riverside,  had stir fried morning glory (an Asian green) pork stuffed bamboo (really good) and pork green curry soup, with a beer  for Tony and a pineapple shake for me the total was 90,000kip (less than $10).  We’ve had two days with lots of stairs and/or climbing (the walk up to the falls) and are both feeling it a bit in the calf muscles.

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