After breakfast, I headed into town on Number 6 to go to the Pak Ou Caves. The bus took us to the pier to board our boat.
Before leaving on this trip, Bradley reminded me that the boats in south east Asia are not very safe. When boarding I am to sit by an entrance and know where the life jackets are. The boat seated 7 of us where we were stagetically seated for balance. The capitan (I'll call him that) got in and moved a very big barrel of water to balance the boat out even more. I took the first seat by the entrance but I could not find any life jackets. However, the seat I chose had a lift jacket wrapped around the back of the seat. So I figured I could use this in an emergency.
The boat trip took us 2 hours, going against a very big current, on the Mekong river to the caves.
Along the way, we stopped to visit a small village. I came out of their washroom only to be told that I owed 2,000 kp (equivalent to $.25), which I gladly paid.
Also found this little guy taking a nap while momma worked
Back on the boat for the last hour. The trip was enjoyable I met a very nice young man from New York City. Chris and I chatted about everything....family, life, the good and bad about travelling alone, and yes.... even Trump!
Pak Ou Caves (means mouth of the river) are one of the most respected holy sites in Lao; History dates back thousands of years. It is packed with over 4,000 Buddhas. The cave is a shrine to the river spirit and Lord Buddha that are set in limestone where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. There are two caves to visit, the lower cave called Tham Ting and the upper cave Tham Theung, both housing miniature Buddhist figures mostly made from wood. Tham Ting is about 50 feet above the river and filters in some light but a flashlight is needed for the absolutely pitch black Tham Theung. You have to climb lots and lots of stairs to get to Tham Theung. It is home to the majority of the Buddha statues. The statues are believed to have been left in the caves by local people for hundreds of years.
This is their dock....
View from the first cave
Tham Theung - just for the record I actually ventured into this very dark, dark cave with my headlamp. Took a few pics then ran out.
The return trip back to the city was only an hour because the boat was going with the tide. (Tried to insert video, but after 2 hours of trying....I gave up - check my Facebook post)
Had lunch at a sidewalk restaurant... the salad was delish...don't eat olives
I headed back out again to catch the sunset from Phousi Mountain. Phousi mountain can be found 150 metres above the centre of town that shows off the beautiful place skyline of Luang Prabang. The hill is a popular place to watch the sun rise or sun set over the Mekong River. From the summit you can enjoy a 360 degree of the city. There are hundreds of steps to negotiate and one is certainly winded by the time you reach the top.
It was a beautiful evening to see the sunset. I took my book, picked up a yummy Lao sandwich and headed up there an hour early thinking I would be one of the first ones there. I was so wrong.... I settled in for the hour waiting.... reading and talking to the people around me. I tried to insert another video but gave up!
Me and my 400 friends again...
What some people will do to get a good view
Today was a teary day for me. I've been away for just over a week now.... my mind started churning before I got out of bed. I really missed Gerald today more than any other day! Seeing couples holding hand, eating meals together, laughing and enjoying their travels really made me lonely.
March 1 "Hello March"
Today is my last full day here in Luang Prabang. I spend the whole morning on my bicycle exploring the city.
Here are some of the things I saw....
I met up with momma and pups in my travels
I have had a wonderful time here in Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is a quaint and quiet town. The Laotians are very polite, quiet, and very friendly. I especially enjoyed staying at the Vangsavath hotel. The owner and her son always made sure I was comfortable and happy. I'm off tomorrow for Krabi, Thailand via Bangkok.