Oct 20 We arrived at 4pm. We were the first ones thru the E-Visa line. Our guide was waiting for us and told us a little about where to eat, ATMs, the night market and the schedule for the next day. Laos is country #99.
Oct 21 First sight is a walk thru the Morning market which we both really enjoyed - meant for the locals. Next was the Wat Mai, built in the 18th century and is the largest and most richly decorated. The Royal Palace museum is located near Wat Mai. Built in 1904 by the French for the existing Laos King.
Luang Prabang is home to 72 Wats. Can you hear Gary groan? We visited one more, Wat Xieng Thong. Situated on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Phrabang, Laos. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries. It was a royal temple from 1560 to 1975. The outside has a tree of life that is not to be missed.
Oct 22 We headed out of town to visit a H’mong village that was moved from the mountains to it’s current location. We saw them take the cotton plant and make it into clothing. I doubt they are making their own clothes but it’s good to remember how it was done. We also saw a typical house, house hold goods, musical instrument and the cross bow used for hunting. Great demonstration.
We then arrived at the Kuang Si Falls. It reminded me of the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. Lovely way to spend the day!
For dinner we walked to our tour guide’s restaurant “2 Hands” meaning everything he has done with his own 2 hands from the tables to the fresh food. Our meal was excellent.
Oct 23 We motored up the Mekong river to the Ou Cave. We made a stop to learn about the making of home brewed whiskey. It was rather harsh so we didn’t buy any. Lots of tourists at the cave. It reminded me of a cave in Hua Hin we visited several years ago. Along the way, you can see the New Silk Road that China is building. It’s a railroad line from Beijing to Singapore.
Oct 24 We flew to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Our tour of the city was in the afternoon - very quick as not much to see.
Oct 25 Early flight to Pakse a southern town in Laos. We saw the Tad Fan waterfall and the results of last month’s flooding near a village. It wiped out the bridge. Amazing to see the force water has. We also visited a local blacksmith. The knives he made were crude but they worked. We also walked around a tribal village. A young woman was using a wooden pestle to remove the hulls from the rice - hard work. Rice was stored above ground in a house similar to ones in Bali.
Oct 26 We drove from Pakse to the UNESCO site Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer Hindu temple complex and was part of the society living at Angkor Wat. The surviving structures date from the 11th to 13th centuries and is only 4 kilometers from the Cambodian border. Then it was a long drive back to Pakse and to the other side of the Mekong to the 4,000 Islands of the Mekong called Si Phan Don. Lots of guest houses/hotels on the larger islands for tourists. It would be very relaxing to come back to these islands for a 3 day stay.
Oct 27 We hired a small boat to motor us to sights along the Mekong. We saw children playing in the water and a woman bathing and/or washing clothes. The Liphi Waterfall or the Corridor of the Devil was amazing. No wonder that the French had to build a narrow gauge railway to haul products. Then it was back to Pakse.
The 28th of Oct was a day off for us after 9 days of traveling. It was also time to get ready for Vietnam!