Maureen's Adventures in Asia travel blog


Funeral Dragon


Drying the Sticky Rice Crackers (Tomorrow's Alms for the Monks)

Yes, its true by butt is in gear. I have finally left Chiang Mai! But I have left one laid-back place to find an even more laid-back place - Laos. Its official name is LPDR, which according to a t-shirt I saw means "Laos People don't rush", and its very true. The only thing that moves fast in this town is the Mekong River and due to lack of water that isn't really rushing much these days!

To be exact I'm in Luang Prabang, Laos - a UNESCO world heritage town, and also referred to as the Jewel of the Mekong. A title which it richly deserves. It is encircled by peaks and rivers, and camouflaged by palm trees and dense tropical foliage. From a distance, only golden-spired stupas can be seen--flashes of gold among the greenery. The town is sited on a peninsula at the strategic junction of the Mekong and Khan rivers.

Life moves at bicycle pace here: there's no particular rush--even the motorcyclists putter along at a gentle speed. If there is such a thing as rush hour it would be at 7:00 am - the morning alms rush. Scores of saffron-robed monks file out of the monasteries and make their way through the streets, bearing alms bowls. Along the route, locals wait to present sticky rice and other food to the monks--thereby earning merit by performing this good deed. Within an hour, the monks complete their rounds, and melt back into the monasteries-and the streets become quiet again.

Must-Dos in this town

- Do go to Alms at 7:00 am

- Take a slow boat to China; well maybe not that far, but a slow boat up (or down) the

Mekong is a wonderful journey. It doesn't really matter where you go, it's the journey not the destination that matters.

- Rent a bike, and pedal to nearby villages

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