Saturday, 26 January 2013

Days 41-42 - Luang Prabang

Even though we are diligent about diet and hygiene, Dad was under the weather from a bit of 'Bali Belly' yesterday.
Added to the fact Tom was having a bit of an Asian meltdown and it was a hot day, we pretty well laid low for most of the day. Ended up doing a bit of washing...

Helen went out to watch the Buddhist monks receving alms at dawn. It was tourism at its very worst. Bus loads of tourists arriving and running and jostling to get into position, Japanese and Korean tourists shouting and laughing and using flash cameras despite the signs highlighting such inappropriate behaviour. A fat American tourist serving out great hunks of sticky rice from her chubby palms going 20 to the dozen not wanting to miss a bowl. Helen almost walked away - and then realised she couldn't change the world - so settled down at a sidewalk cafe for espresso and pain au chocolat. She was a tourist watching the tourists taking photos of the tourists giving alms to the monks.

We went out together this morning (kids asleep in bed) and stumbled across quiet streets with a small number of locals giving alms to a small number of monks. Somewhat more authentic! We walked quietly by and didn't take out the camera! For photos we returned to the tourist alms giving site, sat ourselves down at the same cafe, and watched four or five groups of twenty or so monks parade on past. Helen noted there were far fewer tourists than two days ago - the high season is rapidly coming to a close.

We wandered back, appreciating how very different tourist towns feel before that day starts to get into swing.

The Ecole des Beaux Arts doesn't really compare to Paris, but, hey, it's pretty nice that they've got one.

We've booked ourselves a flight to Vientiane for today. The alternative was an 11 hour bus ride. Laos Airlines have great prices, they haven't had any 'lost flights' since 2000, and they do have a couple of Airbus jets in their fleet.
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom

Location:Khem Khong,Luang Prabang,Laos

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