So we were told that we might be able to wake up and see elephants drinking in the river if we got up early. So we bought croissants the night before, and got up at 5:50 am to see the elephants. We watched the sun rise, but still the elephants were hiding. They finally showed up at 7 am. Which was amazing – but wish I had a little more sleep. Luckily we had a boat ride to nap on.
We took the boat until we arrived at the Budda Cave, also know as the Pak Ou Caves. The legend is that as long as boats passing along the Mekong River stop at the caves to give respect to Budda, then the boat will have safe passage. Shortly after that, we arrived in the beautiful town of Luang Prabang. As we approached the river bank, it became clear that we would have to walk up a huge hill with all our luggage to get into town. We had to laugh at this, as we were def. far away from anything “westernized.” we formed a human chain to pass all our luggage up the hill quickly. (we had to laugh b/c everyone had these huge heavy bags except me and Andrew who had backpacks. everyone left the backpacks at the bottom of the hill thinking they were not luggage.) After we climbed the hill we jumped into tuk tuks to get to our hotel.
The city, Luang Prabang, was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The city has over 2,000 monks living in its many temples. Because of that, the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plus it is Beautiful. I would strong consider moving there to live for the rest of my life.
When we arrived at our hotel, we found a line up of bikes waiting for us. We quickly checked into our hotel and headed down to claim our bikes. We had a quick (I’m sure it was only 1/2 an hour) bike tour of Luang Prabang. IT WAS AWESOME. The sun was setting, the breeze was refreshing and the town was so cute. Our first stop on the tour was to visit the oldest temple in town, Wat Xieng Thong (2 photos above are it). It was very cool.
The next stop on the tour was to try snake whiskey. In Laos, they make/drink snake whiskey to give them strength and courage. I think its more the alcohol which tricks them into thinking they have strength and courage, but when in Laos… After our bike tour we had dinner along the river. We then walked up to the night markets, which i fell in love with. They had the most beautiful things. and the crepes they made – so good.