Day 8 was a big day. One of the optional excursions on our trip was to give alms to the monks in Luang Prabang. As a monk, you spend your day devoting yourself to Budda, you are not allowed to cook. So in order to eat, the monks walk the streets every day at 6 am with big gold urns, looking for alms.
The people of Laos give alms daily. For them it is part of their routine. They do it of the good karma it makes. The women of the family get up at 4 am to make the sticky rice for the monks. To give alms, you must sit on a grass mat at the side of the road. You also must wear a white scarf to signify you are participating. Rice is the most common thing to give, but you can give treats, or money too. Sometimes the poor will put empty baskets out along the street and the monks will give some offering to them so they can eat too.
As you can guess, the next adventure on our day was to ride elephants! In Laos, because they are so poor and the terrain is so mountainous, they use elephants for a lot of their building and farming. Anyways me and Andrew got one elephant. Its trainer called it Chocolate. We walked down to the river and then back. IT WAS AMAZING. I know I call everything amazing but, riding an elephant in the jungle… common. The trainer taught us how to ride on the elephants neck, and once I was on, I was not coming off. We got an hour on the elephants. Then we got to feed them bananas. PS elephants eat all the time. They never stop. even when going on an adventureOur next journey was to the Tat Sae Waterfalls. This seems to be the tourist destination to go to. The water is a weird milky blue colour. It turns that way due to the limestone cliffs it falls off of. It looks really pretty. They basically have about 7 or so waterfalls along this section of river (above photo is one) we walked to the top of the waterfalls (see photo to the right) then came backdown to one of the smaller ones, that had a pool of water you can swim in. It had a swinging rope, and you could jump off the water fall because it was deep enough. Note: There are fish in the water, they will try to bite your toes. I don’t know what type of fish – the water was milky so you could not see.
After our swim, we went back to our hotel and got ready for dinner. Dinner was at a restaurant owned by a Canadian. It was a rib house that does a nightly Laos fashion show. The fashion show shows off the traditional Laos costumes. It also only hired Laotians who are going to university, to help them pay for their education. Afterwards there was a performance of Laos Breakdancing. Which was so much better then I was expecting. Who knew? After we headed to the bar known as Utopia. Its a pretty unique place.