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Laos is mountainous, that I already experienced. Until now it has been 1000 meter altitude difference to overcome at a day but today it’s the double. There are two possible ways from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng and I chose the shorter one, but beforehand I let other cyclist assure me that the street is tarred and in good shape.
#thanks to juliane for this translation
Down the river
“Laos – South Asia’s forgotten country“, “Off the beaten track“, “unspoiled and undiscovered“ – phrases of random guide books floating around in my head.
On my first day, Laos doesn’t look like this at all – Giom and I are sitting in a boat together with about 50 other tourists, chugging down the Mekong. Our bikes are lying on top of the roof sheltering the people from sunshine and rain. After following the river a couple of days on the Thai side we are now right in the middle, watching the river banks passing by on our left and right. At this time of the year the Mekong is carrying a lot of water, however, there are various places where big rocks are rising up out of the water and the otherwise calm waters are forming big whirlpools, giving the idea of bigger rocks underneath the surface.
Thanks to Daphne for the translation
It is pitch dark. Darkness surrounds me, I can absolutely see nothing. A water drop hits my head; the air around me is warm and humid. “Giom, can you switch on the light please?” A few meters from me a bright spot appears and a thin light ray slides over the rock faces. We are located in a cave near the temple we slept at last night.
Thanks to Juliane for the translation
Spending the night in a temple once more we are being asked by the monks if we’d like to join them on their almsgiving tour next morning. Of course we don’t want to miss this opportunity. So we get up early next morning, starting right after the morning prayers. The monks leave their shoes in the temple, following Buddha’s doctrine the almsgiving tour is to be done barefoot.
Food is important, especially for a hungry cyclist. Usually I’m so busy eating that I forget to take a picture. In Thailand I did sometimes and show you here what came onto my spoon or between my chopsticks. Attention, please make sure that you eaten well before you look at the pictures or that you…
One evening we get to know an English teacher. A monk in the temple where we stay had called her to translate. She invites us to visit her school on the next morning and describes the way. We don´t know exactly what is expected of us and what is waiting for us. When we arrive…