Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Buddha Cave of Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, where the royal family of Laos once lived, is built on a peninsula between the Mekong and some other river. It's beautiful! We took a long boat ride to see a cave with thousands and thousands of small Buddha statues.

Alex, Kimberly, and Chip stocking up on supplies.

Sliding down to the boat dock.

We had to do some intense negotiations to get on a boat without paying the high tourist prices. I was by far the meanest negotiator. I think everyone else was a little embarrassed for me.

Kimberly is from Arizona, and wears cowboy hats only when abroad.

Having the time of our lives on the boat.

I'm probably thinking about plastic bags and climate change.

So beautiful! The Mekong has a really strong current, it turns out, so going upstream to the Buddha cave took about 1.5 hrs. We all sobered up thinking about the Hmong and other groups who tried to flee southeast asian countries during all the wars by crossing this river.

This is where the caves are.

thousands of Bhudda statues, in all phases of his life.

clearly one step closer to nirvana.

the entrance to the cave.

I don't know what Al and I are looking so serious about. Maybe I was thinking about the curses on people who steal one of the Buddhas, and wondering if I could beat it.

the boat ride home. These are the two kids of the dude who drove us.

our engine stalled on the way home, and the pilot had to stop to fix it. Local kids entertained us while we waited by jumping out of trees into the river buck naked.

Chip is fighting some serious Lao bowels here. He spent most of the boat trip home like this, but was still anxious to hike to the Hmong the next day. In fact, he wanted it to be a three-day trek.

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