Luang Prabang is a small town that is located right on the Mekong River. We had a few days here to explore the area, which turned out to be incredible. We went to Kuang Si Falls, which is one of the coolest, most beautiful places we have been to. It is situated about an hour outside of Luang Prabang up in the lower mountains; it felt like we were in a Jurassic Park scene. It is a series of waterfalls and pools of various sizes that are all set in a thick jungle with small paths connecting everything. The water is this beautiful bluish-green color and is the perfect temperature to swim in on a hot day. We spent the day here, took photos, swam in the pools and jumped off the cliffs. Another morning we woke up at 5:00 AM to go to the Tak Bat-Morning Alms giving for the monks. Luang Prabang has over eighty Wats (temples) and hundreds of monks. Every morning locals line the main road and hand offers of food to the monks. The offers mainly consist of sticky rice packed into banana leafs, bananas, and other small items. The people set up early on the curb, as you need to be below the monks out of respect, and get ready for the line of monks to pass. The whole event is completely silent as the monks are said to be in a state of meditation as they gather their alms. You can see the gathering of monks from about a mile away as they are all dressed in robes of various hues of orange. Other than the 5:00 AM part, it was a really interesting event to experience. The days seem to fly by here as they always do. Next stop, Cambodia.
From Northern Thailand we took a two-day riverboat trip down the Mekong River into Luang Prabang, Laos. We took a bus to the Thai/Laos border, spent the night and then boated accross the Mekong River the next morning into Laos. Once our visas were completed we were on our way down the river. Two days were spent hanging out on a “slow boat” as we cruised down the Mekong. The river is massive, and powerful. The murky, muddy waters seem to flow in many different directions at the same time. As our boat’s wake would pass next to us, at times; you could see rocks in the troughs of the waves, the drivers of these boats know exactly where to navigate these long boats. The boat was slow and at times fairly boring but we made the best of it, enjoying the incredible views of Northern Laos that you could never see unless you were on one of these boats. We enjoyed some of the most delicious chicken and vegetable soup and even dabbled with the local rum. Our boat was fairly spacious and most of the people on it were younger travelers like us who were doing the same thing. We have spent so much time traveling on various modes of transportation that the boat trip down the Mekong was a refreshing change.