Friday, November 10, 2006

Day ten Luang Prabang, Laos

Some of us had an easier time getting up than others, but the sun was up and Tinker and I found ourselves by 6am watching a line of monks, the length of a couple blocks, gather food donated from the old women seated on mats, along the road. We walked over to the ancient Wat Xieng Thong at the junction of the Mekong and Kahn Rivers. Inside was a long dragon shaped trough used during the water festival, and though it was very old and patched, it was impressive and was a good 30 foot long. We found a building holding a huge carved boat that has only been used 3 times to carry the body of the dead that would have been sitting upright in a large urn in the center. Evidently these monks were pretty important, as they'd have to take the front of the building off (2 1/2 stories tall) to get the boat out.
We then walked around the old city bumping into our travel companions and enjoying breakfast, and the wonderful sights along the Mekong. Around 10 am Tinker and I got a ride to yet another Wat in a small village away from the city to set our own Hash trail. The pack, including 8 visitors from other Hash kennels, mostly Brits who were joining the Post Lube in town later. They joined us at noon, and we were off, as a new monk celebration was going on in Wat. It was an interesting combination of dirt road, bushwhacking and river paths ending along the Mekong for beers and a lively circle. Down-downs to the Hares and visitors as we stood in the Mekong. The fast water made it difficult to stand very deep, but fishing beside us was a small boy. He had a face mask on and stood bent over, with his head in the water trying to shoot an arrow at fish. I didn't see him catch one, but he was persistant.
We made it back in time to change and join the Johnny Johnson's Laos post lube at the Villa Ban Lao. There was plenty of beer and food for all, with entertainment of Laos’s culture lasting for some time. It was to be another late night before making our way back to our Saynakmkham Guesthouse and sleep after another long but interesting day.

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