Luang Prabang, Laos


Luang Prabang temple

Luang Prabang temple

We thought Vietnam was hot, but we realized our folly when we stepped off the airplane in Laos and felt the blast of 100+ degrees on the tarmac. Goodbye fresh coastal air of Hoi An, hello tropical inland sauna that is Luang Prabang. April is one of the hottest months here, just before the monsoon season hits, and we were expecting to feel warm. What we forgot to anticipate was the extreme humidity and the density of the heat. Our clothes stick to us within minutes of being outside, and we are drinking water constantly to replenish our systems. Our daily schedule is dictated by the scorching temperatures — activities in the mornings and late afternoons/evenings, with the bulk of midday spent in the hotel pool or in the comfort of air conditioning.

While the heat has slowed us down a bit, it has not entirely hindered our ability to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Luang Prabang. Encircled by lush, green mountains and nestled in along the Mekong River, this ancient town is dotted with gleaming Buddhist temples, french provincial architecture, and traditional Lao dwellings and storefronts.  Scarlett flowering trees and the bright orange monks’ robes provide bursts of color everywhere you turn.  Because of the town’s Unesco World Heritage status, buses and trucks are banned from the center, so there is a calmness that pervades the streets of Luang Prabang.  After the chaos of Vietnam’s roads and the hustle and bustle of their tourist industry and infrastructure, we feel as though we have almost stepped back in time.

Temple on a hill, Luang Prabang

Temple on a hill, Luang Prabang

Monks robes drying inside a temple compound

Monks robes drying within a temple compound

Quiet side street in town

Quiet side street in town

Main street of town

Main street of town

On our first full morning here we stumbled on a Buddhist ceremony taking place at one of the larger temples along the main street of town.  Dozens of worshipers were giving alms and offerings to a large, golden statue of Buddha that was traveling around Laos in honor of the New Year festivities happening throughout this month.  We joined in, wrapping the girls in sarongs to cover their legs and shoulders and purchasing our own offerings to present to the statue.

Thayer gets help with her sarong

Thayer gets help with her sarong

This water gets poured into a funnel that then washes over the Golden Buddha

This water gets poured into a funnel that then washes over the Golden Buddha

Zoe pouring her water into the funnel

Zoe pouring her water into the funnel

The Golden Buddha

The Golden Buddha

Zoe and Thayer make an offering and receive blessings from these monks

Zoe and Thayer make an offering and a wish, and receive a Lao blessing in return

Schuyler takes a turn for her blessing

Schuyler takes a turn for her blessing

In front of the main temple

In front of the main temple

Within th temple, a beautiful array of Buddha statues

Within the temple, a beautiful array of Buddha statues

Peace

Peace

Later in the day, we took a 45 minute drive out to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls for a refreshing swim in the bright turquoise waterfalls. When you arrive at the falls, you have to walk for about 15 minutes through the tropical forest to actually reach the water.  Along the walk there is a a rescue center for Asiatic bears.  Random, yes, but entertaining all the same.

Bear perching way up high on top of a tree trunk

Bear perching way up high on top of a tree trunk

Bear, or rug?

Bear or rug?

Once we got to the actual waterfalls, we were hot and sweaty and ready for a long swim. There were a lot of people with the same idea (young monks, Lao families having picnics, backpackers from around the world etc.), so we climbed to the top level terrace of the falls in search of quieter waters.  We spent a good two hours splashing around the various terraces and had some chatty conversations with other travelers (which often is a highlight of any activity – the girls love swapping travel stories with other global nomads!).

Cooling off at last!

Cooling off at last!

A vine serves as a fun swing

A vine serves as a fun swing

Blair and Thayer enjoying the cool waters

Blair and Thayer enjoying the cool waters

Jeff and Thayer play together on one of the ledges

Jeff and Thayer play together on one of the ledges

Blair noticed a large group of Chinese tourists all taking photos of something, and realized they were photographing Jeff and Thayer. Western children are highly intriguing for many Asian tourists

Blair noticed a group of Chinese tourists all taking photos of something, and realized they were photographing Jeff and Thayer. Western children are highly intriguing for many Asian tourists

SCHUYLER: Our experience at the waterfalls was so amazing. We met three backpackers, one American and two Israelis, who were so friendly and we talked with them a lot.  It was especially fun to talk with a fellow American and hear her accent and speech sound so much like our own, and so familiar!  The thing that I enjoyed most about the waterfalls was when Zoe and I had to figure out by ourselves how to climb UP a waterfall. Every time we swam toward the base of the falls to try and grab hold of a rock, we were swept away by the force of the water.  Eventually, we figured out we should climb up the side, which shouldn’t have taken us as long as it did.  We explored the different tiers of the waterfalls for a long time.  The water was so beautiful, the color really striking.  It felt SO great to splash in the pools on such a hot day. 

Climbing the terraces

Climbing the terraces

OK POP TOK

One of our favorite days in Luang Prabang was spent at Ok Pop Tok, a Living Crafts Center promoting Lao textiles, handicrafts and design.  Set in a tropical Mekong garden, the center offers educational tours of the work in progress (predominantly weaving and dyeing) and classes for children and adults to experiment with and learn about the local craftsmanship.  

The natural dye colors at Ok Pop Tok

The natural dye colors at Ok Pop Tok

We had planned on just a half day at the center with a basic class on natural dyeing for the girls, but after the initial tour Schuyler and Zoe both opted instead for a full day course on dyeing and weaving.  Flanked by some lovely 20somethings from the U.S who were traveling through Southeast Asia, they spent the morning mastering the natural dyeing techniques and choosing their colors, and then they wove the afternoon away on huge looms with a friendly Lao weaver by their sides.  Thayer also participated in the dyeing class in the morning, as the photos will attest.  We all enjoyed a delicious Lao lunch together at the Center before Jeff, Blair, and Thayer left in search of the cool waters of the hotel swimming pool for the afternoon while the weavers worked their looms.

Live silk worms, doing what they do best

Live silk worms, doing what they do best

Learning about the natural dyeing techniques

Learning about the natural dyeing techniques

Looking through a woven silk wall hanging out to the clothes lines beyond where silk is drying after being recently dyed

Looking through a woven silk wall hanging out to the clothes lines beyond where silk is drying after being recently dyed

One of the many weavers at the Center

One of the many weavers at the Center

THAYER: At Ok Pop Tok I made a scarf.  And I dyed it purple with bark. First I had to cut the wood. Then a woman gave me a scarf made of silk and I put the bark in a pot of boiling water. The water turned purple and then when the dye was ready I put the scarf  in the dye and mixed it around a little. I took it out and washed it so all of the dark dye would go away and it would be a lighter purple. Then we hung it up to dry. The scarf is for my new teacher named Flor and I can’t wait to be in her class next fall.

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Thayer takes a turn at splitting the Sappan wood

Thayer places her wood into the pot

Thayer places her wood into the pot

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Time to put in the scarf!

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Once dyed, Thayer has to rinse to scarf under water

Thayer's final product, drying in the breeze of the Mekong

Thayer’s final product, drying in the breeze of the Mekong

ZOE:  I chose to make orange dye for my silk, and we had to use Annatto nuts which are spiky hollow shells with red berries inside. The berries are really tiny, so it takes a lot of them to make the dye.

These are the nuts that contain Annatto seeds

These are the nuts that contain Annatto seeds

First we had to get the nuts out of the tree with a long bamboo pole. It was so fun to try to get them because it was almost impossible and we were laughing.  The pole was so long I could barely hold it!  My new friend, Molly, and I were yelling instructions to each other like “Go Straight! Almost there!  Turn it!  Grab it!” Finally we had to have the staff person get them for us – we need to hone our skills a little. 

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Zoe uses a long bamboo pole, forked at the tip, to wrestle the annatto nuts out of the tree

Success!  Zoe and new friend, Molly, ready to make their dye.

Success! Zoe and new friend, Molly, ready to make their dye.

Next I had to karate chop the nuts to get them open.  They were pretty soft actually, so it didn’t hurt my hand.  I scooped all the berries out into a big bowl to grind them into a pulp.  My arms got really tired so Mom helped. 

First you have to chop the nuts open

First you have to chop the nuts open

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Then you mash the seeds

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When Zoe tired, the real muscles in the family took over

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The girls check to see Zoe’s progress

When we were finished, we scooped the ground berries into a pot of boiling water and let them cook!  Making the dyes was really fun and I’m so glad that I got to learn about the natural techniques. 

SCHUYLER:  We spent our morning dyeing silks with natural dyes that we had to make ourselves.  We could choose three colors and I chose indigo, purple and lavender.  To make indigo you have to harvest indigo leaves (it’s a plant), boil them, and then ferment them for something like 2 months.  The longer you ferment them, the darker the blue.  The dye that I used for indigo was pre-made because it would have taken me a long time to make my own.  

Fermenting indigo and dyed silk drying above it

Fermenting indigo and dyed silk drying above it

For purple I took pieces of wood from a sappan tree (you can only use the heart of the tree because it has to be really soft) and splintered them, then boiled them in a pot.  When the water starts to turn color, you add a rusty nail which fixes the color.  In order to get the color to turn deep purple, you have to ferment it like with the Indigo.

Purple dye

Purple dye

Discarded Sappan wood sticks, post-boiling

Discarded Sappan wood sticks, post-boiling

For my last color, lavender, we had to take dried Teak leaves, rip them up, and boil them.  Usually you use fresh leaves to make the lavender stronger, but we only had dried ones so my lavender was a little more creamy.

Schuyler shreds teak leaves to make a lavender color

Schuyler shreds teak leaves to make a lavender color

When everyone’s colors were ready, we all took turns dipping our silks into the dye three times.  Then you leave it in the bowl for a couple of minutes.  With the indigo dye I had to wear gloves because you have to squeeze the dye through the silk really hard.  The harder you squeeze and ring the color through, the darker and more beautiful it will be.  My hands would have been blue forever if I didn’t have gloves!

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Dipping our white silk into the dye

We rinsed the silk in tap water which clears any extra gunk out (but doesn’t effect the dye), and then we hung the silks to dry.  We got them at the end of the day and are bringing them home.  For the weaving, we used pre-dyed silk from the center.

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Hanging out to dry in the Mekong breeze

Finally, time for lunch!

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Lunch time!

Excluded from the kids table, Blair and Jeff take comfort in nice cup of Silkworm Poo Tea - good for blood pressure and kidney/liver health.  Delish!

Excluded from the kids table, Blair and Jeff take comfort in nice cup of Silkworm Poo Tea – good for blood pressure and kidney/liver health. Delish!

ZOE: Next, it was time for the weaving class.  We were all going to weave one placemat (or wall hanging) with a big loom.  We used something called a shuttle, which almost looks like a small canoe with two spools of silk in it, both the same color.  You had to have lots of hand eye coordination to be able to do the weaving because it was so tricky!  There are two bamboo pedals that you have to push with your right foot, alternating pushing the pedals with weaving the shuttle through the loom.  In between each shuttle run, you “tamp” which means tighten the weaving.  It’s kind of hard to explain, but it took a lot of focus. The woman who was helping me kept laughing with me as I messed up but she was so patient and nice.  I was so surprised that I could actually make something when I saw my finished product!  I admit I got a little impatient because going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with my shuttle, and with my feet figuring out the pedals at the same time… for like a thousand times… was tiring!  It took 3 and a half hours to finish my mat.  Phew!   Here are some photos of the weaving.

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Schuyler is spinning her silk to prepare it for weaving

Zoe's indigo silk

Zoe’s indigo silk

Schuyler weaving

Schuyler weaving

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Zoe gets acquainted with her loom

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Very focused!

 

Zoe with her finished product!

Zoe with her finished product!

MEKONG RIVER

We spent another full day in Luang Prabang cruising along the Mekong River for a tour of the Pak Ou Caves.  The Mekong is the 12th longest river in the world, and flows from the Tibetan plateau through southern China and all of Southeast Asia, serving as the lifeblood for the people here.  Fishing, commerce, transportation, irrigation, power, and now tourism are a few of the Mekong’s many purposes.  From what we saw, we should add swimming pool, bath tub, elephant swimming pool, elephant bath tub, and water buffalo hot spot.

View of the mountains from the river

View of the mountains from the river

Small fisherman's hut

Small fisherman’s hut

Water buffalo abound

Water buffalo abound

Mekong gas station

We stopped for gas at this Mekong gas station

Children playing alongside the water's edge

Children playing alongside the water’s edge

Fishing provides the bulk of the Lao people's protein

Fishing provides the bulk of the Lao people’s protein

We cruised the Mekong with new friends (yeah!) — a lovely Australian family with two young children who live in Hong Kong and have been vacationing at our hotel this week.  Our two families crammed into one of the impossibly narrow river boats that ferry people around the murky Mekong, and enjoyed a 2-hour journey north to visit one of treasured religious symbols of the Luang Prabang Province: the Pak Ou Caves.

Our boat

Our boat

All aboard!

All aboard!

Thayer and her new friend, Ysabel, playing on the boat

Thayer and her new friend, Ysabel, playing on the boat

The Pak Ou caves, while small in size, are impressive because for hundreds of years Lao Buddhists have been bringing small effigies of Buddha to the caves as a form of worship.  Now there are an estimated 4,000 statues crammed into two caves – pretty amazing!  The girls were mildly interested (that might be a stretch) in all the statues, but wildly interested in the bats hanging from the ceiling and the bat poop everywhere. 

ZOE:  We took a 2.5 hour boat ride up the Mekong River to the Pak Ou caves. These caves are very special because in the caves are thousands of statues of Buddha, some of which are over 100 years old!  There are bats all over the cave that we could actually see.  It was amazing to see all the offerings and the number of statues there.  But I might have liked the bats even better! 

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Display of Buddha statues

Looking at the bats on the ceiling

Looking at the bats on the ceiling

Bat close-up, provided by Schuyler

Bat close-up, provided by Schuyler

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Buddhas everywhere!

While Jeff and Blair were glad that we all had a chance to see this much talked about religious display, the girls were far more excited about the small elephant camp across the river from the caves.  We wandered up the sandy bank and soon found ourselves riding elephants directly into the Mekong and splashing around with them for about 45 minutes.  No one at the camp spoke English and no waivers were signed, no instructions given, no safety measures taken, just get on up and hope your elephant remains sane for the hour you spend with him/her.  In hindsight, perhaps a bit risky, but thrilling all the same.  

Schuyler, Zoe and Ysabel get friendly with one of the younger elephants at the camp

Schuyler, Zoe and Ysabel get friendly with one of the younger elephants at the camp

Down by the water, Zoe gets a leg up to sit in front of Blair

Down by the water, Zoe gets a leg up to sit in front of Blair

Jeff and Schuyler, with the Mahout or handler behind them

Jeff and Schuyler, with the Mahout or handler behind them

Schuyler and Jeff prepare to get wet!  Blair and Zoe already soaked… note white t-shirt on Blair, not so smart

Schuyler and Jeff prepare to get wet! Blair and Zoe already soaked… note white t-shirt on Blair, not so smart

THAYER: I rode on the elephant’s back with Mom and my sister, Zoe. I didn’t want to get on it because it was so big and I am so small. So I only got on for a little bit and then got off and watched from the sand near the water. Then I decided to get on again but before I did, this guy called out something to the elephant that Schuyler and Dad were on and their elephant flipped them off.  I was more nervous now.  But I still wanted to try again so I got up again but still got scared because the elephant moved his head. I didn’t want to fall off, so I got off again and played with my friend, Ysabel. 

Here is one of all of us, including Thayer, who felt too small and nervous to really spend time on the elephant

Here is one of all of us, including Thayer, who felt too small and nervous to really spend time on the elephant

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Ready for the circus!

SCHUYLER:  The elephant riding was so ridiculously cool and silly, it is hard to put into words.  All I can say is that it felt extremely dangerous and thrilling all at once.  To start with, the Asian elephants are one of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever seen.  They look really clumsy but actually are surefooted.  They are much smaller than African elephants which makes them more appealing to ride. At first when we arrived, we had to wait for a little while and we had fun socializing with the baby elephant on site.  We fed it a green banana!  Then, before I knew it, I walked down to the riverbank with Dad and was basically shoved onto an elephant with Dad and a guide behind me.  Even though there was a guide on the back, I didn’t feel secure that we would live through the experience. When the elephant rose up from its knees it was a very scary moment in time because I was sure I would fall off his head and then he would stomp on me and crush me. You had to have a lot of balance to stay on the elephant – it kind of felt like you were always about to fall.  We got straight into the water and the elephant went under water with us on his back! Then the guide started calling up all these commands to the elephants and the animals started playing, trying to throw the tourists off their backs.  Once, when I felt brave, I stood on the elephant’s head, and our guide made a command and my elephant whipped his head to the side and threw me off.  It was so fun.  The only problem in the whole experience was the floating elephant dung all around us!  By the end of this experience, all I could think about was the fact that this would never be allowed in the U.S. 

The elephant would shake his head to throw Jeff and Schuyler off - fun?

The elephant would shake his head to throw Jeff and Schuyler off – fun?

Bliss!

Bliss!

Tak Bat

There is a lovely tradition in this town at 5:30am every morning called Tak Bat, where the hundreds of resident Buddhist monks process silently down the street and collect alms (food offerings) from the locals.  Each monk carries a large lidded bowl that hangs from a strap over his shoulder.  As they file past the kneeling almsgivers, these containers are filled with handfuls of sticky rice and other Lao staples which amount to the monks’ meals for that day.   The monks process single file from oldest to youngest, and the ritual is done in silence; the almsgivers do not speak, nor do the monks.  For hundreds of years, the ritual has cemented the symbiotic relationship between the monks and the almsgivers who maintain them; by feeding the monks, tak bat supports both the monks (who need the food) and the almsgivers (who need spiritual redemption).  

Monks processing along the street, collecting alms

Monks processing along the street, collecting alms

Interested tourists may participate in this tradition, and our hotel helped to arrange an alms basket for our contribution. With Schuyler suffering from some intestinal issues (welcome to Southeast Asia), Jeff brought Zoe and Thayer to the early morning ceremony and the two girls gave alms to the many monks who filed past them.  

ZOE: We woke up at 5:00am to go see the monks and give alms to them. We gave out sticky rice that I put into small balls with my own hands, and some jasmine rice wrapped in banana leaves, and also some cookies and sponge cakes.  I guess the monks have a sweet tooth! The monks walk in a long line down the main street of town, and they get their food for the day this way.  Villagers line up on the streets, sitting on mats, and give out the alms.  I don’t think I would ever want to have to eat those alms because everyone is touching them, and it didn’t look too appetizing. But I guess that’s the tradition and part of the culture here!

Thayer and Zoe, ready with their offerings

Thayer and Zoe, ready with their offerings

Zoe puts some rice into a monk's bowl

Zoe puts some rice into a monk’s bowl

Thayer hands some food to one of the younger monks in the line

Thayer hands some food to one of the younger monks in the line

Zoe offers a handful of rice to each monk

Zoe offers a handful of rice to each monk

Temples of Luang Prabang

There are over 70 temples scattered throughout this small city, and each one is an oasis of calm and beauty in its own way.  We found one of the most glamorous temples next to the Royal Palace Museum (also gorgeous).  A few photos worth putting in here…

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Quieter Days…

Due to the extreme heat at this time of year, we gave ourselves a lot of down time this week as well.  We resumed our homeschooling and journaling after a hiatus in Vietnam. We took short shopping forays to Luang Prabang’s night market, where vendors line the streets with local textiles, crafts, and souvenirs.  Schuyler unfortunately nursed an upset stomach for a couple of days.  And we played a lot of cards!

Schuyler and Thayer doing school work at our hotel

Schuyler and Thayer doing school work at our hotel

View from the bench seat of a tuk yuk, on our way into town

View from the bench seat of a tuk yuk, on our way into town

Small vendors like this one line the street for the nightly market

Small vendors like this one line the street for the nightly market

Jeff is teaching Zoe how to play poker - watch out Demers family!

Jeff is teaching Zoe how to play poker – watch out Demers family!

And we spent a great deal of our time in Luang Prabang cooling off in the hotel pool and getting to know some of the other families and travelers here.  In addition to our new Aussie friends, we met Americans, French, and Kiwis vacationing here (many living in Hong Kong), and there were always at least half a dozen kids splashing around the pool with our three.  It turned out to be a surprisingly social week in this small, developing country, and we enjoyed getting to know so many international families and hearing about the paths their lives have taken as expats.  

Where all the action is, poolside at our hotel

Where all the action is, poolside at our hotel

Off we go (again)… 

Without extended family with us, our week in Luang Prabang was in many ways a reintroduction to life on the road as our little group of five intrepid travelers. We once again found a nice rhythm between sight seeing and just living life, spending time together and carving out alone time for each other when needed.  Our pace is slow and steady now, matching the general pace of life here in Southeast Asia.  Heat and intestinal troubles have contributed to perhaps an even slower pace than we would have liked, but have not deterred us from experiencing some of the many wonders of Laos.  At this stage in our journey, we feel like we have really hit our stride and are trying to soak in as much as we can in this part of the world.  So it’s onward to Chang Mai, Thailand now – far more developed than Laos, yet again teeming with local textiles, ceramics, spicy food, Buddhist temples, and monks galore!  See you soon! 

Next stop…. Chang Mai, Thailand!

Next stop…. Chang Mai, Thailand!

Ready to board our Lao Airlines flight to Thailand

Ready to board our Lao Airlines flight to Thailand!

 

 

 

Categories: ASIA, Luang Prabang, Laos

7 comments

  1. OMG!!!! What a great experience!!! Those elephants looked so calm. How can you top this one????? Thank you so much for the great job Blaire, it’s done so well. Miss you guys and can’t wait to see you all.
    Love ya
    JOJO

  2. OMB!!! (Oh my Buddha!), what an experience! I’ve ridden elephants both in a seat and bareback. Bareback, like you did, is far more challenging; kind of like wrapping your legs around three horses at once!

    And the weather! I doubt anyone can really know what it’s like to live in the 100s day after long, hot day!

    I love the dying and weaving experience. I’ve been trying to find something similar to that in Thailand. It looks so cool, and your final products are beautiful. Flor is one lucky teacher, both to receive the scarf, and to have Thayer in her class next year!

    Happy journeys!

  3. Blair, Jeff, Schuyler, Zoe and Thayer – thank you again for another great blog update. Each time a Demers Gone Global blog post lands in my email box it makes my day better. It is so fun to read about your adventures and to live vicariously through these amazing places you are seeing and your unique experiences. Thank you for bringing us along and inspiring us!!! I’ll be a little sad when you return because I am enjoying your blog updates so much. Perhaps you’ll have to start “Demers Gone Seacoast” when you return – ha ha ha – only kidding 😉

  4. The Demers 5, how awesome it was spending time with you. Both Albert & Ysabel were really sad to leave you and have been asking when we’ll see you again. We can’t wait to hear all about your Chinese adventure. Much love from Hong Kong. The Haustorfers xxxxx

  5. Hi everyone!

    Reading your blog makes me go back 7 years in time. Luang Prabang…what an amazing place! I recognised a lot, but I also think I should go back because we haven’t seen and done as much as you did! And I also think you can go to Luang Prabang for more than 5 times in your life, it’s such a quiet, peaceful and beautiful area! Those waterfalls, interesting caves, temples, traditions, culture and souvenirs…not forget to mention the elephants!!! HOW FUN!
    What a beautiful pictures you took (I think they’ll not only be in your photo-album, but also in the album of those Chinese’!!).
    & Great work you did girls, those scarfs are beautiful! Those colors look so bright. I’m sure your new teacher will love your present Thayer!
    I remember Tak Bat really well. I was really really impressed by so many monks. I had to hurry giving them all the same portion right in time.Even though they were walking quite slowly, I found that a hard job! And what I also found quite funny and strange at the same time, was that the monks would move sideways when Zinzi or I putted some food in their container. They weren’t allowed to touch us because we are women I remember. So that caused that de line wasn’t completely straight anymore as you can imagine! Don’t know if you had the same experience?
    Zinzi, Wisse and I just returned from a week in Italy, overlooking Lake Como, staying in a beautiful (home-exchange) house halfway a mountain. Very stunning too! Klaas and Lilian are enjoying Italy’s good food, nice sight and long walks for two more weeks….quite jaleous, since we’ve get to go back to our studies!
    Now I’m off so I can read about your time in Thailand! Hope your body is doing OK Schuyler. Thinking of you, brave that you’re still enjoying your travels so much!

    Much love and if I had the opportunity to join you in your travels, I definately was with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Linde

  6. Hey Guys!
    I was so great meeting you and hanging out at Ock Pop Tok! It looks like you had an amazing time in Laos- the elephant pictures are so amazing. Brenna and just got back to our village in Thailand and couldn’t wait to find your blog so we can learn more about the other places you’ve visited. Happy and safe travels!!! – Molly

  7. Now just a very short cpomment from me, but did I notice some elephant poop in Jeff’s hair on picture 13 ?

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