April 2023 - A trip to Laos

We went to Luang Prabang. So far in Asia, we have walked over 200 miles.

The first morning, the guide changed the plan.  Instead of a walk around the town, we saw a VIP ceremony parade in which the 53 kg (117 pound) gold Buddha is paraded through the town on his once-a-year return from a Laotian New Year visit to one temple back to his permanent residency temple.  We also got to meet Miss Laos 2023. 
AND we spent a half day walking with and feeding elephants.

Please also go to photos of our tour of Cambodia a week earlier.

 We fed elephants and walked of several kilometers through the jungle with them. Click to see a VIDEO of us and elephants.

 A procession with the gold Buddha, apparently from Ceylon from the 1st century.

Monks led the procession, followed by the Laos VIP's who travelled to Luang Prabang from the capital Vientiane for it.

 Unloading the gold Buddha.

This is the temple where the gold Buddha lives all year.

With Miss Laos 2023 in Luang Prabang.

Near Luang Prabang.

I brought a few slices of a banana from the hotel breakfast.  But it turns out the elephants need dozens of unpeeled bananas just for breakfast of some 250 pounds of food a day.  Click to see a VIDEO of us and elephants

We spent the whole morning walking in the jungle with the elephants.  This outfit tries to keep them happy.  There are other companies near Luang Prabang, where you can actually ride the elephants, but apparently that is not good for them.

We went to the lovely Kuang Si waterfalls near Luang Prabang.

Kuang Si waterfalls in Laos

On the way to the waterfalls we stopped at a craft center making local textiles

The Mekong River in Luang Prabang. It was permanently misty, as farmers in the area were burning leftover rice, preparing their fields for a new crop when the rainy season comes later on.

We went on a cruise up the Mekong River to the Pak Ou caves, about 2 hours upstream. Laos was fascinating, but it is the poorest country we have visited on our 2 month South East Asia trip.

This time, we have used Diethelm Travel in Thailand, in Cambodia, in Laos and then two weeks in Vietnam.  The guides are first class and knowledgeable.  The great thing at the hot temples is they drop you off with an air-conditioned van at one end and after you are exhausted, pick you up at the other end.
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This page was last updated on 06/13/23.