Hear about a vacation in Laos on the Mekong River and in Luang Prabang as the Amateur Traveler talks to Alexis Rubenstein aka @redstonealexis.
Alexis, says, “Laos is a really cool place to go if you’re interested in cultural travel. It’s a really neat mix of Buddhist culture and French colonial culture and architecture. It’s just a really neat town, well, Luang Prabang I didn’t go the rest of Laos.”
Alexis and her family started their trip to Laos by taking a slow boat for 2 days down the Mekong River from Chiang Kai in Northern Thailand to Luang Prabang. “It’s a wonderful way to get there. It’s really peaceful. And you’re going through the most remote jungle like inaccessible villages and stops that you can’t get to any other way. The second day, you pull into Luang Prabang, and it’s a city in the middle of the jungle, and it’s got so much wonderful culture and French colonial buildings. It’s kind of a surprise after being in the remote jungle for two days.”
The boat stopped in the village of Pak Beng where they were about to get $7 hotel rooms. It also stopped at the Pak Ou Caves which are filled with hundreds of tiny Buddha sculptures. The boat also stopped at a Hmong village that they visited. In Luang Prabang there are numerous Buddhist temples that one can visit, but what was more memorable to Alexis and her family was an early morning tour to see how the local monks are supported by the community with the giving of alms. You too can add some food to their bowl and receive a blessing from the monks.
They also spent a day at the Living Land Farm where they learned how to grow rice. This is a hands on experience that involves planting rice, getting muddy and learning to drive a water buffalo (their water buffalo was named Susan). They also volunteered for a while with the Big Brother Mouse literacy program. Any English speaker can help just by spending some time speaking English with locals.
They did side trips from Luang Prabang to the bamboo bridge, Kuang Si Falls, and a moon bear rescue center.
See if you don’t want to add Laos to your bucket list… and meet Susan.
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Pak Ou Caves
Pak Ou Cave Tours
Bamboo Bridge (Luang Prabang)
The Living Land Farm
Luang Prabang Rural Farm Experience
Kingdom of Luang Phrabang
Big Brother Mouse – Books in Laos
Kuang Si Falls
Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
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