Only around noon we started cycling but it wasn’t for long that we had reached or destination of the day: a guesthouse some kilometers after Pak Mong, which had been mentioned to be “nice” at Hobomaps. It really was quite fine. For dinner we had, we guess, Chinese again, we still can’t really tell. The next morning we started already before 7 but we weren’t alone: Maybe due to the light festival a lot of people were bringing food and other stuff as alms to the monks at the local temple. Everybody was so busy, they didn’t even recognise us. 😀
In general we proceeded quite well but it was damn hot, much hotter than it had been in Northern Laos! And when we went for lunch they didn’t even give us some rice – we don’t know why. But the rest was more expansive than at home anyways… Finally, at around 4 in the afternoon we arrived at the guesthouse in Luang Prabang. And what did we see? The town is full of tourists! There are many more than we had seen on our trip so far, that was quite a shock for us…
After a great shower we had to go for pizza as we were craving some fat and carbs. The pizza was great and so was the Western service (“Excuse me, Madam, here is your pizza!”). And when we wanted to go home in nearly dark we saw that the whole city was full of candle light! Wunderful! The atmosphere was amazing, nearly like Christmas, just warm. So we decided to go for a beer and promenade through half Luang Prabang. Everywhere tourists. Tourists and monks.
The next day we got to know the most important place of the town: the baguette and crepe market. 😀 We had to go there at least once a day as the sandwiches, pancakes and fruit shakes (with or without Lao Lao) were soooo tasty and cheap. Then we went to the Mekong and through the city on our bicycles. At around 4 in the afternoon we wanted to get another massage before we would go to the climax of the light festival: the street parade. Unfortunately, the masseuse had no idea what she was doing, so Alexandras body was hurting a lot more after than before it.
At 6 we could already look at all the hand-made boats the Lao people had created and would let down to the Mekong at the end of the parade. Some groups were also dressed up and the mass of tourists were looking and taking photographs of them. The parade started to move and suddenly Roger and Silvia passed by – and so we were united again. 🙂 Together we bought some flower sprays to let down to the water with our fears and sorrows – just like the locals do. And down at the Mekong everybody threw some sprays into it, and also a few of the boats passed by while there were fireworks and a lot of candles. Some also let lampions into the air which rose like hot-air balloons. All in all it seemed to be a combination of resurrection festival, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and All Saint’s Day. Rituals can be so beautiful!
Afterwards we had a glance at the sport events around the tempel near to our place, where Alexandra shot a bottle of Orangeade with darts. 😀 Stefan couldn’t handle it… The foot volleyball tournament was interesting to look at too. Damn, those people can move!