today (after being awakened by roosters as usual) we got up early to go sightseeing around luang prabang. other than the city itself, there are 2 cool spots near the city: Pak Ou cave and Kuang Si falls.
the cave is a natural huge cavern that has been filled by locals with different buddha statues. the cave itself is really big and it was crazy just how many different statues were in it. big buddhas, small buddhas, reclining buddhas, standing buddhas, sitting buddhas etc. seeing the cave from the riverside was pretty impressive.
afterward, we took a tuk-tuk to the falls. these falls were *huge*. probably more impressive than any set of waterfalls i’ve seen. there were tons of jutting rocks to break up the falls so there were tons of tiers of pools at different levels. the water was very pristine and was a magnificent shade of turquoise blue in the pools. we spent some time hiking up a trail by the falls, and had to scramble across tree branches, through water, and across staircases that had turned into mini waterfalls. it was tricky to get there, but seeing the view from halfway up the falls, where we could see the rushing falls above, and the shimmering pools below was well worth it.
after that we went back into town, and witnessed a scooter accident. just when you thought that despite all the crazy traffic no one got hurt.. someone did. luckily it seemed that both people were kind of ok. we spent the rest of the day wandering around the night market. there people sold tons of different kinds of foods, and we were curious to try them. we had these weird coconut juice snacks that were super delicious, some of the crazy red spiky fruit (not sure what it’s called), an other stuff. so much good food sold on the street (and all *very* cheap).
i think i’ll definitely miss this place when we leave tomorrow. luang prabang is probably my favorite city in southeast asia so far. everyone here is just so *nice* and everyone is smiling everywhere. thailand is supposed to be the land of smiles, but really, i think it’s laos. also, it’s just so funny to see all the bands of little kids wandering around. they travel in small packs and are so young (like 6-9 years old!, could you imagine kids in the US being allowed out alone at night at that age). they’re always chattering away, laughing, and just look so happy.
so tomorrow we take the bus to vang vieng… i just hope that it’s as cool as here!