#78 - swimming in the river & reuniting with the tamarind crew

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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San & me

I woke up EXHAUSTED today!  I think all the whiskey & beerlao from the day before wore me out!  I had a very lazy morning & kind of wandered aimlessly around for a bit.  I of course ended up at Joma for my morning coffee & egg.  :)

On top of being tired, it was SO HOT today.  The sky had finally cleared & there was no smoke in the sky & it was actually BLUE.  SO exciting.  But also SO hot.  San (my other friend from Mala travel) and I were supposed to hang out  but we hadn't made any definitive plans.  Eventually he texted me & asked if I wanted to go swimming.  How perfect!!!

So, he picked me up on his motorbike (I'm defintiely getting used to this way of travel!) and we headed down to this very cool restaurant called Donsuvan (something like that).

BEERLAO!
  It was across this bamboo bridge and there were all these little thatched huts.  I learned that where we were sitting would actually be under water in the rainy season...but in the dry season every year, they rebuild the bridge & the huts.  How crazy to have to rebuild your restaurant every year! 

Anyway, we met one of his friends there and we hung out & drank some beer for a bit & had a little lunch (morning glory & fried rice!).  I felt like I was in Dewey Beach for Lao people almost.  :)  After we hung out for awhile, it was time to swim so we headed down to the river.  I had brought my bathing suit with me - but it was actually going to be more appropriate for me to swim in my clothes than in my bathing suit!  The Lao people are actually quite shy & it would have been really weird for me to bust out the swim suit!  So, there I was  - swimming in the Nam river with all of my clothes on!  It was so much fun!!!!  The river was pretty strong so walking upstream was quite a challenge.

walking back across the bridge
  Also, with all the rocks on the ground, it definitely took me much longer than it took San & his friend!  It was so funny.  I was soooo slow!

We swam & did all sorts of competitions - who could stay under longer, who could walk upstream faster, who could swim downstream faster - etc & it was just a lot of fun!!!  :)

I had wanted to make sure I got to hear the monks chant today, so we came in from the river with enough time to get me to the temple by 5:30pm. 

I had such a nice, mellow, relaxing time there.  I was there early this time so I actually had time to just sit & meditate & chill by myself.  :)  Then, at 5:30pm the monks started.  Wow.  It was so amazing & hypnotic to listen to them chant for a half hour.

san & me after our swimming adventure
  It was so cute because there were a couple times that the person leading them messed up - they kind of laughed a bit & it was just a very human moment.  I mean they are all young boys after all - it was great to see that side of them.  I do have to say - I don't understand how they sit like that for that amount of time though.  My legs were killing!!! 

Anyway, it was incredibly peaceful & I'm so excited I got to experience it. 

Brian of course was there AND it just so happened that Steve & Susan were to!  So fun!!!  So, the three of us hung out for awhile talking to different monks.  They were all so happy to stay and speak with us.  Turns out they had an exam the next day so they were all nervous & mentioned they would be studying very hard that night.

the NICEST monk - i just loved him - we chatted for a long time about his life in LP
  I learned that they are all called novices until when they become a monk around 20.  So interesting that a lot of the novices wanted to become a monk, but then later stop being a monk & be a travel agent!!   I heard that a couple times.   Anyway, one thing I was struck by was that they all have such a wonderful sparkle in their eye & such a light about them.  It was really cool to get to interact so much with them.

After that, the four of us went out to dinner!  Such a great meal!!!  And we decided to head back to Utopia.  The food ended up being excellent and we all had such a great time.  Turns out that Steve used to work for Grey Advertising - so I asked him if he knew Darian Heyman, which of course he did.

drinks with the crew!!! Steve, Susan, and Brian!
  It was a small world & Jewish geograhy all rolled into one.  I learned more about Steve, Susan & Brian and as I've said a few times now, it was just a great evening!!!  :)  I am so happy we all ran into each other - none of it was planned at all & it worked out so perfectly!

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San & me
San & me
BEERLAO!
BEERLAO!
walking back across the bridge
walking back across the bridge
san & me after our swimming advent…
san & me after our swimming adven…
the NICEST monk - i just loved him…
the NICEST monk - i just loved hi…
drinks with the crew!!!  Steve, Su…
drinks with the crew!!! Steve, S…
Sans friend & San (I cant rememb…
San's friend & San (I can't remem…
The cool Lao bar
The cool Lao bar
the Nam Song
the Nam Song
San eating some morning glory
San eating some morning glory
getting ready to go swimming
getting ready to go swimming
tushie!
tushie!
i was attempting to jump - it took…
i was attempting to jump - it too…
people in the river where we swam
people in the river where we swam
after swimming
after swimming
san looking very cool on his motor…
san looking very cool on his moto…
Steve playing volleyball at the ba…
Steve playing volleyball at the b…
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2