Pakbeng Travel Blog› entry 89 of 122 › view all entries
Yesterday we got up at day break- quite literally to witness the alms giving to the monks, which is when people give the monks food as a way of merit-making so they get reincarnated into a better life. There was so many monks coming round every corner and I kept almost bumping into them which is a big no-no. After this we got on our 8am boat after buying food and set sail. Going upstream of the Mekong on a slow boat is REALLY slow. I’m glad we got a boat and not a stupid bus because it’s just so much nicer. It was so nice to just sit there and watch people in the river going about the daily business, and waving to the really cute kids on the banks and just general boat life. It’s pleasant.
10 hours later we got to Pakbeng, some hotel guy approached us, offered a room for 50,000K so we took it since it was near. Went to eat dinner, with the hordes of other travellers coming through this town and tried to get to bed before 10.30 because the town runs on generators and they turn off then.
Today we just stayed in Pakbeng which nobody does- they just use it as a stopover from LP to Thailand or vice-versa. The whole town was empty, and most things were closed, and the power was off. Obviously Pakbeng has turned to tourism as it’s main economy source, but still manages to hold onto to it’s origins of not using electricity- a modern commodity that is used for the tourists.
We wanted to walk to one of the villages and give our books and pens away (we bought some Lao story books and the like somewhere along the way… I think in LP). A little while later we arrived in some village that clearly didn’t get a lot of visitors. Some woman grabbed me and was touching my skin and comparing to hers! I thought I was quite tanned now but obviously not! Anyway, all these kids just came out of nowhere and followed us and I felt like the Piped Piper of Hamlin, but they stopped when they got to their school (so maybe they were just casually walking to school the same time we happened to be there…) They were all waiting around the gate and we decided to give the books and pens to the school so walked in and all the little kids screamed and ran off! We found some older children, one of whom was Wuan who spoke English because he lives in a hotel in Pakbeng. Anyway, he took our stuff and showed us around because it was their lunch break. It felt like my first day at school again and was quite nerving, especially when he took us to his class where everyone was our age so we had to try and be cool!
Afterwards we strolled back to Pakbeng and had a look round the market at random stuff, and had dinner, and enjoyed our last Beer Lao! (Sob!) Some guy in the darkness offered us something and I thought he said banana but he said marijuana! Haha.