Yesterday morning we started off the day by going to the new tour agency that the owners of Smiley's opened. Its tradition here, for good luck, to burn incense and set off fire crackers when opening a new business - sort of like our version cutting the ribbon with giant scissors at a grand opening. After that we headed out to go on our lake tour. We took a bus for about 2 hours, then long boats for an hour an a half to a little spot where we went on our cave hike It was very cool – about 45 minutes to get to the cave itself, then a couple hours through the cave. It was a bit scary at times – with the bats and spiders, and swimming through neck-deep water to get to the next part of the cave – but it was a great experience! After the cave, we went back to where we started, where our tour guides had put together a lunch made using all bamboo cooking utensils, and served it to us in bamboo bowls – it was delicious! After that we went on another hour long long-boat ride to our floating bungalows on one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen. Everyone jumped in the lake for a bit before dinner and drinks, then calling it a night – since electricity cuts out around 11 here!
Today we woke up around 8 and jumped right in the lake – the water is so clear and so warm its hard to ever get out! We did a few times, to even out our tans, but most of the time was spent swimming and floating. After lunch we took the boat over to some cliffs where a few people scaled some walls and jumped off of trees and cliffs. It was pretty awesome to watch – one of our tour guides, Ya, was soo fast at scaling the wall and jumping. Only one other guy made it as high as him, but it was still pretty awesome!
After the cliffs we finished our boat ride and drove to a temple with a fish sanctuary, where we got to feed some fish, then continued on to monkey temple, where we fed some adorable monkeys! Now we're back at Smiley's, and about to head to a group dinner at the italian restaurant down the street! Yum!