Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had one fantastic day in Luang Prabang and then got really sick.
Lets start with the good day. I met a couple in my youth hostel, SpicyLaos Backpackers, Aloma is from India and Tony is from Austrial. We took the whole day to walked around the outside of the town along the rivers enjoying the afternoon sun. We went down to the water where the two rivers , The Mekong and the Nam Khan, meet up and there is a massive outcrop of what looks like uplifed sandstone (that you Professor Ray). You can stand on the rocks and watch the rivers come together and the boats go back and forth across the Mekong river (the bigger one).
After our walk we went back to Spicy Lao and followed the owner, Pong, to the temple where he gave a fantastic lecture on Buddhism. Let me tell you the Buddhism that all the white people in California say they practice is not the really thing 🙂 We learned all about the origins and the shift when Buddha died into two groups the strict Buddhist who fallow all the rules and the ones that change the rules to meet the needs of their area. We learned about the 5 rules that normal buddhist follow 1. No Killing, 2. No adultery, 3. no lying … I forgot the other 2. We also learned about the Monks, Novice (children under the age of 20 studying at the temple),and the Nuns’ lives. Did you know that you can become a monk for as little as 3 days. In order to be considered a good man in this area you must before you get married. And the King of Thailand was a monk for 17 days. Aslo did you know that the “Happy” or “Fat” Buddha is not really Buddha at all but a famous monk? well know you do.
That was the good day and that night I started getting sick. As a massive group of young kids got off the 2 day boat from Thailand and started running around the hostel screaming, Tony and I where stricken with a bad case of travelers sickens. I didn’t sleep much that night and the next day Tony, Aloma and I moved to a quieter but much more expensive ($15/night) quest house. Tony felt better by mid-day and I am still really struggling. I took the megga anti-biotics and have been able to hold down a bit of bread and water for a few hours, so that is a MAJOR improvement.
Oh… people have been asking what all the smoke is from. It the result of massive slash and burn. It is really devastating to both the people and the environment but it is a hard practice to break.
Ok Im off to lie down again.