yesterday the movie didn’t end up being the much anticipated “y tu mama tambien” but “man on fire”. i wasn’t too excited about the change of lineup but the movie turned out to be much better than expected and was set in Mexico, so i got my fix of Spanish regardless.
dinner and a movie was nice, i had quiche Lorrainee and a watercress salad with a fresh lime dressing – all were spectacular. but there was no one to meet there, so my plan failed on that aspect. but whatever!
today i took a boat to go to the caves and see the thousands of Buddha statues there. for those who do not know, I’m a big Buddha fan and am willing to travel lots just to get to view a good one. the ride to the caves took 3 hours, upstream on the Mekong. it was a spectacular boat ride, with great views of the mountains. i have to say that Laos has the most incredible cloud formations i have ever seen. perhaps it’s because of the humidity and the rain forest but the clouds here and their diversity makes for amazing landscapes.
the caves were nice and filled with old wooden and metal Buddha but it was a tad disappointing to have traveled 3 hours to view something that could be viewed in 10 minutes. yes, there were a lot of Buddhas there but it was nothing as impressive as the big Buddha in Nara. i said wow, but didn’t think that it was specially beautiful or moving. the caves are in two sections, and the upper section is really the “cave” part, where you need a flashlight. it was pretty boring there, pitch dark and i think that a bat may have urinated on me. I’m not sure, but since i was standing under bunch of them i figure it probably wasn’t water… anyhow, i guess the caves were a bit of a disappointment. the ride on the Mekong was really the highlight, and i am really happy that i got to cruise on that famous river. too bad getting back only took 1h!
afterward i went to the temples that i hadn’t done yesterday, and took tons of pictures… much too many i am certain.
ate lunch and met the lady from the museum to go to the temple up the hill to watch the sunset. it’s 329 steps to the top, which sounds a lot but ended up being a lot less than anticipated. the view was beautiful, the sunset was alright, but the clouds, again! insane. i hope that the pictures turn out OK. afterward we went for a nice dinner, where i had great noodles for “cheap” considering everything else around. and now, here i am, in an internet cafe, insanely sweaty.
tomorrow is my last full day here. it will be spent walking around and exchanging more yuan for kipps. money flies out of my wallet here – who ever said Laos was the cheapest country in s.e. Asia mustn’t have been here lately.