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last day in Luang Prabang

Today is our first real leisure day and we spend it seeking the calm and the cool. A great way to start is to get up at 5am to give alms to the monks and aided by Souk (our guide from yesterday who also studies law &English) we bought sticky rice and biscuits for distribution. The concept is simple, a gong chimes to call the monks to the street where locals and tourists wait to drop offerings into their bowl as they pass; whatever is in the bowl is their food for the day. They move quickly and sticky rice is pretty sticky, making it hard to provide for all… Dash had to intercept some on the way back to the wat to share his leftovers. The whole ceremony is sacred and called the Tak Bat.

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The alms giving took about an hour so by 6.30am we were back at our guest house having a little more rest before a breakfast date at 8. We tried somewhere different today, a café on the Mekong frontage where you could get eggs, bacon, fruit, baguette, coffee and juice for 35,000 kip…. not bad for 4.5USD (1AUS = 5500 kip).

Satiated, it was time to break ranks with Rob, Tiffany and Alyssa choosing to avoid the 200 odd steps of the local lookout, the Phu Si. Opposite the Royal Palace…

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the entry fee of 20000 kip was worth it… especially when you get asked to be part of other tourist photos (the Japanese love us).. on top, monks started conversations and one volunteer from Big Brother Mouse ( told us that he had the day off due to Lao national teachers day. Normally he is part of the program that provides literacy support to children near and far who would not get it otherwise. Rob and Dash met one of the managers and author at the market a few nights ago and they are an important service.

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There is a small wat also at the top and quiet worship areas with altars, burning incense and symbolic ornaments; the view is worth the effort.

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Once down from the lookout, you can visit another small Wat where ancient drawings cling to crumbling walls… here you can donate for its upkeep and Rebecca, John, James, Amy and Dash were happy to help out. In some ways it was quite refreshing to see a Wat not dominated by gold leaf..

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our 90000 will be put to good use and every little bit helps…

Soon it was time for a final lunch with Andrew from the Luang Prabang Orphanage School ( and while the local’s choice rule applied (meals for 35,000 +) the food was fantastic. It certainly was a contrast to our street food of skewers of meat for 2ooo kip or soups/sandwiches for 15000 or fill a plate of vegetarian food for 10000. In restaurants we’ve tried to keep menus of 25000 on our radar.

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and now we’re back, fans spinning, reclining on the bed…. just waiting for the heat of the day to pass… later we’ll pack and it is a 5.30 start for the airport with a flight to Vientiane and our final few days…. home soon

Sammy (LFHS’s travelling crews gender non-specific pseudonym for this blog)

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