Day 5 – 3 Apr: Luang Prabang-Kuang Sii Fall
We got up VERY early (5:15am) to go into the town to see the monks collecting alms. There were a lot of monks (but probably even more tourists) & they seemed to be getting sticky rice, crackers & bananas – which must get boring every day. Dad suggested bacon and eggs but I reminded him that Buddhist monks are vegetarian. (I’m not sure if that includes eggs).
We went back to the hotel for breakfast before driving out of town – first stop at a Black Hmong village, where they sell hill tribe hand-made handicraft as souvenirs for visitors, then drove to the beautiful Kuang Sii Fall (Dad got all artistic with his waterfall photos). We saw some black ‘rescued’ bears & then went for a swim (Mum says that the last time she swam in freezing cold waterfalls was in the Brecon Beacons).
On the way back Dad stopped for a local haircut, which was watched by lots of interested people & several interested chickens. After lunch we visited a museum – Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre – which featured the minority groups & included some gruesome videos of cow & buffalo sacrifices. Back at the hotel, Thomas started planning his Summer holiday activities which seem to include Longridge.
Some minority tribes in Laos practice arranged marriages. The bride and groom are locked up together for three days while the wedding goes on around them. There is a lot of dancing and drinking, and feasting on a sacraficial buffalo, by everybody from both villages and gifts are exchanged between both families. The only people who don’t seem to be involved in the event are the ones actually being married!