We woke up around ten and decided to go to a cafe we had heard about from some other travelers. It was supposed to be delicious and it was a nice walk. We walked over and ate – it was very good.
My days here are numbered and the boys have been teasing me saying they can’t wait until I am gone. Today Avi said, “You were counting down the days until your trip started, I’ve been counting down the days until it ended.” They also say things like – “its going to be much better when you’re gone” or “we can’t wait for the bro trip to begin.” Which also segways into, “well it’s a bro trip now because Laura is a dude.” Avi has crafted a long list of reasons why I am a man. He adds to it constantly and it makes my self esteem go up by a lot. Friendship is so chill sometimes.
After breakfast we sat for a bit and then decided to go see the Pak Ou Caves. We met up with Reut and Efron and took a tuk tuk to the caves. It was about an hour drive and the roads were questionable. When we arrived we had to buy boat tickets to cross the river to see the caves. We took a little canoe across the Mekong and up to the caves. The caves are filled with all sorts of damaged Buddha statues that are no longer suitable for worship.
We hiked up about 100 stairs to the upper caves and in that moment I knew I could never do the Inca trail. We went back and found our already questionably safe tuk tuk driver having a beer with an old Laotian man who had crooked teeth and was wearing a tank top. They offered us pieces of buffalo skin and told us it would make us live longer. I figured, when in Laos – do as the Laotians do. It was pretty salty and not great tasting, the consistency reminded me of beef jerky. They swallow it but I ended up spitting mine out after what felt like hours of chewing. We sat for a little while the old man danced to Laotian music and Noam rested in the hammock.
We headed back down the road and decided to reconvene for shabbat dinner around 7:30. It was Reut’s idea to do something special (she said at least with kiddush). We ate, sat, talked, and drank in a little garden restaurant tucked away behind the night market in Luang Prabang.
After dinner we bought ice cream and crepes from a street vendor and strolled through the once bustling, now closed, night market. Everything here closes very early and the street quickly transforms from a large and colorful market to a littered and dark road. The vendors pack all their things into huge bags and ride home on scooters with the bags on either side and sometimes a child or two straddling the front of the bike. Once home we fell straight asleep and planned to see the waterfall the next morning.