S: Vientiane & Luang Prabang, LAOS Jan 14-21, 2012
BC: Made by Derie 2012
FC: Jan 14-21, 2012 | Vientiane & Luang Prabang | LAOS
1: Day 1: Depart U.S. (Fly overnight to Thailand, losing one day crossing the International Date Line.) *ll hrs. ahead now Day 2: Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand late at night. Day 3: Fly to Vientiane, Laos/Explore city Day 4: Vientiane city tour/Blessing by Monk Day 5: Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos/Explore city Day 6: Waterfalls/Hill tribe visit/Home-hosted lunch Day 7: Buddhist alms ceremony/MeKong River excursion Day 8: Elephants/Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam | Louangphrabang | Laos Facts: Vientiane is the capital settled in 9th century AD. It is a communist country with 6.8 million people. Almost 67% are Buddhist. Official language is Lao, French is common. Lao Kip is the currency - $8,000 Kip = $1 USA. The most famous product of the country is the beverage, Beerlao. Agriculture is the main means of income and employment. | Itinerary: | This is the pre-trip of our VIETNAM adventure.
2: At the Kansas City Airport on Jan. 14th. Getting ready to leave for our 27 day trip to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia! With a sleep-over each way in Bangkok, Thailand. | Bangkok | THAILAND | Derie, Steve, Julie & Dan Hejtmanek | Jan. 15/Day 2 | Day 1 | Our hotel in Bangkok
3: Vientiane | LAOS | JAN. 16-18 | Steve is now a "millionaire" in KIP. | Laos Airlines newest Airbus A320 | B
4: We checked into the Sabaidee hotel and explored the city of Vietiane. Lunch was at the Khop Chai Deu restaurant with local beers going down real fast. It was hot outside! Street vendors were selling baked sweet potatoes, corn and bananas. Notice the electrical wiring to the left! AMAZING! | Our room | sweet potatoes | Tui- our guide in Laos | Jan. 16/Day 3
5: (Chao) King Anouvong - | the last king of the Lao Kingdom. He struggled to fight against Thailand's invasion of Vientiane. He was unsuccessful and captured, but is considered a courageous hero who fought until his death. The ceremony of the new statue was in late 2010. It is made of copper and he faces the Mekong River. | Mekong River | Jan. 16/Day 3 | the city
6: Phat That Dam - "Black Stupa" | Standing guard in the town's center, this historical Stupa, is said to be built on the cave of a dormant seven-headed dragon which rose to the rescue of the Vientiane population in the 1828 war with Thailand.
7: At the Seng Lao Hotel, we experienced the traditional Lao dancing accompanied by their native dishes. | Classical & Folk Dancing/Dinner | Bob & Emily Jester | Jaap Van Hell | Jan.16/Day 3 evening
8: Haw Phra Kaew- House of the Emerald Buddha | this temple was built between 1556-65, on the orders of King Setthathirath. When Vientiane was seized by Siam (now Thailand) in 1778, the emerald Buddha was taken to Thonburi. It now resides in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. | Jan. 17/Day 4
9: Wat Sisaket | the oldest monastery in Vientiane, featuring over 6,840 Buddha statues in varyings sizes and shapes. | Fat Buddha | Offerings
10: Pha That Luang - the "Great Sacred Stupa"... | is the National symbol and the most sacred monument in the country. It is surrounded by high walls and it features two temples with the main Stupa on the top being covered in gold leaf. It's 148 ft. tall.
11: Patuxai - " Victory Gate Monument" | in the center of town this war monument was built from 1957-68. It is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. | Jan.17/Day 4
12: Blessings by a Monk | Wat Si Muang | Jan. 17/Day 4
13: Laos night market & morning market | The sites & smells
14: the ancient, royal capital of Laos, located on a peninsula between the Mekong and Khan rivers with lush green mountains all around. | Luang Prabang, | LAOS | Jan.18 -21 | Day 5
15: Royal Palace Museum | The Royal Palace Museum was built from 1904-1909 during the reign of King Sisavangvong and served as his palace. It is a blend of Lao and French styles. The building was taken over by the government after the 1975 revolution and opened to the public as a museum in 1995. NO PHOTO'S allowed inside. | OUR HOTEL | TUK - TUK
16: Royal Temple- Wat Xieng Thong the oldest in the city. | Jan. 18/Day 5
17: Phousi Hill | in the center of the old town, you can climb the 328 steps to the top and overlook most of Luang Prabang. You can see the Khan and Mekong rivers and a colorful sunset. | Khan River | MEKONG RIVER
18: Kuang Si Waterfalls | Crystal blue waterfalls in the lush Laos jungle. | Tat Kuang Si Bear Sanctuary | Jan.19/Day 6
19: HMONG tribe home visit | LAO-LOUM HILL Tribe home-hosted lunch. | Rice farming | Chatting with husband and wife | Typical one room village home | One year worth of rice | The daughter made woven scarves. | inside the home | Jan. 19/Day 6
20: alms-giving to local MONKS | The hundreds of orange robed monks are required to line up in the streets before dawn every morning to collect food for their two meals per day. They mainly received sticky rice and bananas from the local people and tourists. The ritual is done in silence and the alms givers are usually sitting or kneeling on the street as the monks pass with their large lidded bowl. | ancient Buddhist tradition | Luang Prabang is known for the morning monks alm round (Tak Bat), which is a time honored Buddhist tradition. | Jan. 20/Day 7
21: Local Market Daily the market sells food, clothing, crafts,etc.
23: Mekong River Excursion The Mekong, "Mother of all rivers", supports 90 million people who produce 54,000 square miles of rice every year. We traveled along the Mekong in a "Slow Boat" that also provided lunch. We stopped on the river and visited Xang Hai, a village that made rice wine, whiskey and local crafts. Then we went to the Pak Ou Caves, in a mountain side, that housed thousands of Buddha statues. | Jan. 20/Day 7
24: Elephants'!!!!!! | sampan boat ride | Khan river | riding the | . | Jan. 21 / Day 8 | Good-bye Laos. In the afternoon we fly to Hanoi, Vietnam