Saturday, 26 October 2013

Monkey homestay, another waterfall & Wat Phu

After a dubious 'local' baguette of homemade pâté with extra pig lard we left Thakek and headed to our next homestay.

This required buying our dinner from the market and changing from the orange Stray bus to a Sorngtaaou (4 wheel drive truck with seats - more robust than a tuk tuk!) and heading down some dirt roads.

On the way we stopped at a turtle sanctuary - the turtles are considered sacred as they are meant to be the souls of departed villagers, however they are ugly as f*ck!

Next stop was the Buddha park and scroll library where we girls had to dress up in traditional dress to access (not entirely sure why - the boys could just wear what there were wearing!)

Library on stilts

Buddha park

Religious scrolls on palm leaf

The cupboard the scrolls are kept in - amazing that they've lasted so long without proper storage!

The girls dressed up traditionally - we almost look demure!

After the religious stop we headed to our second homestay which was at a village by the monkey temple - so in our luggage was a lot of bananas for feeding time. Most of the monkeys were well behaved with us - but the squabbling over the bananas amongst them was a little scary!

In the back of the truck going to meet the Stray bus the next morning. We waved to a lot of school children on their way to school!

Next stop was Tat Lo waterfall on the Bolvean plateau - this area of Laos is famous for its coffee growing. We just enjoyed the spray from the waterfall!

Getting a little bit wet!

Next stop was Wat Phu - billed in the guide book as a smaller less crowded version of Angkor Wat - a load of tosh! Yes it was built at the same time as Angkor and had a road leadi directly to that other temple complex, but it's nothing like the same scale of size or grandeur and hasn't been well preserved despite the fact that its still in use as a religious site - originally Hindu, now Buddhist.

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