As Pi Mai wound down, we passed our squirt guns on to the kids down the street, bid goodbye to Luang Prabang and launched ourselves into seeing more of Laos.
Posts from the ‘Laos’ Category
We were always coming to Laos. We missed it last time around and lost count of the times we were asked in backpacker conversations, “Are you going to Laos?” always accompanied with a hand and over the heart and a swoon. What’s more, we consciously decided to come here at the hottest time of the year in order to see Pi Mai, or Lao New Year, whose festivities include the building of sand stupas, parades of monks and beauty queens and a procession where the golden Phra Bang himself, the famous Buddha for which this town is named, gets squired around town on a special fancy carrier. There is a lot of ritual washing at this time of year, a spring cleaning so to speak of houses and temples and Buddhas (including the Phra Bang through a big funnel) and because no one objects to getting wet at the hottest time of the year, the rituals have expanded over the years to include a lot of general water throwing and mayhem.
My brother and I love to read. We can’t imagine a world without books! We were amazed to learn when we were researching Laos as a place to stop, that some kids in Laos have very little access to books. Some have never seen a book before! Big Brother Mouse is an organization here that works to publish books in the Lao language (translations and original stories, both) and then bring them to kids in rural villages all over Laos via one of their Book Parties. We decided as a family that we wanted to sponsor one of these book parties, and since we were planning to be here we got to attend the party we sponsored to see all the kids get new books!