Sabaidee from Laos!
We arrived safely in Luang Prabang after a quick flight from Cambodia last night.
Luang Prabang is a World Heritage Site that is located among the mountains between the Mekong and Khan Rivers in Laos. After settling into our new hotel, staff and students headed down the road for a bite to eat in one of the many outdoor garden restaurants. This city is known for its Zen and tranquil vibes that can be felt around each corner with a series of cozy cafes and many temples that adorn the streets.
We headed out on a walking tour this morning to visit Wat Xieng Thong, the most notorious and historic Buddhist temple in the ancient city. Our guide taught us about the yearly rituals and events that take place here and taught us about the Nāga, a sacred serpent symbol that is meant to protect and guard the Buddha.
Did you know that even numbers are considered unlucky? Because of this, there will always be an odd number of Nāga guarding the temples.
Our walking tour finished with more visits to smaller temples where students were once again introduced to the world of Buddhism. This included everything from hand signals to the life of a monk! According to tradition, monks change their robes with the changing of seasons and the passing of time. We then proceeded to make our way back to the hotel on foot while becoming familiar with this friendly city before class.
Tomorrow brings another full day of classes followed by a sunset dinner on the Mekong River. We also have a jam-packed schedule of activities for the week and into the weekend. Among the many exciting excursions, we look forward to zip-lining through the jungles with an added afternoon of waterfalls to enjoy and refresh.
Yours in Laos,