Bangkok | Across the River for Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun

No rain. I guess the afternoon squall has finally decided to halt. I just got out of Wat Pho and noticed I still have enough time to explore another temple that afternoon. The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is just across Chao Phraya river. Just a short walk from Wat Pho is the ferry terminal to cross the river. Only 3.50 baht and I’m across the river in less than 10 minutes.

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Bangkok | Rained-on and Roamed Wat Pho

The Giant Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

I realized I was already encircling around the perimeter walls of Bangkok’s Grand Palace. I was walking under heavy rain and squeezing my way through the crowd of black-garbed Thai mourners of the recently passed King at the roadsides. Thai people adore King Bhumibol Adulyadej and it shows. As I got into the Grand Palace, I saw bus loads of tourist waiting to get in. I only have less than two hours left and paying 500 THB along with this crowd didn’t appeal to me. So I left. Then there’s Wat Pho I remember passing by earlier. I retraced my route to the back of the palace. Drenched and tired, I just wanted a nice place to sit. I was thrilled that there were less people here at Wat Pho. I paid my 50 THB entrance fee which comes with a free bottle of mineral water and went on to explore the temple grounds.

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Laos: Return, biking and a Lao Traditional Massage in Vientiane

Vientiane's Riverfront Resto

We left Vang Vieng around 10am and arrived in Vientiane by 2:30pm. It’s a good thing the drop off point was near the National Museum so I only had to walk a short distance back to Lao Heritage Hotel where I checked in again. It’s great to be back at the capital city of Laos. I let the city air in and I just relaxed the whole afternoon. I tried the Riverfront Eateries that night for a Lao dinner then rested early for my last day in Laos.

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Laos: Charming Long Khun and Mystical Tham Sakkarin Cave

Wat Tham Xien maen inside the cave

Somewhere around a 100 meters more after Wat Chom Phet, still on a dirt road but covered by tall trees. Across it is the Wat Long Khun Temple. It is one of the best looking temple grounds I’ve seen. The monastery looks new and the main sim is petite but beautiful likewise. Across the river, I noticed its directly across Wat Xieng Thong.

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Laos: Across the Mekong river to Ban Xieng Maen Village

Across the Mekong to Ban Xieng Maen

After visiting Tat Kuang Si waterfalls, I was deciding whether I should leave Luang Prabang the next day. Don’t get me wrong I love Luang Prabang but the slow pace can get to you some times. The best thing to do here is to visit outlying villages instead of staying in town. In the end, I decided to stay another day and try to visit the Ban Xieng Maen. The village just across the river where they say will give you a glimpse of what the Luang Prabang was like more than 40 years ago.

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Laos: Magnificent Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang

The Magnificent Wat Xieng Thong

My morning temple hopping led me to Th Sakkarin Area. Before I went back to Levady GH to get my bags and move to my new lodging I decided to visit another temple since I had plenty of time to spare before checkout. It’s easy to get templed-out in Luang Prabang, so it’s best to choose which ones to visit. If you would only choose to visit just one it should be the most magnificent temple in Luang Prabang. And that is Wat Xieng Thong.

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Laos: Luang Prabang Monk encounters, giving alms, moving to Thony II, and more temples

Luang Prabang Studying Monks at Wat Sensoukarahm

I enjoyed walking through the Night Market of Luang Parabang but had to withdraw myself lest I get tempted to spend. I headed to Th Khem Khong Road, another parallel road to the river but quieter and closer. Then I had a quick dinner of Stir Fry Mushroom Beef (16,000kip) and a strawberry shake (6000 kip) at one of the riverside restos there. Checked the internet and emails nearby then headed back to Levady Guest House for the night’s rest. By 9pm the town quiets down. There’s an 11pm curfew in Luang Prabang.

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