Laos 20. From Luang Prabang’s Delilah Cafe to Mount Phousi
Check out my Rough Guide’s breakfast choice suggestions and decide to go with their Delilah’s Cafe choice. Home from home? A bunch of traffic cops have set up here to trap moped drivers as they round the corner. One by one the guys are led up the stairs to where the honcho cops are sitting at a table near me, outside, till splatterings of rain drive me inside.
I order the Rough Guide brekker suggestion. The banana pancake that comes with lemon, ginger and cream and a Lao coffee. Here, like everywhere, there is WiFi. (Sometimes I doesn’t work but for the most part does).
Cops head off. Drizzle stops. And I make tracks too.
Looking at everything with new eyes is easy as it’s all new. The paths less traveled usually a good bet. And so it is that I end up walking, walking, up and up wondering where I am going, suspecting that it is to the temple structure I had noted the previous night, lit and at the top of a pretty tall hill.
The path I take is muddy and rutted. Puddled. Past people’s houses that though small and “poor” look solid and in a sense grand as so much, here, is build of wood. Lovely wood.
Turns out I am climbing Mount Phousi that I will read later rises 150m from near the center. It is where one is advised to go and watch the sun rise or set over the Mekong River.
From the viewing area next to the little temple at the top there are views out across the city to mountains in the distance.
Lots of monks to talk to, all eager to practice their English, it seems. Boy monks and teen monks and some in their 20s.
For lots of info on Luang Prabang wats (temples) see this Alex in Wanderland link.
There are Buddha statues and icons and a Buddha cave and a big temple drum along the way and a place you stop and pay for entry. Many stairs. Good to have a reflecting umbrella.
I read online afterwards that the staircase I climbed had 355 steps. That the reclining Buddha I photographed was half-way up. And that the golden Wat Chomsi at the top was built in 1804.
Am glad I had water with me and my iPad to record the views. Am glad I chanced upon this as am not inclined to seek out view sites and “tourist” spots. One of the joys of traveling: to be surprised.
© Wanda Hennig 2016, story and photos