LUANG PRABANG, LAOS :: TEMPLES BY BIKE // rent a bike for 24 hours, see a different buddha statue every 15 mins, and befriend as many novice monks as possible
Renting a bicycle requires a bit of trust from the owner, as well as the customer. Laotian people can charge around 30,000 kip per day for bike rentals, and require some form of collateral (ex: passport or deposit).
So we chose to buy our bikes from Lee, an Asian-American from Cali who’s retiring in Laos to help out his extended family. He told us it’d be 20,000 per person for one day, but changed his mind and charged us 10,000kip instead (+1 form of collateral). Can you say, generous?
With bikes in hand, Katie lead the pack, Ollie gave the directions and I followed the trail…
Our first stop was Buddha’s footprint:
So maybe the picture below doesn’t really capture “Buddha’s footprint” (it was kind of dark)… but it was a cute version of Grom’s Chinese Theatre for a giant Buddha “footprint”.
So as we walked down from the Buddha footprint spotting, we started seeing lots and lots of orange…
Turns out we were walking through a novice monk dormitory (something I’d consider a typical tourist error). As we contemplated which way to exit, we found two novice monks sitting by a fire pit. Unsure of the boundaries we were crossing, Kate blurts out, “So, what’s cooking?”, and to my surprise he gave a shy reply with a smile in English, “Just dinner.”
After our brief encounter with the novice monks, Ollie directed us to almost every single temple in Luang Prabang and then some…
OVERALL: Locking our bikes together proved to be tedious, but we were able to cover a lot of ground on a bike. Within a few hours, we were able to navigate to all ends of the city – covering temples, bus stations, markets, villages, and a museum…. so with that said, it was 10,000 kip well spent!
In the next post you’ll see our bike ride to the Handicraft Village, the UXO Bomb Museum and possibly a glimpse of Kate out-biking a motorized tuk-tuk.