Had a terrible night, woke up several times cause my back was hurting due to the ride yesterday. Took a pill (just for the nerves, no painkiller) at around 1am, still was up every hour. As I anyhow couldn’t sleep decided to watch the monks calls to alms, everyday at dawn. Went up 5:15am, dressed with jeans, socks (first time here), t-shirt, my baby alpaca pullover (I am so happy that I came from the cold and had to dress somehow to get to the airport) and hoody. Here it is really cold, in the morning we had 7 degrees (during day it gets here 24, also the locals are wondering why it’s getting that cold in the hot season, maybe there is something true about the climate change??). Walked up to the mainstreet to see the ceremony. Monks do it every day, walking the streets and collecting rice. There are only few rules, be quite, be respectful, keep distance if you are not donating and do not use flashlight. Europeans stick with the rules, Chinese not…
Had a coffee afterwards on the mainstreet in one of the few already open coffee houses around 6:30am.
Went back to my hotel to go for breakfast at 7:30am. They start that late and it is served in the garden. So still wearing hoody, set down and had (served) breakfast, vegetable omlett with baguette and black coffee. Not the best but ok
Decided to do the by lonely planet recommended city walk. This time 5km, duration 5 hours. Starting point was morning market, 50 meters from my hotel.
Went up to the phu si, the hill on the peninsula. On top a golden stupa, the chom si.
Down again, passed Buddha’s (oversized) footprint (the footprint is for sure 1,5 meters, he must have been quite tall if really his footprint, more an opening in the rock looking like a footprint) and ascended through wat Siphoutthabat Thippharam.
Back on the mainstreet walked first to the Royal palace, seeing the Royal cars (not to spectacular) and also the pha bang Budda statue (no pictures allowed). Decided to walk further north the mainstreet to give the cafe le banneton a try (was also highly recommended in Vientiane, didn’t try it there). Had pain o chocolate and double espresso, must admit I like the joma cafe more (had the same tasting plain o chocolate here in this recommended coffee shop like in Vienna at felber, not a sacrifice). Wandered through several wats, including the most popular, wat xieng thong.
The for me most interesting hor (little chapel), the red chapel was closed (has an rare inclining Budda inside).
Went to the name khan riverfront (the second river in town beside the mekong, therefore I stay on a peninsula), saw the bamboo Bridges and back to the mainstreet for a quick lunch. Had a baguette with tuna for a price I would laugh out loud in Austria (10k, around 1 euro). It’s not ban mih here, really filled baguette (strong french influence here, most of the tourist are french and lots of locals still speak French). Went to the hotel for a nap, out again around 5am for a sunset beer along the mekong. Afterwards a stroll through the already familiar night market, then night food market for dinner. Always interesting whom you met, this time a shared the table with an English guy who just arrived and want to bike along the mekong for the next month (he had his own bike with him, fully disassembled in his luggage and then a us guy joined, also travelling for a month. On this markets you obviously meet travellers, both of them have been to example also been to Honduras (like me), so lots of travelling stories to share. Went home afterwards with one beer for the balcony and in hope for a more restful night.