I had convinced Dudley the day before that I wanted to do another day trip and when we went for dinner to the center we booked a tour which included riding and bathing elephants. I was looking forward to bathing an elephant, something I hadn’t previously done.
But everyday must start with a good breakfast and our hotel, the Le Vang Bua Villa had the unique concept of serving a different dish every day. Today it was a delicious pho, my favorite dish in the morning. Doesn’t the pho look different every time?
The pickup worked fine with just a little delay and then we were on the way to the Pak Ou Caves. The caves were right next to the river Mekong, with the upper one larger and darker while the lower one was more open and therefore nicely illuminated. To get to the other side we first had to take a boat to cross the river.
We visited the upper cave first and in the growing rain walked as fast as we could the many steps up to it. The lower one you can see on the picture above which was right next to the little port. Both caves looked the same inside, full of hundreds of Buddha statues in all sizes and materials.
Upon our return to the other side of the Mekong we were put on the elephants. Dudley and I shared one and therfore the seat was a bit lopsided. It didn’t really matter, I never even noticed it until I later saw the pictures. We were a group of seven and so with four elephants we trudged through the jungle. There was not as much to see as in Nepal but the trek was a lot more slippery and even elephants wobble a bit.
The most exciting part of the day tour was still ahead of us and after another forgettable lunch we finally moved on to the bathing of the elephants. To do so we first learned a bit of Laotian language to give the necessary instructions.
Not that they would do us any good because the elephants were only listening to their trainers. We tourists were only tolerated by them. Still it was good fun trying to stand up on the back of an elephant if not really successful for all of us.
As you can see I preferred hanging on for dear life after I had achieved my goal of standing! Have you ever tried riding a bull? How riding an elephant is really done can you see here!
That evening we had dinner on the “main street”, taking the bicycle to ride into the center. And since we both managed to stay upright on the elephant for at least a moment (proof picture available on request but definitely not suitable for the public eye) drinks were in order. Yours, Pollybert