Some quick highlights of the day
We visited the Pak Ou caves by taking a traditional boat from Luang Prabang up the Mekong. There are tons of pictures, many of which will not get posted until after I return to the States, but here are some photo highlights of the day, a lovely river boat ride, and a very moving visit to the caves where devotions, offered in the form of Buddha images, have been left for – centuries, apparently.
Our driver and boat (right) to the caves. He was a skillful and conscientious navigator
An arrestingly beautiful Buddha in the lower cave
This sad little guy was asking for alms. I gave him a bit of money but, hurrying to a toilet, took no time to try to lessen the difficulty of his day by any other gesture of kindness, a lapse for which I remain deeply sorry.
A group of Buddhas which appear to have the same kind of threads on them that I am now wearing on my right wrist, it having been tied on as a blessing by a young Buddhist novice in Luang Prabang. I found the scene deeply affecting -- both that at Pak Ou and receiving the blessing by Tham in Luang Prabang. The latter event occurred after Charlie and I had been to a chant ceremony that Tham had earlier invited us to attend.
Another wonderful Buddha, also with the threads mentioned above
A group of Buddhas