MiriamG37367_PW Article

November 23, 2014  |  By  | 

! 2 Unfortunately, tourists, which weave a medley of languages and about a thousand shades of khaki pants make the street overwhelming for all of my senses. They then contemptuously shove their cameras flippantly (and astonishingly enthusiastically) into the faces of monk and alms-giver alike, shattering the morning’s peaceful air. “Get me over here next to this monk!” a woman shrieks, frivolously forcing the monks to stop and wait for her husband to finish taking what must have been 500 photographs. I stare contemptuously at the American couple (the kind that wears matching t-shirts that say something stupid on them when they go on vacation) and seem to have cameras and guidebooks surgically implanted onto their hands. The last of the monks pass, and the travelers’ cameras are stowed safely in fanny packs around their waists. Rising ominously above the pleasant whoosh of the falling water is the sound of (you guessed it!) tourists. Bouncing ignorantly across the picnic area in bikinis and board shorts, jabbering vehemently all the while, the tourists litter the area with . . . well . . . litter and obliterate the possibility of a serene afternoon. Luckily, I still manage to have a good time . . . well, because: Sunshine! With rays of the afternoon sun streaming through the vibrant green of the jungle and the enticing babbling and cymbal-crashing of the picturesque waterfall, it is simply impossible not to. I have a newfound respect for both the people of Luang Prabang’s ability to wake up this early every morning—yawn!— and the monks lack of embarrassment regarding being photographed by gauche vacationers. I make a mental note to try and be as respectful as I can during the rest of my trip. Afternoon Leaving the city, I head to a remote waterfall. After walking over uneven dirt paths and tottering bamboo bridges over crystalline streams through the sticky and overwhelming jungle I arrive at the waterfall. Foaming and tumbling jovially down slick moss-covered rocks into unexpectedly robin’s-egg- blue pools that flow into one another, giggling and gurgling all the while, the waterfall is breathtaking in a way that little else can be. November, 2014 Part of a Buddhist Temple A Monk Breathtaking Water a l

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