I had a surprisingly awesome travel day today.
As I mentioned, I randomly signed up to take a slow boat along the Mekong River to Luang Prabang in Laos. It was very spur-of-the-moment and I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
I was picked up at my hostel after breakfast in a white mini van packed full of other people. One of the guys informed me that we were going to be driving towards the border today and then we would have two days floating along the river. I realized I hadn't even looked at the itinerary - it was pure, blind faith in the smiley hostel man's recommendation.
There were a couple of cool people on the bus, so I think it will be a good group of people to cruise along with down the river :)
The best surprise today was a stop-over in Chiang Rai to see the white temple.
It was like nothing I had ever seen before: the front is supposed to symbolize purgatory and you are supposed to walk straight past it and go towards heaven inside (and not loiter around posing for a pic like I did).
The inside was the most interesting part for me. Cameras weren't allowed, but it was covered in intricate paintings of strange modern images such as Freddie Kreuger, Batman, Spider-Man and gasoline on the back wall and then progressively beautiful images at the from with the Buddha statue. There were even people still painting the walls inside. Very interesting and unexpected.
There was even a cute little wishing well. I made a wish, obvi.
We continued on and are staying at a cute little guesthouse in Chiang Kung near the Mekong River.
I took a walk down and it has a crazy current! I even saw what looked like some dragon boaters Momster! They had to seriously give'r to make it back upstream.
There was these free public workout equipment along the boardwalk, and a bunch of people were using it. Such a great idea!
They should do this everywhere! I then heard some music blaring out of a car in the parking lot by the water.
I assumed it was just hooligans, but it was an impromptu aerobics class - I love this place!!