Decided to seek refuge from the cares of the world and revisit Asia's most
traditional city, Luang Prabang, in lovely Laos. Everyone was celebrating
Pimai, Lao New Year, which is a bit like the water festival in Thailand, but
with lots more color and charm.
From my balcony I watched the sun rise over the misty Mekong River and sat in
awe as fifty barefoot monks silently passed, receiving their alms. Then I
wandered over to an outdoor fair where I snatched up hand-woven baskets and
embroidered silks brought to town by hill tribes families. Everyone wore a
shining smile and fancy costumes that sparkled with gay-glo pom-poms, silver
jingle bells and precious stones.
In the afternoon the town held a parade led by boys and girls
carrying sacred floral offerings in shimmering silver bowls. Buddha images
were carried through the streets under golden umbrellas and brought to temples
where they were washed with water flowing through dragon-shaped spouts.
Laughing children playfully doused each other and passersby on the street
As dusk settled slowly on the first day of the new year, the only thing
missing was you! Better get here fast before I wake up from this dream.
Don't work too hard. And turn that TV off once in a while.