Update – 18 September 2019
In the mazes of the colonial alleys of Luang Prabang hide primary schools where children give themselves to heart 🙂
In Luang Prabang always, it’s a day of celebration! Not everyone is interested in boat racing, some prefer to share a meal with friends or family.
In the evening it is a completely different melody that one hears as you listen to the temples.
Music accompanies us everywhere on our bike ride. Sometimes in karaoke or just in the background of restaurants, but always kitsch!
As we approach the villages, we slow down and enjoy the scenes of life under the bewildered eyes of the locals.
On September 7, we arrive in Vieng Xai. 45 years ago, the town was the stronghold of the Pathet Lao, a communist paramilitary organization fighting the Americans alongside the Viet Minh from 1964 to 1973. The city is surrounded by multiple cellars where the inhabitants took refuge during the bombings. During the visit to the cellar of Mr Kaysone Phomvihane (Secretary-General of the Party, who later became President), our guide recounts:
“In here, special, we have “air tight bomb shelter room” … So this room was used sometimes when the Americans used to[drop bombs] onto Vieng Xai. Mr Kaysone with his family came to stay here, crossing the door but he can’t open it. He used this air pump to [bring the air inside and this filter for dust and chemical]…”
Arriving in Vietnam, in Mai Chau, we discover the festival of mid-Autumn and its parades of dragons in the schools and shops of the city. Every year, it coincides with the end of the rice harvest.
Finally, further north in Moc Chau, we visit huge tea fields. Here, dozens of women hand-pick the precious leaves while chatting!