7th November – Visas at Savannekhet

8 Nov

After another porridge breakfast (not sure if its the right thing for the tropics!) we emptied our water tank, which we had filled with some smelly bore water in a village a few days before, and filled with water from the guest house. There is nothing worse than weak Chinese tea bags in boiled bore water …. yuk!

The town is a reasonable size, but with the directions given to us from the guest house, and a piece of paper with ‘consulate’ and ‘visa’ written on it in laos, we found the consulate in Chymuang Rd. By the time we got there at 9.15 am there was a small queue. We picked up a form on the other side of the road, which was also filled in by a Laos girl, for a fee of 70pence each. We then took it over to the consulate counter and after ten minutes had submitted it along with our fee of 2000 Thai baht each. This was for a 60 day double entry visa … we hoped. We were told to pick it up at 2.00pm the following day.

We had also been told that there was a temple and stupa that was not to be missed about 15km from the town, and a lake with little huts on the lake, that were nice to relax in.

Before we went in we picked up some flower offerings and Marjool had to put on a traditional Laos skirt. The offerings were made out of banana leaves and flowers.

Once inside we watched as people made their offerings and prayed. They took it all seriously, but at the same time they were all smiling and laughing as they walked in small groups around the site.

The girls who had been praying then went over to a giant gong (I’m sure that that is not the right name!) and rubbed at the centre until it started to resonate. It was an amazing sound! It is like the moving of your finger around the outside of a wine glass until it hums …. just on a massive scale.

All around there were gold coloured buddhas, in all sorts of shape and size. The site here is an important one because  it is over 500 yrs old and is believed to be the burial site of buddha’s bones.

After having lunch, we drove back towards the town, where the lake and huts were. It was almost like a restaurant, but the food and drinks were served in the little huts over the water.

 

In the evening we headed back to town, where we parked for the night at the tennis club. Nice grass and toilets too!

 

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