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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Scavenger Hunt


This is Nina, Alden, and Eleanor reporting live from our scavenger hunt in Luang Prabang. Our first stop this morning was Baan Xieng Maen, and our guest house receptionist directed us to the river. Upon our arrival, Alden’s bike broke down. As Nina fixed the bike, Eleanor attempted to get more specific directions to our location from a smoothie vendor. In response, the lady pointed to the other side of the Mekong.

As we looked for a bridge, a local man offered to give us a ride across. We were hesitant to accept, but there was clearly no bridge anywhere near us, and we bargained the price low enough that it was cheaper than taking the ferry. Without a word, he took one of our bikes and walked down the steep steps to the river. As he disappeared from sight, we wondered if we would ever see the bike again. Soon enough, however, he returned to help us carry the others down to his boat. As we cruised across the wide river, we crossed our fingers that we would be able to make it back safely. After our driver unloaded our bikes, he told us to return in ten minutes for a ride back.

We were pleasantly surprised by what we found on the other side of the river. It was very local, and in stark contrast to what we had seen so far of Luang Prabang, there were no tourists. It also didn’t seem as though there would be tourists anytime soon. We would have liked to spend more time in the village but were worried that our ride would leave without us. Luckily, our boat driver was waiting for us right where we had left him, and we made it back across in one piece.

-Alden, Nina, and Eleanor