This place is really dusty and there are Buddhist temples all over the place.

I arrived a few hours ago and have spent most of the time since then walking around, mostly along the river. I’ve passed probably almost half a dozen temples and monestaries and gone in about half of them. Spent 30 minutes in one hanging out with some young monks who were doing their language practice outside of the temple. They all spoke a little bit of english, one of them spoke some chinese, and another was studying japanese kanji with a workbook. They were really unusually outgoing and friendly for monks, in my experience. In front of that temple was a large garden with very well-maintained plants and a dozen monks sweeping up loose brush and leaves on the ground.

Futher in front of the temple, still inside the courtyard walls, was what looked like a concrete volleyball court. I walked through the trees to get a better look, and there were about 40 children playing some combination of soccer and volleyball. There’s a net dividing the two sides, but they can only use their feet and heads to propel a ball back and forth between both sides. As soon as I saw it I thought “oh, basket ball”, not thinking about the NBA of course, but the ball looks like someone basket-weaved a hollow cylinder about the size of a canteloupe. They were all really good at the game; I took some video of it.

I’ll leave in just a moment for Wat Sok Pa Luang which is one of the biggest wats in the city and a place where I can also get a legit 60-minute traditional Lao massage for just under $2.