Off to the Boat Races – 2015

I’ve given over the reigns of my blog to Ryan to write about the Boat Racing Festival from this past weekend.  As you can see by his absence in the photos he was behind the camera all day.

2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (8 of 46)The Luang Prabang boat festival didn’t bring the tourist crowds that we expected.  But locals showed up from provinces all around to join in the festivities.  The Nam Khan River is only two blocks from our house and that is where it was all going down. The river road was set up like a street fair.  They had everything: helium balloons, grilled meats, grilled not-meats (like chicken feet and tails) and airsoft guns for the kids.  We spent the morning watching the open boat parade and a few of the first races.  Between the events on the river we indulged in some of the mayhem going on along the road.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (21 of 46)

With a lot of people visiting from “the countryside” we ended up attracting a lot of attention.  When I say “we” I’m really talking about the girls.  No one really seemed to pay me any attention.

2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (2 of 46) 2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (17 of 46)

The girls really wanted to do something “fun.”  All the attention they were getting wasn’t cutting it for them.  So, we let them pick out a helium balloon.  Problem solved.  An eagle and Cinderella.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (11 of 46)The girls dressing themselves like twins that morning didn’t help the amount of attention we attracted.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (5 of 46)2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (41 of 46)

After some warm up laps, all 31 boats competing in the race paraded down the river.  I guess I could go out on a limb and call it a regatta.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (19 of 46)2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (25 of 46)

Some teams even had a couple ladies that joined them for the parade.   Not to worry, they won’t get a sunburn.  Precautions were taken. 2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (13 of 46) After the boats paraded downriver, they all had to go back up river for the races, so we wandered the streets a little more to see if we could attract some more attention.  This (above) is my “Where’s Waldo” photo.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (16 of 46) 2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (18 of 46) 2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (26 of 46)Finally, the races got underway.  Teams race head to head with between 35-40 paddlers.  We watched a couple races before lunchtime rolled around and then took the kids home.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (12 of 46)

The novice monks had a birds eye view of the races from up on Mount Phu Si.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (42 of 46)Although Melissa and the girls were back at home gearing up for naps, the day was far from over for me.  My soccer team had a boat in the race and I went over to the other side of the river, where we had a tent set up to cheer our guys on.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (27 of 46) After winning the first race by a good lead, we were feeling pretty good.  Everyone’s looking pretty chill paddling back up river for race number two.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (22 of 46)

Between races the party boats would pass by.  Some of them seemed to really know how to have a good time.  As one of them passed by my friend leans over to me and says, “We should do that next year.”  My response: “Definitely!”

2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (28 of 46)2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (30 of 46) 2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (31 of 46) 2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (33 of 46) I had fun snapping photos of the colorful teams and of this guy who got dumped off his boat on its way back up river.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (38 of 46)  These guys must have been hoping that the #1 on the back of their shirts would  bring some good vibes.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (46 of 46)

My friends discussing the bracket.  I studied the brackets for a long while and couldn’t make any sense of them.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (40 of 46) Some people came more for the selfies than for the boat racing.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (43 of 46)

Our team made it into round three and was up against the Heineken boat.  By the time they were passing us I knew that it wasn’t looking good for us.2015-09-14 Luang Prabang boat races by Ryan Crossett (44 of 46) Yep, not good.  We lost in the third round.  It was a good day anyways.  A 100% authentic experience.  Who knows, maybe next year I’ll work myself onto a team.

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top posts of 2014

I’ve had a lot of fun capturing our life in Northern Laos this past year!  In case you missed them, these were the top posts of 2014:

diy open closet1. a simple closet – our DIY solution for somewhere to hang our clothes

 

 

 

2014-08-20 new baby-42. Introducing: baby Isla

 

 

 

2014-06-07 Northern Laos accommodations by Melissa Crossett-173. touring Northern Laos: family accommodations – an interesting account of where we stayed and how we slept on our tour

 

 

 

2014-05-26 packing light by Melissa Crossett-74. touring Northern Laos: packing light – packing for a family of 4 for one week in one bag

 

 

 

live chickens at market Northern Laos5. chicken soup for the heartless soul – from the market to the pot!

 

 

 

2014-07-23 no shampoo by Melissa Crossett6. we don’t shampoo – this is why

 

 

 

2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-287. the big celebration – Happy Lao New Year!

 

 

 

2014-06-02 Nam Ou River by Melissa Crossett-208. touring Northern Laos: down the Nam Ou river

 

 

 

2014-06-10 transportation Northern Laos by Melissa Crossett-59. getting around town – creative local transportation solutions

 

 

 

2014-05-02 food from Northern Laos by Melissa Crossett-710. what’s for dinner? food from Northern Laos

 

 

 

What were your favorite posts?  What would you like to hear about this year?

giveaway: a few favorites from Northern Laos {closed}

*This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to the winner: Amy!  You should have received an email from me*

Since I’m back in the US right now, I thought I’d take advantage of the good postal system and have a little giveaway.  These are a few of the things I’ve discovered and enjoyed in Northern Laos.  There’s many more that couldn’t be brought back with us, like jungle honey, or bike rides around town.  But, I did manage to fit a few things in my suitcase for you.

2014-07-06 blog giveaway by Melissa CrossettIf you win, you’ll receive:

1. a pair of mini tin cups – the perfect rustic cup for our lifestyle
2. a piece of handwoven cloth that is commonly used for carrying babies, but can also have endless other uses
3. a small sticky rice keeper
4. handmade bamboo paper from a Lanten village
5. green tea from 400 year old trees in Phongsali
Bonus: a funny item we found at the Chinese market

Would you like to enter to win a few of my favorite things from Northern Laos?
There are three ways you can enter to win:

1. Leave a comment telling me something you’d like me to write about.
2. Share any of my blog posts on facebook (and leave a comment here telling me you did)
3. Pin any of my blog posts on pinterest (and leave a comment here telling me you did)

And yes, if you’d like, you can do all three for three entries.

The giveaway will close Friday July 25th at midnight. One winner will be chosen and contacted early next week.