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"My Temple?"

A cache by CaptainKevin Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/16/2012
Difficulty:
1 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

A lesser known temple of Luang Prabang. The temple is called Sakaem. The cache is on the grounds near the entrance and is hidden with knowledge and permission of the resident monks. Cache is a camo snap-lock (test strip) container very similar to a film canister. Hidden on top of a 3 meter mini-stupa next to the wall below the paved area of the main temple grounds.

After hauling my aging carcass up the 300 steps to the top of Phousi Hill, my muggle cousin and I met two monks who  were very friendly and anxious to practice their English. After ten minutes or so visiting with them, one of them asked "Would you like to see "my temple?" We agreed and trekked off behind him without a clue where we were going or what the name of the temple was. Did I mention he was "practicing" his English? Communication was limited but he was very charming and seemed eager to show us "his temple". After about 30 minutes of hiking through the streets of the town, getting farther and  farther away from the main part of Luang Prabang, we came to a spot where we could see a golden stupa in the distance, up a small hill. He pointed it out and said "That is "my temple". It was off the main road and through the neighborhoods of the surrounds of the city. We had come that far so, on we went. That was at the turn point referred to in the waypoints as "Reference point" (where you tell your tuk tuk driver to turn off Phommathat Road).

From here the road is unpaved and more like a jeep trail than a road. Along the way are homes, many open on the road side, some with makeshift mini-markets with well-stocked shelves of various items for sale, laundry hanging out to dry and the ever-present sight of chili peppers drying in pans in the sun. Nearing the trail to the temple, there is a lovely little bridge over a small stream. At the waypoint for the trailhead, you should discharge your tuk tuk driver because you won't know for sure how long you will  be, trust me on this...the monks love to practice their English!

When you get to the gates to the temple grounds, you will be very close to GZ and should have no trouble finding the cache. You will likely attract some attention from the monks and you should ask permission to see the rest of the facility. The temple was not open when I was there but it might be for you. No shoes in the temple please. Also the golden stupa seen from a distance is also close by. This is a very poor temple and not even listed in the guide to the temples of Luang Prabang. The living quarters are very basic but seem to suit the life of the monks here. At the time of my visit, our monk invited us into his "room" and introduced us to his roommate, a 15 year old boy who also was studying English. He was very shy. By that time, we had attracted at least eight monks to listen and watch. Everyone was extremely friendly and, when I asked if I could hide a cache here that would bring visitors, they all thought it was a great idea but were pretty clueless as to what that might mean. There were five of them watching as I hid the cache so, they know where it is.

To ensure the continuation and survival of this cache, I request all who come here to please engage with the monks, encourage them to use English for practice and make a small donation to the temple. This is a very poor temple, I never did get the name of it, and any little bit will make them happy. There are many gorgeous temples in Luang Prabang. This is not one of them but this cache will show you a part of the city you would not likely see otherwise. I hope you will be as happy to find it as the monks will be to see you. As long as you come in daylight hours please.

Small note on cache maintenance:
There is a local cache guardian who will assist.
Name and contact info on file with geocaching.com.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Svaq fznyy fghcn. Ybbx hc naq lbh jvyy trg gur cbvag!

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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