Luang Prabang - Jewel of the Mekong

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our first day in Luang Prabang was boat race day - a wonderful carnival atmosphere, but not really representative of the quiet tourist town. The next 3 days we spent exploring the many wats and discovering paths alongside the two rivers that meet here, the Nam Khan and the mighty Mekong. Luang Prabang reminds us a lot of Hoi An in Vietnam, the town where we saw the lantern festival. Both towns have lovely old French colonial buildings and little cafes with pastries and soups and salads.

In the evening a night market appears along the main street, it is the most relaxed market we have been to so far, no high-pressure sales, no shouting. There were lots of really delightful souvenirs. We wished we were here on a 2 week break and could fill our backpacks with lanterns, wooden statues of figures with conical hats etc and fly home. Paul really wanted a silver buddha and I really wanted a silver necklace with a frangipani flower, and there are some lovely fabrics to turn into wall-hangings but budget and backpack space wouldn't allow indulgences. We bought some little paintings of buddhas, a few t-shirts and some irresistable tiny baby slippers.

One morning we got up early hoping to catch the monks recieving alms, but we must have been too late, so we settled for a wander around the fresh produce market - definitely a good idea to visit it before the sun rises and the meat and fish start to smell!

We saw lots of Monks wandering around, working and at dusk the sound of chanting and drums fills the air - magical. Paul got very clever with the camera settings and the monk's washing lines.

Luang Prabang is truly charming, we spent a lot of time just sitting, eating great food and drinking Beerlao and watching the world go by.

I've been battling a cold, which I must have caught from the snotty drunken students in Vang Vieng. It's not fair being ill on holiday - but when you're on holiday for a year I suppose its to be expected. If I wasn't all sniffy we would have packed in a trip out to the waterfalls, but Paul made me rest up so that we're 100% ready for our next adventure (which has Paul very excited and me quite nervous) ... living with gibbons !
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barbarat on

what a wonderful place
Laos appears more and more appealing. My kind of place, hate to be hussled. I hope Emma that you will be feeling a lot better soon, I am sure you both will enjoy the gibbon experience. Can't wait to hear all about it.

rfbevis on

Thanks for a fascinating view of the life on the riverbank and in the temples. All seems very calm and relaxed. The clever photos were great to see...I am very impressed by your photographic skills - the kind of photos you see in travel books!

Have fun with the gibbons!

Love Ma

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