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Luang Prabang

Posted in Photography, Travel by Alvin on July 28, 2010

Luang Prabang is a place of mists and temples in the mountains of central Laos, where Nam Khan and Mekong River meets. I thought this UNESCO heritage site is one of its kind. There aren’t any majestic architecture which spans over acres of land, rows of ancient structure or stunning nature wonders.

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The main street with a stretch of French influenced buildings, temples and a few minor streets next to the river.

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I traveled up north to Luang Prabang from VangVieng with two other English backpackers and we ticked the tourist cliché to-do-list; museum on the first day.

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The main streets came alive at evening when craft vendors set-up a traditional handicraft and souvenirs  night market. Albeit named the craft market, it was also the place where we hunt for cheap dinner.

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Meat galore, 2 legged to 4 legged delicacies. Dinner was an all-you-can-fill-in-a-bowl meal, at 10,000kip with barbeque pork as an extravagant side dish.

We headed out to Tat Kuang Si on day 2 for the famous fall.

072 - Kuang Si Waterfall (LAO)

Source: http://www.lebe.sk/laos/album/laos4.html

Extract the people, it is as amazing as the picture above. We hiked up to the top, to a pool less known to the majorities.

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Source: Flickr: whereareyoumurphy

That was the exact spot where we spent the rest of the noon dipping, jumping off rocks and watched young monks doing stunts off the rocks and trees.

The only temple I went was the one erected right at the top of Mount Phousi. Very much like Batu Caves, temple accessed via a flight of stairs from the foot of the hill. The temple wasn’t the greatest I’ve seen, but up at the top of Mount Phousi, the panoramic view of the town of Luang Prabang was stunning.

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

I love the vibe of this city. Tranquil and sleepy riverine lifestyle. It balances up VangVieng, the party town, making my week in Laos a hodgepodge of crazy, wet, drunk, serene and fun. Every nook and corner of this town is a picture. After a week of scorching sun, it drizzled on my last day in Luang Prabang. Thanks to the weather, the river and mountains were misty, temperature was cooling, and I had the best walk I’ve had over the whole trip, despite just around the town.

Everything was just perfect for a quiet walk, absorbing the quintessential beauty of this town.

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Laotian coffee and a French baguette in Laos. An assimilation of culture, a great way to just eat, drink, stop, rest and drift away.

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I caught an evening bus back to Vientiane, to transit over-land to Hanoi, Vietnam. 

Despite the contradictory intellectual debate over tourism sapping traditional culture, invasion of tourism driven cafes, eateries and guesthouses, I thought the preservation effort by the local council was commendable. The name might sound comical if I were to comprehend the pronunciation using the Hokkien dialect (reads: randomly swatting mosquitoes), the long winding journey definitely has its worth.

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2 Responses

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  1. kuria said, on August 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    thank you for the gorgeous pics 🙂 Luang Prabang really is a special place

    • Alvin said, on August 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

      thanks. yes it is. shud visit if u hv the chance 🙂


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