Posted by: Jay & Christina | September 21, 2010

Luang Prabang

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When we arrived at the boat landing, we were greeted by many guesthouse employees trying to sell their accommodations to all the tourists jumping off the slow boat. After hearing the word ‘WiFi’, we chose our cheap place for sleep for the next four nights. We were looking forward to begin our visit to the town, and we knew we were going to be in for a special treat in Luang Prabang. What would you expect from a town that has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site in its entirety?

During our time there, we meandered through its streets, marveled at its wats, ate some great food, and tried our best at bargaining at the Muong night market.

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Main street in town

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The main temple of Wat Xieng Thong is said to exhibit classic Luang Prabang temple architecture

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Christina and funerary carriage house of Wat Xieng Thong

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Inside of it were many statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

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The front of the funerary carriage that was once used for the Lao royal family

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What another wat? Of course!

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The night market from above: an endless sea of tents

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The night market from below: great shopping, hard bargaining with shopkeepers…

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…and good eats

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Yeah boy…I found Balut!

One morning, we woke up at the crack of dawn to witness one of the beautiful and serene events that take place every morning through the streets of this tiny town: The alms giving ceremony.

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The monks walk around carrying metal jars to collect sticky rice. The food is used in offerings and also eaten during the day.

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They walk around barefoot.

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Some tourists even participated in giving alms.

I was about to join but decided not to when I was approached by a woman trying to sell some rice. She, like many others, were using the ceremony as a means to earn some money by targeting tourists. She tried selling me a pot of rice for $5! I also saw many tourists posing in front of the monks as they walked by while someone else took their photograph. Observing all this took away from the serenity and peace of the ritual. Still, I managed to keep my distance and find a quiet location to admire the beauty in this tradition.

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After watching the monks receiving alms, we ate at a wonderful cafe and partook in our own daily ritual of eating amazing baguettes. Since Laos used to be a French colony, they have an excellent bread-making culture.

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Crunchy, moist, warm, goodness

Luang Prabang also has breath-taking scenery in the surrounding hills and we visited two waterfalls to escape the heat and humidity in the town.

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We were able to swim in the brisk crystal clear waters

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There was a rope tied to a tree to use as a swing. Yahoo!

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The larger waterfall had so much water flowing through it that a mist was being thrown into the air.

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The water was brown, but it didn’t prevent me from swinging on this rope. Even leeches wouldn’t have prevented me! It was so much fun!

In addition to all the sights, the people of Luang Prabang matched it in beauty, some of the friendliest people on the planet. Here are a few pictures I took with those we had interacted with.

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Girl who made the best green papaya salad I have had

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Ferryman to Tad Sae waterfall

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Child of a ferryman on the Mekong

Luang Prabang is truly calming and beautiful. Our only regret was not being able to stay an extra day to partake in a Lao massage and enjoy more of these:

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Sunset over the Mekong

Jay

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Responses

  1. Increíble!!!
    Maravillosas fotos.
    tranquilidad ansiada.
    Santiago clama por aquel aire.
    Un abrazo amigos.

  2. WOW! Took me awhile to get caught up on your blogs! Anyway those waterfalls look soo refreshing! I especially like the picture of Jay swinging from the vine he looks like a filipino Tarzan! Haha! Be safe guys! Miss ya! ❤

    • Thanks Ren! The waterfalls were so much fun. Jay was going crazy swinging off ropes and branches. So much so, he broke his beloved calculator watch. 😦


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