Luang Prabang was the highlight for us in Laos, besides of course the Gibbon Experience. What a nice city! Here, there is something for everyone. If you like special temples, you can be indulged here. For souvenirs, there are some very nice shops and the night market, you can eat on cosy terraces with a beautiful view over the Mekong, lit by the setting sun. You can take some cooking workshops, goon sunset cruises on the river, stroll through the colonial streets. Take a nice massage in a spa and finally enjoy a good night’s sleep in the many small and charming hotels in the city. Surrounded by the Mekong and the Nam Khan river, with Luang Prabang peacefully situated next to it.
Begging procession of the monks
This is a city where you can spend days and enjoy the many beauty without even a moment to be bored. The highlights are numerous. It is certainly worthwhile to watch the great procession of monks begging with their alms basket for food at sunrise. In the main street of Luang Prabang, the Sissavangvong Road, there are a lot of people standing there, including the many tourists who want to witness this spectacle.
There are even billboards to tell the tourists how to behave when the procession passes by. Yet you still see people with their cameras unabashedly walking through the rows of monks to take a beautiful shot. When you stand behind this main street in one of the little streets, you often stand alone or together with the residents who want to make their sacrifices to the monks. It is much quieter there and a more beautiful spot to observe this tradition.
Temples and Uxo Information Centre in Luang Prabang
There are many beautiful temples, some of which you should not miss out on. The Wat Xieng Thong is the most well-known with a beautiful roof and many mosaics, including the “tree of life”. The Phu Si can be reached via a climb over more than 300 steps. Up at the top, you have a good view over the city. But there are many more and each temple has its own charm and atmosphere. You can walk in the temple grounds and the monks often like to talk to you. Feel free to ask them some questions, as the other way around they have plenty of questions for you.
What is also highly recommended to visit, is the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) Laos Information Centre. Here, you can see the misery caused by the American cluster bombs in Laos. Laos is the most bombed country in the world and many bombs have not yet gone off. The UXO team provides information, especially in rural areas to ensure that farmers, children or hikers are not hit by a bomb that goes off. The organisation also combes the entire country metre by metre with metal detectors to detect bombs and mines. In the information centre you can see how people work and through moving films you see how innocent people still become victims of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). A small, but very impressive exhibition.
Luang Prabang is a city to enjoy. That is why we stayed there longer than we had planned.