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April 23, 2006 – A journey to Luang Prabang, Laos in Asia

Lazing About in Luang Prabang

Reached the sleepy and peaceful riverside town of Luang Prabang in the afternoon of the second day of the Mekong river long-tailed boat cruise. Luang Prabang is quite a laid-back city without the big city lights, noises, and traffic. The town is dotted with temples and French colonial architecture along with traditional Lao houses and monks in bright orange robes milling about.

French colonial buildings along the main street by the Mekong

stumbling upon one of the many wats in town

In my personal opinion, Luang Prabang has one of the best night markets. You can try a lot of the local food at the little side street to the left before entering the main street where the night bazaar begins. Lots of good quality textiles, mulberry paper lanterns, and souvenirs can be purchased here, too. Much of the goods come from the surrounding hilltribes.

pick a skewer, any skewer

One of the last places where you can witness 'giving of the alms' by monks is here (Burma and Bhutan may still do this). This happens at sunrise each day. I heard that the head monk plans to stop this practice pretty soon because it has become too much of a tourist attraction (more tourists are getting involved with the practice rather than locals). Hope that this practice can still keep on going and that tourists can respect and witness it from a far distance.

a backside view of a long procession of monks walking around town to give alms to the locals at daybreak

take a trip to see gorgeous snow-blue-hued Kuang Si falls (25km from town I believe)

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