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Lazying Away the Days in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

If I ever disappear and you can’t find me, try looking in Luang Prabang, Laos. I’ll be there at a cafe sitting at one of the outside tables in the shade. I’ll have a cup of coffee on the table and a croissant on a stylish plate. I’ll have a book open on my knee, but I won’t be reading it. I’ll be people watching as the afternoon light dances in between tree branches and the occasional sound of a motorbike passing in the background gently interrupts my permanent slide into day dreams. That’s Luang Prabang, and that’s where I’ll be.

Tree of Light

Luang Prabang really sticks out in my mind as one of the most laid-back, beautiful places I have ever visited. The city feels like an island because it is surrounded by the Mekong River on one side and the Nam Khan on the other. Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame wrote a piece I really enjoyed about how she never wants to go back to Luang Prabang and ruin what she had and remembers.

Old World Charm

The city is famous for 33 beautiful temples and the monks who live in the town and receive offerings early in the mornings. Old French villas from the colonials days are being restored creating a fusion of East meets West in the heart of the East:

Cast a Shadow

Ecole

Old Glory

Hot Orange Heat

Blue Doors

Peddle Around

The Royal Palace marks the entrance to Luang Prabang’s sprawling night market. When Victor and I arrived in Luang Prabang and finished getting massages at Hibiscus Massage (not as great as Indonesians spas, but what is?) he looked terrible. He came down with a fever — Asia got to him. So I made him retire and I spent the evening shopping! I started off at a shop Chloe recommended, Ock Pop Tock. I spent an hour looking at all of the intricate, beautiful silk weavings and of course left with a scarf.

Night Fall Sky

The night market stretches for blocks and bargaining is a must.

Night Market

Temples Everywhere

After Victor recovered some, we visited some of the wats in town. Wat Xieng Thong with its tree of life mosaic was stunning:

Tall

Golden Light

Tree of Life

Standing Tall

Entry

Shadow

Side

Elephants

The best kind of temple security:

Sitting Guard

Pointed

We climbed up to Phu Si, to get a view of the surrounding area and watch the sun do its magic. The view from above with the rolling hills reminded me of Europe.

Sunset

Meander Along

If a hotel ever offers a pick-up in an old Mercedes for a not too high price, take it:

Arrive in Style

Switching Gears

Writing this post has made me a bit sad. I promised myself I would return in five years…until then I’ll have to settle on day dreaming.

Hotel

Where to Stay: 3 Nagas, a boutique hotel that is on the pricer side of what is available in town, but has nice accommodations and a wonderful breakfast.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. What a perfect opening paragraph. From your description and your photographs, I can quite see why you fell in love with the place. What a contrast from Jakarta!
    I hope you do get an opportunity to go back and visit Lydia and I hope that somehow I find a way to visit there myself. I have a feeling that I too will be smitten.

    May 30, 2013

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