Lazying Away the Days in 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.
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.
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:
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.
The night market stretches for blocks and bargaining is a must.
After Victor recovered some, we visited some of the wats in town. Wat Xieng Thong with its tree of life mosaic was stunning:
The best kind of temple security:
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.
If a hotel ever offers a pick-up in an old Mercedes for a not too high price, take it:
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.
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.