Luang Prabang, Laos

Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos

Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos

Monk in Luang Prabang, Laos

Monk in Luang Prabang, Laos

Favourite Locations – Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos has only one problem as a country, it’s land locked, no ocean, no beaches, no islands. Laos does have a beautiful river flowing through the country; the Mekong, and along this river are beautiful small towns and surprisingly stunning cities. One of these is Luang Prabang. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The city is also notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lanterns at the Street Market, Luang Prabang, Laos

Lanterns at the Street Market, Luang Prabang, Laos

The town itself can be a little overun by tourists but this has both good and bad implications. On the good side, there are excellent guest houses available at very low cost and the overall prosperity of the area is better than other Lao towns that I’ve seen. On the bad side (or good side depending on your views), one needs to get off the main street to see the real Lao people and be invited into their homes and lifestyle. We opted for getting off the main street and found the locals to be friendly and caring and experienced everything from a funeral wake to a crazy party at a small river village where they thought I could teach them disco. Mr Kevin disco… I may have damaged their traditional dancing for good!

The temples are beautiful and while a few are popular with tourists most are not. The area itself is fascinating to travel around, generally by boat or tuk tuk and for the real daredevils rides with the locals on their small motorbikes can be an adrenaline rush. Are you into eating? The food is fabulous, partly due to the French rule that was established in 1893 and ended in 1945 when Laos became independent.

If you want to go here’s some good background information.

Rice Wine with Scorpions and Cobras, Luang Prabang, Laos

Rice Wine with Scorpions and Cobras, Luang Prabang, Laos

Wat Mahathat located in Luang Prabang, Laos

Wat Mahathat located in Luang Prabang, Laos

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7 Responses to “Luang Prabang, Laos”

  1. robert says:

    Now that’s an different, but also looks to be interesting, part of the world. It goes to show that the world is bigger than we think.

  2. Titania says:

    Good information on Laos. I prefer to go away from the tourist tracks (in any country) or I visit at a time when the tourists are sleeping at home!I had ones the missfortune to visit Titisee in Germany on a Sunday. There were so many tourists and visitors one could barley see the lake! It was all artificial and touristy it was awful, when it could be paradise.

  3. kevin says:

    Weekends can be very busy almost anywhere. Even locally I try and travel on weekdays as much as possible to see the “real place”. Off season is excellent as well. I was in France last year right before tourist season and in the small towns we were almost on our own, very peaceful!

  4. Glennis says:

    Laos is a very interesting place, I enjoyed your photos. The wat is so ornate, thanks for showing us this glimpse of a distant country.

  5. kevin says:

    Glennis – some of the wats are amazingly ornate, whole buildings like this. Others are very ordinary. I guess a show of wealth.

    Victor – The Lao and Vietnamese say “you drink wine and it make you better man for your women”. I had some one day and it didn’t do much in fact I drank with some Lao men one night at a village and after “sleeping with three beautiful women, Kevin no get lay!”. My wife said “Kevin no get lay, Kevin pass out”. That’s all they talked about for days!

  6. Lisa's Chaos says:

    What a fabulous place! If I ever went I would have to get some of the rice wine! How unique!

  7. kevin says:

    Hi Lisa,

    The wine isn’t particularily good although the “slosh” that I drank was awful looking, not pretty like the bottles in this photo. I expect these “pretty” bottles are being sold to tourists that want to haul something different back to their home parties, it might even taste good!

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