The old town center of Luang Prabang is reminiscent of an old southeast Asian kingdom that entirely embraced Buddhism and eventually married a French colonial hand. Its charm relies on this distinct blend, a Laotian heritage that is a cut among the rest.
Before we visited the temples, we woke up early in the morning, before sunrise to witness a venerable tradition of Tak Bat. In Luang Prabang, this ceremony happens before sunrise on the streets of the old town. Tak Bat is the ritual of collecting food by Buddhist monks from people who lined up in the streets of Luang Prabang. Monks clad in shades of saffron and orange, walk in line with their alms bowl in front. Tak Bat mostly happen at Sakkaline and Kamal Road.
Continue reading “My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 3 Part 2”
Visit Luang Prabang to learn and understand why UNESCO included it in the list of World Heritage Sites. The old town center has a unique characteristic of fused traditional Lao architecture and urban structure with that of 19th and 20th century European colonial influence – a fine example of a remarkably preserved blend of two distinct elements reflected across the old town center thru its temples, palaces and buildings.
Allow one day of your Luang Prabang trip to wander in the old town and appreciate the charm of this former royal and religious capital of the Kingdom of a Million Elephants. Luang Prabang traces back to 14th-16th century as a powerful and strategic place in the Silk Route.
Continue reading “My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 3 part 1”
Second day of Luang Prabang visit revolved around the element of water.
Prior to our trip, we already arranged a tour with Klook for the visit to Pak Ou Caves, then to a wine-making village and finally, to the popular Kuang Si Falls.
Call time was 8am and we were fetched by a van. We were brought to Khem Khong Street which is behind the Royal Palace Museum. A few steps down to the banks of the Mekong, a long boat was waiting for us. It’s a traditional long boat that could probably sit around 30 people. When we got to the boat, we realized that we were the only passengers on that day. Our guide had instructed the boatman to head for the Pak Ou Caves.
Mekong River, the lifeline of Indochina.
Continue reading “My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 2”
There are stories of long cross border trips and unreliable sleeper buses in and out of Laos. There are also stories of scenic boat rides on the Mekong which take more than a day to reach Luang Prabang. But no matter which mode of transport you choose, a planned trip to the old town of Luang Prabang is worth all the journey.
Day 1 of my Luang Prabang travel began the moment when the Air Asia plane touched down at the LPIA. Laos is one of the 3 remaining ASEAN countries which I haven’t visited yet. I heard a lot of wonderful stories of Laos and why every traveler always include it in their trips. I always felt that Laos has a deep story – heritage and culture as enigmatic yet profound as those of neighboring countries like Cambodia or Thailand.
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Most of us are not familiar with the city of Luang Prabang. But for those who have traveler and backpacker friends, this city is often mentioned for its heritage charm and tourist-friendly vibe on top of its old-world colonial draw. Luang Prabang is the heritage pride of Laos.
There are several ways to reach Luang Prabang. By land, there are sleeper buses from Hanoi, Vietnam or other places. There is no existing train network heading to Luang Prabang. Please do note that the distance from Hanoi to Luang Prabang is almost 900km and the trip might take forever to reach Laos. I had a terrible experience with the sleeper bus from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap so I put this one as the last resort.
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