Bangkok • Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos
After breakfast at our hotel, we depart for the airport for our flight to Luang Prabang, Laos. The ancient, royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang is located on a peninsula between the Mekong and Khan rivers with green mountains all around. Recognized as a UNESC World Heritage Site, the city is one of the quaintest towns in Southeast Asia.
After checking into our hotel and lunch at a local restaurant, we have an orientation walk around the neighborhood. Set in spectacular scenery, Luang Prabang is famous for the more than 30 active temples and hundreds of architectural treasures that reside here. This is a working city, however, and not a museum, and we will mingle with monks and local people heading to market and going about their daily business. Notice the many 19th-century French Colonial villas mixed in with the more traditional Lao-style homes. Next, we'll hop aboard local transport to visit the royal temple Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest in the city. Originally built of wood in 1560, it was reconstructed in brick and stucco following a fire in the late 19th century. Then we head to Phousi Hill, in the center of the old town. Here
you may wish to climb the 328 steps and at the top, overlook most of Luang Prabang. You'll enjoy views of the Khan and Mekong rivers, and if the weather obliges, enjoy a colorful sunset. We'll continue on to a night market, and then we'll have dinner at a local restaurant.
1 of 3 nights THE GRAND LUANG PRABANG
Fax: 011-856-71-253027Website: WWW.GRANDLUANGPRABANG.COM
Just before getting on the bus for the airport: a tuck tuck. Not easy to take a photo of these things. Public transportation.
Bye-bye Bangkok. I have a good view of the city from the plane with the highrises and the river..
We get a boxed snack but since we had a good breakfast and will get lunch I only nibble a little on the cake.
The view gets so interesting. We can see mountains and the Mekong and Khan Rivers.
We are met at the airport by a local guide. I do not know how to say or write his name but he told us to call him Chears. Ole is still our tour guide but each country requires that we also have a local guide. So we have two to take care of us ha-ha.
From the airport we go a short distance by bus and then transfer to three tuk tuks. Buses are not allowed into the city, a World Heritage Site. Our hotel is on the outskirts though and takes our luggage there.
The tuk tuks take us to a bakery with a lovely view to the river Khan. Ole had taken pre-orders of our choices and everything was ready. Our roasted veggie wrap with humus was most delicious. I was questioning the lettuce but if Ole says it's safe for us to eat ...
Mango crumble cake. Very good!
Sonyeon would like to taste it too.
The tuk tuks take us to the hotel which was may be 10 minutes away. It's a dry heat here and the breeze was nice on the tuck tucks.
The hotel is lovely. Here the view from our window.
Unfortunately I noticed that something I ate did not agree with me. Imodium is being asked for. I do not want to miss anything though. The three tuk tuks are waiting to take us into town again. Obviously a tuk tuk is quite small for six western people especially with the backpacks as the first ride. James had not been very comfy. We have figured it out now. If he sits at the back he can let his legs dangle. Perfect.
The temple is incredible and very different from what we have seen before.
This tells stories and Chears points one out to us.
This is like a tomb for the last king. His ashes are in a huge urn on a ship in this building.
A race boat for the festival. It can hold 38 to 52 rowers.
The confluence of the Khan and the Mekong rivers. A lovely place. The bridge gets washed out from the monsoon every year and has to be rebuilt. Foreigners pay $1 round trip to walk on it but we don't have time.
At the bottom of this picture is a fenced little plot pointed out to us. It is peanuts being grown.
Then we come to the 328 steps to go up the mountain. Unfortunately I make it only half way. The "Revenge" takes something out of you.
You know James. He doesn't really want to go on and has a bad conscience when he does but I tell him that he has to take pictures so I know what I have missed. Here are his pictures from the top:
Down in the city there is suddenly a market sprung up (forgot picture) but we go to a bakery for a refreshment.
We sit with Ole for a while and he tells me that he has a blog as well and gave me the address.
It has quite a little town feeling. Nice.
Then we walk to were we will have dinner. Suddenly we hear monks chanting.
Dinner was very nice but I decided that I was already in trouble and just had some soup and rice. James is happy whenever there is curry. And beer should help disinfect.
The tuk tuks take us back to the hotel. We fall asleep very early.