Fu in Luang Phabang
4.6 ) ( 11 votes )
Luang Phabang, Lao Peoples Dem Rep
Jan 05, 2004 01:57
Friendly, Kind People
We arrived from the Slow boat in Louang Phabang just in time to
see the city at dusk to the background sounds of monks chanting
& drumming. It was a breath taking display and truelly a much
more appealing first impression then we had received elsewhere.
Louang Phabang "exudes remote tranquillity and casual grandeur"
or so says our guidebook and we have to agree. The city is the royal
capital of Laos, and a world heritage site at the meeting of the
Mekong & Nam Khan rivers. It has a strange mix of French-Indochinese
architecture, eg. large French-colonial style mansions converted
into guesthouses, amongst many Laos stupa-capped temples. Monks
are found all over the old city, wandering around at dawn to collect
alms and at dusk when they gather in front of their temple's major
The atmosphere here is relaxing yet the city has a vibrant culture.
During the days we could walk or cycle the length of the old city
seeing the stores and temples, stopping occaisionally to sip strong
Laos coffee, served half condensed milk, half coffee and so strong
it could turn your teeth inside out. After a brief exersion of walking
the streets we could happily relax down by the river watching the
local life around the riverbanks. At night the Main road (which
like all roads in Laos has nearly 20 different names depending on
who you ask) becomes a large night market where you can have a cheap
feast with BBQ fish or chicken, and see the local handicrafts which
are fairly similar to Northern Thai Handicrafts.
Oh Yeah, I feel that i must lay one more minor gripe down about
Laos. Why is there so many f-ing zeros in their currency? Most of
our meals cost 10,000 kip, a small purchase of water is 1,500 kip.
Nothing is less than a thousand here, it is completely ridiculous!
Whenever we changed money (no ATMs) we ended up with a short novel
of Laos notes, making us feel like we were really rich, but on more
than one occasion we had to make an emergency trip to get cash after
finding that the stack of notes depletes really fast. In fact the
kip is so annoying that most retailers prefer US dollars or baht
and the kip is useless outside of the country except as toilet paper.
We are now moving onwards to the town of Vang Viang, a backpackers
paradise,roughly midway to Vientiane.
Best Suited For: Anyone
Best Time to Travel