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Last updated : Nov 2009
Luang Prabang, Lao Peoples Dem Rep Jan 31, 2002
Rating:  ( 3.4 ) ( 5 votes )

Luang Prabang, Lao Peoples Dem Rep
Jan 31, 2002 02:05


Pros:
Fascinating place, friendly locals
Cons: none

Luang Prabang, set in a small valley on the banks of the Mekong River, has been given the World Heritage Status by UNESCO...And i can see why. Its beautiful here.

I had 5 days to spend wandering around the sleepy town, and visiting the nearby caves and waterfalls. There are over 33 active wats in town, so as you can imagine monks are everywhere -A real monk's paradise!!

Every mornig at 6am most of the monks would be seen walking the streets in one long line (up to 240!!) collecting food (mainly rice) from the locals that make these offerings to them everyday. On the first morning i dragged myself out of bed at 5.50am and wandered down the main street to catch a glimpse of them. The town was covered in light fog which added to the 'timeless' atmosphere.

The rest of my day was spent wandering around the many wats and joining in the late night Buddhist celebrations i happened to stumble across. The atmosphere peaked when around 200 locals from town entered the entrance to the wat all holding candles, with the monks chanting infront of a huge buddhist carving. -Excellent!!

I will be getting up early every morning to 'greet' the monks!!.

My last day in Luang was spent with the monks in the morning, then travelling by boat to Pak Ou Caves, thats situated along the Mekong river. The lower cave is stuffed full of Buddist statues, with a stupta in the centre of the cave containing the ashes of a local villager.