"Luang Prabang: The Cheeky Monk" Top 5 Page for this destination Luang Prabang by richiecdisc
Luang Prabang Travel Guide: 1,007 reviews and 2,509 photos
“This is the BEST place in Southeast Asia,” the smiling face beamed at us after she assured us she had been traveling in the region for eons to bolster her credentials. Though an Asian by ancestry, she was neither local nor even Laotian. She sounded American but was nonetheless a complete stranger and in no way approached for any such outburst. No, she just felt she had to say it. Though it seemed odd, we somehow understood as we found ourselves pinching ourselves to see if, in fact, we had landed in paradise.
Luang Prabang is such a place, one that makes you feel its perfection despite its trappings of the ordinary. On face value, it seems just a picturesque river town beseeched with beautiful if unspectacular temples and a legion of orange robe clad monks on a mission to practice their already quite skilled use of foreign languages. But beneath all that lays the core to its true charm; it is just such a damn pleasant place to wander around. Even though it is the number one tourist destination in the country, no one tries to sell you anything. In fact, sometimes, it can be hard to buy what you are looking for unless you are persistent. Add to this, just a smattering of tourists from all walks of life, and you feel you have chanced upon some secret place that is remarkably civilized considering its relative isolation.
And then, there are the people. Though, on a whole, Laos is a poverty stricken country, Luang Prabang, in particular, seems to suffer little from this oppression. Everyone seems to have enough to eat and the children are a complete joy, a relief from many poor countries, where they have become accustomed to tourists as a meal ticket. Photo opportunities abound, but having someone put out their hand for money in return non-existent. Most are very well attired and many get around on their own small motorbikes. Overall, it seemed like a wonderful place to live, simple perhaps but full of such pleasures with little of the chaos that many more complex societies are besieged by.
Was Luang Prabang one of the great cities of the world, full of cannot miss sights? Unless the beaming smile of a friendly child fits that bill, I guess not. Will it take its place among the top must see cities of Southeast Asia? I hope not. We have enough such places already. Let us hope that this little gem remains as it is for a long, long time.
Pak Au cave is one of the more popular day trips from Luang Prabang. The most common way is to take a ninety minute... more travel advice
A climb to the top of Phu Si Hill is certainly a highlight of any Luang Prabang stay. There are many routes up and down... more travel advice
- a true Lao place to stay
- See All Sugar cane drinks
- Tropical sunsets set the mood
- A quiet little park
- A fun show but at a price
- See All Sometimes, you should just say no
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Luang Prabang Travel Guide
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