ONE WEEK IN LAOS
It seems to be a running theme in my travels, I always want more time. Even with all this freedom I still have to make decisions based on outside factors or sometimes lack of information, and I leave a place wishing I could stay longer. Luang Prabang was one of those places. Actually the town itself is small and I may have gotten bored fairly quickly, but I could have easily ventured out to other areas in Laos.
I ended up in Luang Prabang because of its close vicinity to Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a quick and easy flight (on a small prop plane) from the city, and it didn’t make sense to skip it. So off I went to Laos for a little less than a week. Coming from a bustling city where the noise and activity on the streets can be a bit much, Luang Prabang was a quiet oasis.
My guesthouse was lovely with one of the friendliest owners, and I ate breakfast every morning overlooking the Nam Khan River. The town itself was just charming. Since it is preserved as a Unesco Heritage site the streets are wide and relatively empty. The colonial buildings are well preserved and the food has French influences. It may be a bit touristy, but I’ve never held that against a place. Don’t forget this is a girl who loves Disney World.
Spending time there was easy and stress free, no pressure to do or buy anything. It was a nice change from some of its neighboring countries. While in Luang Prabang I visited a nearby waterfall, spent a day weaving, and got up at the crack of dawn to observe morning almsgiving. Speaking of monks, it’s always good practice to try to be unobtrusive when observing religious or traditional ceremonies or events. I know you want the perfect photo, but get it from a distance.
The night market there was one of my favorites in Southeast Asia. It’s a low key, no hassle, and pleasant evening out. When you are done at the market, head to a nice restaurant for dinner. Every building has charming lanterns and lighting creating the ideal setting for dining outside. After dinner, take a stroll around the town and bask in the sweetness that is Luang Prabang. It’s one of the loveliest places I’ve ever been.