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Luang Prabang, Laos
OCTOBER 27-29, 2009

After the almost 14-hour cruise down the Mekong River, we docked at a very small "marina" (okay, landing) in Luang Prabang. It was very hot outside and of course our private car hire was late. After a phone call and 15 minutes later, we were off in an Air Conditioned van. Thank goodness for AC - at some moments, it can really "save" your life! After checking into our lovely, newly-built bungalow at the Bel-Air hotel, located on the river, we had a quick bite to eat before getting ready to face the next day's itinerary.

We actually grew quite fond of Luang Prabang, lots of temples everywhere (think there are about 57 of them in the small town), cozy restaurants with outdoor seating, and plenty of happy Laos people.
We spent an entire day visiting hillside tribes, which was absolutely special to us. Local people inviting us to their homes, welcoming us into their villages, and also sharing and modeling their traditional attire. These are the moments that are definitely unforgettable. 

We also explored parts of the city, almost swam in a lovely waterfall, visited the Royal Palace, which is now a museum, and tasted traditional Lao cuisine (dined with the English couple we acquainted a few days ago, which was a match made in heaven - they seem to love food, enjoy wine, and carry delightful conversations, how more perfect can it be???). The three days spent in Luang Prabang were definitely a hit!    

Hillside Tribe Visit

Just like the old days, but not really, This actually is happening in today's Laos. To be frankly honest, it was quite refreshing to witness.

I just love this picture of Johann!

Our visit to some of the hillside tribes were so wonderful. The kids who we
met were just adorable.

This daughter changed her daily clothes to show us Lao traditional outfits that they only wear on special occasions. That was really nice of her, mom and brother.

Barbecued Rats anyone?  We passed.

Father and son walking home from a day working in the fields.

Between visits to hillside tribe villages, we also stopped by
and checked out the bear exhibit.

Yes, Johann was trying to pick a fight.

Out & About

Overlooking the city of Luang Prabang from a hillside temple.

Johann participating in giving alms (we gave sticky rice) to the monks. By the way, we went up at 4:30AM to do this, and of course this was a night when we got home late. Ouch, it was a bit difficult to get up but worth it. Such a unique ritual.

Stopped by at a waterfall to cool off. It was a beautiful spot to enjoy the lush scenery
out and about the lovely Luang Prabang.

This is a very popular appetizer in Laos. Newly fried spring rolls inserted in a pineapple with a few holes in it. With a small candle in the middle, made this delicious starter very appealing. Yummy!

Over 50 temples in the city, each unique and stunning in its own right.

Stopping for a moment to smell the roses while out on our private tour of the city.
Luang Prabang and its surroundings are absolutely stunning, can anyone really say anything else when it comes to this scenery? Wow!

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