Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jewel of the Mekong

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site that sits on the Mekong River (10th longest river in the world) and the Nam Khan River.

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The architecture and cuisine of Luang Prabang has a strong French influence, due to France's annexation of Laos in the 18th century. There's elegant French Colonial architecture and all the guesthouses have beautiful hardwood floors.

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Consequently, the food is AMAZING, since I can get fresh vegetable spring rolls, spicy green papaya salad, curry, fresh baguettes, and crepes, all in the same place!

Luang Prabang is also known for its spiritual culture. Boys from all over the province come to Luang Prabang to study as monks. Novice monks can be quite chatty and Dana and I spoke with an 18-year old named Keo about his life as a monk. We also got up at 5:30 am to offer alms to the monks on their morning walk.

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Dana and I also explored Luang Prabang by bicycle. Despite being 103 degrees, it was still a fun way to see the city.

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We tested our legs by pedaling up to the Buddhist monastary on top of a large hill, where we enjoyed the view and were blessed by a tiny Buddhist nun. Although Luang Prabang is small in size and population, it is a very romantic city and the Lao people are quite friendly.

From She Flies With Her Own Wings

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