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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Laos (Day 22) Lovely Luang Prabang

Hello, Laos

After a leisurely breakfast (gonna miss Red Bean tremendously), we gathered ourselves to depart Vietnam. We had arranged transfer with La Siesta to take us to the airport. Feeling like old pros now, we nonchalantly made our way to the gate without any obstacle. We were a little sad to leave Vietnam (definitely could have used an extra day in every place), but excited to go to Laos.  We had no idea what to expect as we didn't know anybody who had ever been to this country. Bragging rights now that we are back home!

Laos or Bust!


After a little over an hour, we landed at one of the cutest little airports we have ever seen. Cool as cucumbers, we went over to the little stand and began filling out our Visa paperwork. I don't know where everybody else went, but when we looked up ready to go, there was staff waiting on us. If you have any worries about entering Laos, set those aside for arriving in Luang Prabang - easy peasy.

We arrived at the ancient capital Luang Prabang (literally translates to "Royal Buddha Image"). The town (royal capital of the country until 1975) is an UNESCO World Heritage Site for unique and "remarkably" well preserved architectural, religious, and cultural heritage. 

We met our waiting driver (free, pre-arranged with our hotel) and made the short drive into the ancient town. As we pulled up alongside this river view, we knew immediately that we would love Luang Prabang.


We jumped out of the vehicle and immediately ran to the side of the road. THIS view! Giggling uncontrollably and jumping with happiness, we then tried to compose ourselves and went into the Mekong Riverview with some semblance of order.




We stayed at the river-facing Mekong Riverview hotel and it is so pretty on the peninsula right at the sacred confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong River. Talk about a good decision! 



There goes the neighborhood!

During the planning stages, I had struggled with whether it would be better to get a hotel with a pool. There are also a plethora of beautiful boutique choices.  Contributors to TripAdvisor advised me that this accommodation is THE place to stay and I have to AGREE! In fact, I kind of regret not returning here later on (though Rob and the kids say that they liked that we changed it up and had the other place with the pool). Anyways, this phenomenal room is a Junior Suite, Riverview with a king bed and two twins. That deck became my happy place where I would enjoy many beers. 



Luang Prabang is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries and even though it was raining, we made our way to a few of them dotting our path as we checked out this town for the first time in search of our first meal. 






Wat Sensoukaram aka Wat Sen. Originally built in 1718, its name means "Temple of 100,000 Treasures" giving rise to two stories of origin. One is that the temple was built from 100,000 stones from the Mekong River. The other story is that it was built from a 100,000 kip donation. The golden arch is just stunning and when you go in for a closer look, those red walls with gold overlay motifs take your breathe away. 





We found this temple as we wandered to what was a memorable delicious lunch and first time trying Laotian food. Food is heavily Thai influenced, so if you like spicy🌶 like I do, you will be over the moon here!






We are loving our first impression of Laos. The people are incredibly friendly and it's such a calm town and so easy to navigate. The kids can walk freely ahead or behind us as they take in the town sights.  I feel my pulse slow and my soul nourish.




Up Next: Wandering In Zen Town!

1 comment:

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