Posted by The SoleSisters on -
Most people only think of Vang Vieng and river tubing when they think of Laos. Most people skip this amazing little town called Luang Prabang, located in the north central part of Laos.
They say that the Buddha smiled when he rested in Luang Prabang for a day during his travels, prophesying that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful capital city. Indeed in the 13th century A.D., that town became a powerful capital of the kingdom of Lan Xang.
I didn't want to be one of these people so I made sure that Luang Prabang would be the first city on my first time traveling solo. Let me tell you exactly what you would be missing if you skipped this quiet, little town:
Slow Boat Ride on the Mekong River
I took the 30-hour bus ride to get to Luang Prabang from Vietnam. However, if you crossed from the Thailand side to get to Laos, there's a more scenic way to get to this city.
|Photo Credit: Meredith Randall|
|Photo Credit: dominiqueb|
Everyday, between 6 to 7 am, monks walk around town collecting alms of rice for their daily sustenance. It took me 3 days of trying before I actually managed to wake up and experience this rare spectacle.
|Photo Credit: birgerhoppe|
If you really want to partake in this ceremony, it would be wise if you went with a local. Or ask your guesthouse staff to arrange the visit for you.
|Photo Credit: tallphil|
Question: What can you get for 10,000 LAK (2.50 USD) at the night market located along the main street of Luang Prabang?
Answer: All-you-can-eat noodles, vegetables, fruits, rice and so much more!
After stuffing your face silly with all that buffet goodness, you can shop to your heart's content from the many stalls that stretch along the main street. Or if you're like, ahem...me, shop only as much as your meager backpacker's budget will allow. A wrap-around skirt (4 USD), Beer Lao shirt (1 USD), a tube dress (3 USD) was all that my meager budget would allow.
Free The Bears Rescue Center
Just an hour's ride away from the city center, right at the entrance of Tat Kuang Si Park, you can find the cutest, most adorable creatures you'll ever see. They'll make you go goo-goo and gaga over them.
The center now has 23 bears that have been rescued from poachers and traffickers. They have been given a new life, a new home and a playground! Now, all they need is a t.v. and someone to take care of their cable management and they'll be all set.
If you want to help free the bears, you can donate through the Free The Bears online shop.Kuang Si Waterfalls
Ahhhhh! That's what your reaction will be when you see this place. I know that's how I felt like when I saw my first glimpse of this paradise. I love this place so much that we went again the very next day! This is definitely one of the highlights of my stay in Luang Prabang, hands down.
Still dreaming about Luang Prabang,
Sole Sister Chichi
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