Thursday, November 6, 2014

Luang Prabang, Laos

After a couple weeks exploring the calm, quiet, humble Northern part of Laos, it was time to head to Luang Prabang, Laos' most popular tourist destination and former capital. While much bigger than any of our previously visited cities in Laos, Luang Prabang still had a small, quiet feel. 

We spent a good amount of time exploring the many wats in town and also partaking in some treats that aren't as widely available in the rest of Laos, like chocolate croissants, crepes, and baguette sandwiches (hello, French influence!). 

{Haw Pha Bang}

{Haw Kham Royal Palace Museum}

{On our first night there, we discovered these vegetarian buffets, where you can fill a large bowl with anything from the buffet for $1.25. While it's a great bang for your buck, after day two of eating this for dinner, we decided the queasy after-effect wasn't worth the attractive price.}

{Fruit shakes are common here. Of course, they're delicious. There's this section of the market where you'll find about 10-15 different tables set up selling fruit shakes. They're all literally selling the same thing for the same price and when you walk by, the ladies behind the counter wave their menus at you, begging you to buy from their shop. If you don't choose them, they say, "Okay, tomorrow you buy from me."}

{View of the Buddha inside one of the many temples.}

{A common sight outside the temples}\

The best view of the city is seen on the top of Phousi hill, a 328-step journey from the middle of town. There is a small temple on top, but the real jewel of the hill is the views. While we were on top, a quick monsoon hit, forcing us to take shelter in the temple and then offering some gorgeous, stormy views of the hilltops and Mekong River.

{Wat Tham Phousi}

{The sun barely peaking through the stormy clouds}

{We found another rickety bridge to walk across... I was less than thrilled about crossing, but there were some great views from the middle.}

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