Luang Prabang (2)

27 10 2009

Tuesday 27th October 2009

streetWe have to agree with the Lonely Planet Guide’s description of Luang Prebang as greeting the traveller with colour. “Pearly frangipanni’s with their heady perfume, banks of overgrown trees peppered with scarlet flowers, the burnt sienna robes of hundreds of monks and their novices and resplendent gold and claret Wats,” and so the accolades go on. A town of 26,000 Luang Prebang is situated at the confluence of the Mekong and the Kahn River and is encircled by tree enshrouded mountains. In 1989 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site which means a blessed ban on buses and trucks and an 11.30pm curfew ensures the city maintains its traditional tranquil disposition.

wat & monkWe have been here for 2 days now and plan to stay at least another week. Knowing we have time to spare we have really begun to switch off, catch up on some reading, wander through the markets and along the tree lined laneways, stop at a shady outdoor café that takes our fancy and enjoy the French and Lao cuisine…

These northern Lao people of mixed ethnicity (many are Hmong) are very warm and friendly. We are staying in one of the scores of quaintly restored droomouble storey French Villas that ply as guesthouses. When entering any of the guesthouses there is an expectation that we will take off our shoes which is no hardship as all floors are immaculately polished local timbers. The floor boards in our bedroom are at least 10 inches wide and of beautifully featured grain in fact the local timber is used everywhere as you can see in this photo; even the ceiling is timber. From our upstairs room we look across a tree lined laneway fringed here and there with shady outdoor dining establishments, to the Mekong River with its constant river traffic. The far bank of the river is a forested slope leading up to a ridge on the skyline over which the sun is just setting.  Oh dear, I guess that means we will have to wander out in the warmth of the evening and find a quite dining establishment to enjoy what has been described as some of the best French Cuisine outside of Paris.

sticky rice cakes

Rice cakes drying in the sun. We won't be having these for dinner tonight.

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4 responses

28 10 2009
betty

what delightful place it sounds ..enjoy. love mum

28 10 2009
Roger and Maree

Hi Mum, don’t worry we are…

28 10 2009
VAl

It’s almost as good as being there Roger & Maree. Thank you for your comprehensive and colourful descriptions -I’ll look forward to more. Don’t worry about us here at St. John’s!!
Regards, Val

28 10 2009
Roger and Maree

St Johns! Where’s that? We do our best…sigh…I’ll have another freshly squeezed pineapple and mango juice please…

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