Laos, Travel

A Weekend in Luang Prabang, Laos

It appears that Laos is gaining a lot of popularity amongst tourists, another great article in The New York Times: 36 hours in Luang Prabang, Laos (click here to read the article.) Below are photos of A Weekend in Luang Prabang, Laos.

While the tourist crowds are just starting to hit Laos, the beguiling ancient capital of Luang Prabang still feels as if it’s on the cusp of discovery. The night market, left, is beautifully art-directed — a red canvas canopy covers each vendor while rice paper lamps glow over Laos silk scarves and Hmong embroidery.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Locals sell their crafts along Sisavangvong, Luang Pragbang’s main walking street.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Mount Phousi — visible from most of Luang Prabang — provides an easy orientation to this compact city of roughly 30,000 people. Hike up the snaking, steep 328 steps — or 355, but who’s counting? — to reach the top.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Monks receiving alms as dawn breaks in a scene that is one of Luang Prabang’s main draws. Busloads of tourists stake out prime real estate with carpets and footstools. Yet something sacred survives the hype. Led by the stately gait of older monks, the silent processions weaves into side streets, where locals kneel besides elaborate homemade offerings.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Caruso Lao Home Craft is as much gallery as store. The owner, Sandra Yuck, tirelessly seeks out finest works from carvers, turners, silversmiths and weavers.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Fibre2Fabric Gallery is a nonprofit with curators on hand to explain displayed textiles from the minorities of Laos.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Land-locked Laos does not have the culinary reputation of Thailand or Vietnam, yet Tamarind Restaurant makes the case for a national cuisine. The restaurant is mod-Lao (or even spa-Lao): grilled fresh fish, locally grown greens and vegetables, and an abundance of fresh herbs like local basil, mint and coriander.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

The menu at the very popular 3 Nagas is based on what’s local and fresh that day — from buffalo meat to Mekong River fish.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

One might breakfast on fresh French baked goods and strong roasted Laotian coffee at JoMa Bakery, directly across from where the monks get alms.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Images of the Buddha on view inside Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important temples in Laos, built around 1560. The elaborate paintings and carvings are a splendid, eye-saturating feast.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

A trip down the Mekong River on a longtail boat will glide past limestone cliffs and terrace farms, fisherman wading with nets, and boats streaming from China laden with motorcycles.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Along the Mekong, you might visit the Pak Ou Caves, which shelter countless images of Buddha. The caves are noted for their impressive Lao-style sculptures assembled over the centuries by local people and pilgrims. Hundreds of mostly wooden Buddha figures are laid out over the floors and wall shelves.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

The boat ride along the Mekong stops at the weaving village of Ban Xang Khong, also known for its mulberry paper making.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

One might disembark from the boat ride and visit the village of Ban Cha, a pottery village of about 65 families. Here, residents of Ban Cha celebrate the birth of a child with a feast.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

A young man fishing below Kuang Si Waterfalls, about 22 miles from Luang Prabang.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Dining outdoors near the pool at La Residence Phou Vao, five miles outside Luang Prabang. The hotel has lotus-filled ponds, decadent spa huts and views of golden stupas in the far-off mountains.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

The grounds surrounding La Residence Phou Vao.

Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Photo: Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

10 thoughts on “A Weekend in Luang Prabang, Laos”

  1. Beautiful lamp-lights and paper umbrellas. And I certainly want a dozen of those Buddha statue, it’s very expensive here. The restaurant is a perfect ambience to taste traditional Laos delicacies as well.

  2. As you can see, I’m posting about Laos more frequent now, I’m hoping to go back to visit soon, this will be my first time going back. I think photographers have eyes for beauty and most only choose the angles that are beautiful for us to see, but to me Laos is beautiful regardless of which angles.

  3. หลวงพระบางสวยมากครับ เมื่อสองวันที่แล้ว หนังเรื่องสบายดี หลวงพระบาง เข้าฉายวันแรก ได้ไปดูมาแล้วรอบแรกเลย หนังเรื่องนี้เป็นหนังที่ตั้งใจอยากดูมาก ไม่ใช้เพราะนางเอกหรอกนะ เพราะกลิ่นอายของธรรมชาติและความหลงใหลที่มีต่อประเทศลาวต่างหาก

    แต่หลังจากดูจบแล้ว นอกจากความอบอุ่นของเรื่องราว และ ภาพบรรยากาศ ธรรมชาติที่สวยงามแล้ว อดที่จะบอกไม่ได้ว่า แอบชอบนางเอกด้วย นางเองที่ชื่อ คำลี่ น่ารักมาก ไม่รู้ว่า nye ได้ดูแล้วหรือยัง ถ้าได้ดูแล้ว อยากให้เขียนถึงหนังเรื่องนี้บางจัง..

    สบายดี บายๆ

  4. Sawatdee Wutthiphan, I did blog about Sabaidee Luang Prabang at Laovoices awhile back. I’ve not seen the movie yet, but looking forward to watching it also. Since you already saw the movie, maybe you can do a review for us, and I will translate, there are readers out there that would love to read about the movie.

    I guess nang’ek Khamly Philavong is the new Lao/Thai sweetheart, just not too long ago you were talking about your noung Alexandra, change your mind that fast? 🙂

  5. สบายดีครับ nye, เหอๆ ก็น้องอเ้ล็กซานดร้าเขาไปเรียนต่อที่ญี่ปุ่นแล้ว เลยไม่ค่อยมีผลงานให้ได้ติดตาม (แก้ตัวขึ้นหรือเปล่านะ อิอิ)

  6. I guess that’s a good excuse, sad for her though, by the time she is ready to come back, hope her fans will receive her with a warm welcome.

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