The Haw Phra Kaew temple houses a museum with interesting artifacts from Laos' history. The Wat Si Saket is the oldest surviving Wat in the capital Vientiane and is home to hundreds of Buddha images. Both these sites are situated close to each other and a walk to them will also take you past the Presidential palace.
Along the way there are many view points where you get views of the entire town of Luang Prabang overlooking the Mekong if you started on the side I did. When you reach the top, you will see on the very highest point of the hill, the Wat Chom Si, a gilded stupa. Right below the Wat Chom Si is a temple housing another Buddha, and his fierce cat guardian, watching over town and temple.
The Kuang Si falls outside Luang Prabang are famous for their inviting turquoise waters and basins which form natural bathing pools. The falls are stunningly beautiful and offer a great way to cool off in the afternoon heat.
Luang Prabang is the cultural and religious center of Laos, home to over 30 Wats or Buddhist temples. A visit to some of the Wats of Luang Prabang a great way to get a glimpse of the cultural and artistic history of Laos. And as you will discover, walking from Wat to Wat will let you take in so much more of Luang Prabang in between and experience the charm of the city in a much deeper way.
The Pha That Luang stupa and the Patuxai monument are two important national symbols of Laos. The Pha That Luang was an old stupa that was destroyed in a Thai invasion in the early 19th century and rebuilt by the French. The Patuxai was built more recently to celebrate Laos' return to independence.
We went upstream for close to hour, passing by other boats and boat homes while also catching glimpses of life by the river banks, of bungalows and other places on the right where Luang Prabang and the outskirts extend and more isolated landscape of hills and trees with the occasional building on the banks to the left. After a while when the sun was starting to set, the boatman stopped the motor and let the boat just drift back. We had truly memorable moments then watching the sunset on the horizon of the Mekong river and the interplay of colors between the rays of sunlight on the waters and the land around. And a sunset on Luang Prabang is really best enjoyed with a refreshing glass of Beer Lao.
Luang Prabang is one of my most favorite places in the world. It will be a stretch if I told you that my stay at the BelleRive is the reason for it, but this beautiful boutique hotel on the bank of the Mekong river certainly helped.
Luang Prabang is a city of Wats or Buddhist monasteries. There are many Wats there and the monks who live in them are a common sight around the city. Every morning in Luang Prabang many of the monks and residents take part in the Tak Bat, or morning alms giving ceremony.
The Luang Prabang night market is quite a different experience from the chaotic bustle of other similar markets in Asia. This one is leisurely, peaceful and almost quiet, but far from lacking. There is plenty of things uniquely Lao here that will pique the interest of the most skeptical visitors.
Les 3 Nagas was where I had my first taste of Lao cuisine. It was my first and best meal in Laos and set the standard against which I started to compare all the other restaurants I ate in. While I had great food in Laos, no where else quite compared to the food at the Les 3 Nagas restaurant in Luang Prabang.
The food was delicious and spicy! Especially the larb which I wolfed down with gusto, peppers and all and endured a mild bit of indigestion the next morning but it still was worth it. So a great choice it turned out to be and I highly recommend it as a Lao cuisine option in Vientiane.
Vientiane's long and wide waterfront promenade comes to full life in the weekend nights. There are crowds of people enjoying various activities on the promenade and its parks, from families enjoying an evening out to young couples enjoying a stroll and teenagers biking and skateboarding through. The night market right behind the promenade is also a major draw for the teeming crowds.