Posted by: James Shannon | July 8, 2011

Lurking The Streets of Luang Prabang, Laos: Part I

After a restful four hour sleep in my guesthouse room, located in one of countless French colonial era mansions, it was time to troll the streets of my first new country in two months.

And what a place to explore, but one of the most gorgeous towns in the entire nation of Laos, Luang Prabang…

After walking several minutes due east from the guesthouse, I ran into the beautiful Nam Khan River (not the Mekong like I had originally thought) … suddenly all the effort of getting here was paid off, with a view like this!

Children playing in the river … hung out here for a good five minutes

These kids were taking a log up the river, and riding it back down the mini-rapids … the simplicity and the fun of it blows my mind!

Luang Prabang was considered by French colonial rulers in the 19th and 20th centuries to be the administrative centre of Northern Laos, so the town is filled with all sorts of ballin’ mansions, like this one…

… and this one …

… and this one, though its a bit more modern 🙂  Obscene displays of wealth amongst the much more modest dwellings of normal Laotians is par for the course here … what was it that George Orwell said in Animal Farm?  All animals are created equal … but some are more equal than others?  Something like that…

Welcome to the third world…

Despite a spartan storefront, a bakery turns out scrumptious looking cakes … yummmyyy!

Every rose has its thorn … (don’t sue me Poison 😛 )

Out of all the pics I took in Luang Prabang, I think this one catches the essence of spirit of the streets of this city best.

Monks shield themselves from the tropical sun at midday in downtown Luang Prabang.

And with that, I’m going to cut this post into two pieces.  There was much to see and experience and see in this relaxing, placid town.

The next installment will have us visiting a hilltop temple with a million kip view of the area, plus sunset on the Mekong … BeerLao time!


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