Luang Prabang – The Pearl of the Orient
So peaceful and tranquil, being in Luang Prabang is like going back in time! With lantern-lit streets, Indochinese architecture, French villas and the Mekong River, Luang Prabang is a place where I wish I can stay forever.
Most of the time I rode a bicycle, speeding through the city and passing motor-bikes, tuk-tuks and racing with the school children. Or walking through the streets and visiting the temples here.
The longest ride was 64 kilometers back and forth to the Tat Kuang Si Falls bringing back memories of long bike rides with my childhood friends…
In the day of the ride was a celebration in Laos and people where drinking and singing. At the falls I was invited to join a group of beer drinking men. “Knyiok” is like “Cheers”. They drink beer with ice, one at a time. One guy has the glass filled with beer. He drinks. After he finished, the next guy has his glass filled with beer. And so on. Never two guys drink beer at the same time.
On the way to the falls I stopped to a couple of villages. Taking photos of a group of children, they demanded money. “Let’s go to buy candies” and the group of 10 followed me. At the time we arrived at the candies store, the group has grown to about 30 children! Don’t forget to count the children, otherwise they will fight for candies.
The visit to the Night Market became very interesting when I discovered many, many bottles, all sizes, with small and big snakes, cobras and spiders, all “floating” in Lao whiskey! The believe is the drink gives power to men.
The first marriage proposal! Two retired police officers tried to convince me at a glass of whiskey to marry the daughter of one of them. The Lao wife is the best, they said, and I do believe them!
In Luang Prabang you don’t see ads. How a city would look without any advertising? Very nice and relaxing for the eyes! It is very strange to see on the streets the red communist flag. Laos is a popular democratic country where you should “think first before doing something or saying something that maybe illegal in Laos” (from my Guesthouse room notice).
What I tried
- Healthy whiskey (all kind of roots added to the Lao whiskey)
- Hot stone massage
What I Didn’t Try
Date: December 2010