Ancient Royal Capital
Luang Prabang Travel Blog› entry 15 of 82 › view all entries
Luang Prabang is one place many people rave about ... it is a riverine town on the side of the Mekong and home to an eclectic mix of Lao shophouses, royal palace, temples and colonial mansions. By day, one explores these sights but by night ... the street gets converted into a handicraft megamart, the restaurants and bars come alive ... but close at 23:30 sharp to maintain some semblence of Lao village life.
I feel sorry for the locals ... there are endless guesthouses, restaurants and craft stalls but few tourists to be seen. I hope for their sake it is the low season. Or perhaps the margins are high enough to support just the odd sale.
Due to the UNESCO World Heritage protection, development has been tasteful and there is considerable effort to maintain the traditional look.
One street off the main drag, there are numerous restaurants beautifully set on the banks of the Mekong. Shared a bottle of French white with an Aussie headmistress named Louise whom I had met on the Air Asia flight up ... she feels her children aren't experiencing the world enough (you know, doing the career and family thing ... ie. normal) ... my Mum would wish I'd do that instead of tripping around :-)