29 Aug 2013

Dang! Luang Prabang, You're Beautiful!

Gorgeous painted bamboo plates at the market
WOW! Luang Prabang! What an amazing and beautiful place!

So, Luang Prabang is actually on a peninsula between the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers. Needless to say, they're both very, very big, especially in monsoon season. They kind of make the Thames look like a babbling brook. 

For those fact fans out there, here's the location of Luang Prabang in Laos!
Close-up view of the town
Once we arrived here after our beautiful two day journey down the mighty Mekong we completely fell in love with this luscious green town. We were a little worried because August is the rainiest month of the rainy season, but that's nothing some stylish 
umbrellas couldn't fix. Plus rain in 30 degrees makes it all a little easier to bear!

Side note: As soon as we landed in town, we sat down for a cold drink before heading off for the usual guesthouse search, and before we knew it we were befriended by a very sweet little boy named Alan who had six toes! Yes count them, 6 bad boys!

It's a wonderful town to walk around in, with luscious greenery everywhere, and amazing views of the water, the surrounding jungle-y hills and temples at every turn. 

Something we kept spotting everywhere we walked was a gold temple up on the hill, and so it was that we found ourselves climbing the 400 slippy steps (see aforementioned rainy season) up Mount Phu Si (pronounced Poo-see) where we saw an imprint of Buddha's foot (!), several gold Buddhas, and an almighty view over all over Luang Prabang. Look, Maddy even stood on the edge! (talk about resting with your fears)

Imprint of Buddha's foot......


Of course, we sampled the delights of traditional Lao food... 

There's Khao Soi (pork balls in noodle soup)...

These little bad boys look like blinis but taste sort of like custardy pancakes, served up in banana leaves and are sold as street snacks straight off the pan. They are delicious!

And oh boy do they like their barbecues..nice of bit of ping sin (grilled pork) Paddy? It's a buffet for a quid a head - let's dig in! Now we're ready for the deep fried spiders and grilled snake in Cambodia (uh...)

There were also stalls full of who-knows-what-part-of-the-animal of which we did NOT take photos but instead have a photo of Maddy's reaction to said stalls.

Of course Laos used to be a French colony, and the influence is obvious in several different ways. The main one? BAGUETTES. Oh bread, how we have missed thee (but not the pounds you have added to our tummies).

The beautiful teak buildings are a reminder that this part of Laos is completely surrounded by teak groves. Makes everything look very luscious, particularly when posing next to nice cars, of which there are many down the more expensive end of town. Simon just borrowed this one for the day.

We also visited the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong. This wat was built in 16th century and it is considered one of the most important of Lao monasteries as up until 1975, all Lao kings were crowned there. The complex consists of over 20 structures of different sparkly pavilions and shrines.

This mosaic on the back wall of the main wat depicts the tree of life.
Maddy fell in love with all the blue and green mosaics...

That's a nice blue!
We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary in this beautiful town, but more on that in a later post...

On our final day in Luang Prabang, Maddy had some admin to do (work, eh?!) so Paddy took himself off for a cycle ride to some local waterfalls...they were truly stunning. (Side note from Maddy: almost jealous, but then she heard about the snake eating the lizard and thought maybe not)

Luang Prabang - we love you!

With love from Laos,
Maddy and Paddy xxx


  1. Ahhhhh! I heart Luang Prabang. Uber jealous! X

    p.s. Totally have that exact same big with the giant Budda!

    1. I remember reading about when you went to Luang Prabang, it is SO lovely! Hilarious that you have the same photo! xxx