Luang Prabang is considered one of the three most interesting places to visit in South East Asia, the other two are Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar. I did visit Luang Prabang during rain season and the river Mekong was mightier than ever.
I arrived in the end of July at that time it normally rains almost continuously for three to four days in a row. After that, one can exspect one or two days better weather, before it rains for another four more days!
Crossing mighty Mekong at this time of the year is not easy, the current is very strong and the boats drifts several hundred meters downstream. Big boats going up streams goes near the shore, trying to avoid the strongest current in the middle of the river. But the boats speed is still very low they are almost not moving at all.
After really heavy rains one can see whole trees floating down the river Mekong. One can see local people in boats searching for drift woods in the river. They are trying to pick as much wood they can.
The restaurant along the Mekong shore is a cheap option for food in Luang Prabang. The main dish on the menu is of course fish. If there is good weather it´s a very nice place for a dinner and the can be recommended.
The French people have left many French Colonial buildings around Luang Prabang. They arrived in 1867 for the first time. Most buildings are probably from 1890 to 1910 time. Laos received its name and borders from France.
The Blue House was built in late 1920s by Mr Maohui Yun a Chinese born in Hainan 1897. The Blue House is listed as a World Heritage of Unesco.
Anakha Boutique is located in the ground floor of the Blue House. They are selling locally produced cloths a combination of raw Lao village’s fabric together with sophisticated Vietnamese velvet silk from the view of French designer creates Anucha’s products.
There are many small bed and breakfast hotels and restaurants in the old building along the Mekong shore.
Early morning egg delivery to hotels and restaurants conducted by scooter. The driver needs to be very careful if he drives into a pothole he might lose whole delivery.
The Buddhist Temple at Haw Kham the Royal Palace complex!
The Phra Bang Buddha, palladium of Lan Xang and namesake of Luang Prabang, Laos. The Phra Bang is regarded as the most sacred and culturally significant Buddha image in Laos. The image is Khmer in origin and cast using an alloy of bronze, gold and silver. This is the reason Luang Prabang is one of South East Asia’s most important religious places.
The Phra Bang Buddha statue was cast in Ceylon between 1st and the 9th century. It arrived in Luang Prabang in 1359, and the town was renamed.
Buddha temples are everywhere and sometimes young monks can be seen! However the early morning Buddhists Alms Giving ceremony along the main street is the place to see the monks.
The Wat Sene Souk Haram constructed 1718 by King Kitsarath is one of the most beautiful temples of Lunag Prabang.
The Wat Sene Souk Haram is also called Temple of 100 000 treasures. The temple is constructed by 100 000 stones from Mekong river.
The Wat Sene is the first monastery in Luang Prabang whose vihan was covered with yellow and red tiles in the modern Thai fashion.
The Buddhist Alm Giving Ceremony goes back to 1400 century. One needs to go up early since the ceremony starts at sun rise on the main street in Luang Prabang.
The oldest monks come in early morning and the youngest monks finish the Buddhist Alm Giving Ceremony.
Rice sellers are available and sell rice for the ceremony, one need to be properly dressed to take part in this ceremony. Women must keep their head lower than the monk and don’t look up at the monk.
The ceremony last for one hour so by 6:45 AM the ceremony is finished
Time to take care of chairs, rice bowl and mats and prepare for tomorrows Buddhist Alm Giving Ceremony.
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