Luang Prabang’s Innocence
Luang Prabang, Laos, former provincial capital of the nation, maintains an air of innocence, which is becoming far more difficult to find worldwide in this 21st century. Of the 58 surrounding small villages, which showcase rather remarkable shrines and temples, linked to a cultural and religious heritage, some 33 have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites.
With approximately 60,000 inhabitants, and with hill tribes scattered about the countryside, Luang Prabang offers both natural and historical sites. A visit to one of the hill tribes, a ride to see one of the spectacular cascading waterfalls or a boat trip up the Mekong River to the Pak Ou caves, filled with images of the Buddha are a few of the highlights to be offered the visiting traveler.
The Royal Palace Museum, former residence of the king, and found within the city is one of the major highlights. Local silversmiths, some of whom worked for the royal family, create magnificent pieces of filigree silver jewelry with items of jewelry and silverware to be found at most reasonable prices within local shops or at the local market. Each morning at the break of dawn, the streets within the small town are lined with buddhist novices and monks who walk the narrow lanes in procession accepting donations of rice from the local residents. This procession and offering is a daily occurrence within Luang Prabang.
The best time to visit the country is November through February. With cool winter nights within the mountain regions. daytime temperatures are mild and well outside the rainy season and tropical heat.
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