After a day of recuperation and relaxation on our first full day in Luang Prabang, we were ready for exploring. Luang Prabang is known for its numerous Buddhist temples, so we today was going was to be a temple day!
However, we had a little matter of moving to another hotel. We packed our belongings and headed to our new hotel, which ironically was right in front of a temple. We explored this temple a little before deciding heading to the main road, where some of the most impressive temples were located.
Here we found several smaller temples, which were brilliant examples of Buddhist Architecture, but I think what made these temples so interesting, were they were living temple, not relics of the past. You could see monks at every single one of them.
It was another thing, which I loved about Luang Prabang, the monks. You would see them everywhere, walking about, taking tuk-tuks and doing, well, actually I don’t know, but I know that many young children from poor families join monasteries as it is one of the few ways they can get a decent meal and a decent education.
Just like London’s streets feature pub after pub in certain area, Luang Prabang’s main feature was the abundance of temples at every corner and street. It was what makes the city special, among other things, however for me its defining feature, as I mentioned in my previous post was its relaxed feel… Time in Luang Prabang took its time, it was in no hurry and that suited us just fine.
Furthermore, Luang Prabang’s architecture was and interesting mix between French colonial and local Buddhist, which seemed to add to the feeling of calm and serenity of the city.
We continued down the main road to Wat Xien Thong, one of the most important monasteries of Laos, but it also seemed to be one of the most impressive, with great selection of great structures; intricate decorations, which included some interesting use of shiny and glass tiles to show stories on some of the temple walls.
It was here in Wat Xien Thong a merely toddler managed to scare the living daylights out of us. As we walking around the temple, we spotted a little girl playing. We walked towards her and she smiled at us. She was such a little beauty we couldn’t help smiling back, that was until she pointed to us and then slid the thumb of her hand across her throat as if to indicate that she was going to slit our throats, all of this while still smiling.
Raquel and I, stood there stunned and decided to move along before this little killer decided that we were her next victims…
We left the temples ground and walked towards the end of the main street to the point where the Mekong river met the Nam Khan river, giving us some great views of the river.
We finalized our day with a few more temples (none as impressive as Wat Xien Thong), before getting some dinner, which was always followed by a walk in the night market, which we enjoyed not only because we just the shopping there, but also at the great photo opportunities.
Luang Prabang was making it very hard for us not to fall in love with it!
This post was based on our day of the 3rd of October 2012.
Hotel: Sayo Guesthouse – Double room including AC, TV, Fridge and ensuite bathroom $15 per night (see our review of hostel here)