Photo of Alms Ceremony, Th. Sisavangvong, Luang Prabang, taken from across street - illustrating tourists behaving inappropriately at 6am monks' pageant
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The main road, Xiang Thong, of Luang Prabang is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture - reminders of when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochine. Golden-roofed wats (temples), decorated with mosaics and murals of the life of Buddha sit under the gaze of wrap-around balconies and 19th century shuttered windows.
As a visitor, you cannot help but be amazed by the tidiness and cleanliness of perhaps the most charming city in all of south-east Asia. With UNESCO so closely involved and a largely highly responsible group of local business owners, the pressures of mass tourism development have been held at bay, but for how much longer remains to be seen.