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Luang Prabang

  • Luang Prabang, Mekong River, Laos
view the top of Mount Phousi over the old town of Luang Prabang and the Mekong River
© photo: whl.travel    
also known as:
Priority: High
Location Type: Destination
A UNESCO World Heritage city beautifully located amidst lush green hills at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan river impresses travelers with lots of history and charm over and over again.


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Wikipedia - Luang Prabang

Buddhist Temple, Luang Prabang, Laos
Buddhist Temple at Haw Kham (Royal Palace) complex

Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang (Lao: ຫລວງພະບາງ, literally: "Royal Buddha Image (in the Dispelling Fear mudra),"), is a city located in north central Laos, where the Nam Khan river meets the Mekong River about 425 km north of Vientiane. It is the capital of Luang Prabang Province. The current population of the city is about 103,000.
The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The city is also notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Wikitravel - Luang Prabang

monks in Luang Prabang
Photo of Alms Ceremony, Th. Sisavangvong, Luang Prabang, taken from across street - illustrating tourists behaving inappropriately at 6am monks' pageant

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.

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