Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang

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Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is Laos’ biggest tourist draw. I was lucky enough to visit during the slow season and enjoyed several peaceful days, wandering the streets and watching the Mekong flow by from riverside cafes.

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

I’ve met many people who absolutely loved this town and more than a few who really hated it. The most common complaint was that it was too “Disneyland” for their tastes. I can understand why they feel that way — Luang Prabang has been fully transformed into a major tourist destination. Its quaint, narrow streets are lined with an endless array of hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies.

While not the place to go for an authentic Laos experience (whatever that is), it is a beautiful town and a great spot to while away a few days. It’s a World Heritage site, so traffic is limited to motorbikes and tuk tuks in the Historic District, making for relaxing and peaceful exploration. In low season, prices were reasonable and the streets were mostly empty. I don’t think I want to see what it’s like in high season.

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

With a couple of dozen temples (wats) in town, monks are a common sight at any time of the day. At sunrise, however, they line up to receive alms from the devout, making for an ideal photo opportunity. This, too, has been co-opted for tourism, with busloads of tourists arriving just before dawn. The tourist service supplies them with a blanket to kneel on and a basket of sticky rice to dole out to the monks for good karma.

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

As the monks pass by, street kids line up to receive their share. Within a half hour, each had several pounds of sticky rice to take home to the family.

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

Not everything is sunshine and rainbows in Luang Prabang — ferocious, wild animals roam the streets at will.

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

Travel Photos: Enjoying the Quiet Life in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt August 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Liking these photos Wes! Love those ferocious cats. It’s been fun following your journey. Laos looks like a place I would like to photograph one day soon.

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wes August 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thanks, Matt. Laos is just stunning, visually. I’ve had 2 bus rides and 2 boat rides so far and each trip was eye-candy all the way.

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Lily August 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

You have such a good eye for scenes that are more than mere photos. The ferocious dog made me laugh out loud, he’s smiling at the camera!

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wes August 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Looks can be deceiving — he’s a trained killer!

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pirate63 August 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm

glad you enjoyed it there Wes,we chilled out there for a week,those pic’s are stunning!

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wes August 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Great spot, isn’t it?

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AJ Alexy August 19, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Thanks Wes. I almost dissolved absorbing the peacefulness of these shots, especially the dog and kitties.

AJ

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wes August 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Thanks, AJ — I appreciate it.

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Matt Hope August 20, 2010 at 3:40 am

hahaha, love the ferocious animals. I was staring at the first one of the dog like… wait, what? Then the cats sealed the sarcasm deal.

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Andi August 20, 2010 at 4:51 am

Oh how I love these photos!!! The tree shot is very cool. And the monks, wow!

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wes August 23, 2010 at 7:02 am

Thanks, Andi! Appreciate it!

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LeslieTravel January 2, 2011 at 12:46 am

Great photos! I have to agree with the people you spoke wit– Luang Prabang is not representative of Laos. We stayed there a few days and also made our way through Laos in shared pick up trucks, visiting smaller towns and cities. However, it is a beautiful spot and has relatively luxurious accommodations. It was much easier for a foreigner to navigate L.P. than the rest of the country (save the backpacker Mecca of Vang Vieng). I’m sure that’s why it’s so popular with tourists.

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wes January 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

I totally agree. LP is nice and a great intro to Laos, but the good stuff is out in the boonies. Thanks for the comment!

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julie January 24, 2011 at 9:34 am

hey cuz way cool ya going to ever travel back home love ya miss ya. (what happen to your hair? ) p.s. bring me a present my b-day is in feb ha ha no really love ya

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wes January 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Yeah, the hair didn’t last long :( Thanks for the comment!

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joyce long friend of your mothtrs April 21, 2011 at 1:04 am

i love reading all :) the kitties are soooooooooo cute,orenge are the best :)
be safe and have lots of fun cutie.
joyce

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wes April 21, 2011 at 8:34 am

Thanks, Joyce! Glad you like it :)

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