Thursday, February 18, 2016

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang was a name I have never heard of until Dad planned this holiday. I looked the place up and there is much information on the Internet, and so I shall not bore you with facts of the place. To me, Luang Prabang was like no other place I have visited, as it was still very much untouched by Westernisation, perhaps due to its UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Personally, I felt that being sandwiched between two rivers really gave the place a unique character. And not just any river, they were the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. I guess having the rivers made up for not having any sea access. 

There were many tuktuks around, which I assumed was their main form of public transportation. I liked how the buildings there was of different eras, architecture, height and usage - all adding to the charm of the place.

I liked how the place was still very green with both foreign planted trees and also growing original plants.

I liked how small lanes connect main roads after every few blocks. These lanes were clean and meandered through residential blocks, which provided a little window to the local life.

In addition to the many Buddhist temples dotting the capital, I found the amalgamation of French, Chinese and Laotian architecture the next best attraction. Okay, fine, food, too.

Some shops were owned and operated by immigrants, mostly from the southern part of China. Like this girl manning this souvenir shop, she and her family originated from Yunnan, a south-western Chinese province that shares borders with Laos. We started talking to her because Dad was waiting for Mum and Aunt to exchange currencies. Tip: Bring as much USD or Chinese RMB to exchange - the MYR is not wanted here.

It had a different kind of charm as the sun set and night fell...

In addition to the permanent shops...

... there was also the night market. Literally, the whole street was lined with stalls.

Mostly sold local handicraft but one specifically caught my eye because no matter what, we all have to be updated, do we not? ;)

And in all honesty, I felt so blessed to be born in Malaysia to the family that I am in after taking in more of the sights and sounds of the place. Really, we have nothing to complain about and should learn to be grateful for what we have.

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