Luang Prabang, Laos, February 2024

You won’t often find me backtracking however I made an exception to catch up with a gang of old friends in the friendliest country in Asia.. Laos. We soaked up a week enjoying the charm of the pretty (World Heritage listed..) town of Luang Prabang. Situated at the junction of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers the town is a favourite for hiking, kayaking, waterfalls, caves and cruising the wide Mekong. We crammed in all of the above as well as cooking school (lemongrass, galangal and coriander are the flavours of Laos..), knife making and feeding and bathing some elephants.

The town is a picturesque place with its blend of Asian and French colonial architecture. The plentiful guesthouses have steep pitched roofs with wooden balconies, colourful shutters and are festooned with lanterns. Lush tropical gardens are de rigeur and shaded streets pop with colour from trailing bougainvillea. French bakeries and a cafe scene are also embraced by the culture. In the evenings the town is transformed again lit by lampposts and lanterns- perfect for open air dinners in balmy weather.

Laos has a deep respect for its Buddhist temples and traditions which also anchors life in the community. The morning alms- giving ceremony to provide food for the town monks is a gentle way to start the day for both locals and tourists alike. We visited only a handful of the dozens of temples in the town.. glittering sanctuaries that offer inspiration on your path to enlightenment. Somehow Laos still remains the best kept secret in Asia- a wonderfully gentle culture wrapped up in an enchanting setting. Perhaps Luang Prabang can entice me to return again??
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