Luang Prabang – City of the Golden Buddha - The Traveller


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Luang Prabang – City of the Golden Buddha

Golden Buddha
Luang Prabang city in Laos is also known as the `City of the Golden Buddha’, offering visitors many amazing temples and serene pace. It is located in north central Laos at the confluence of the Rivers Nam Khan and Mekong about 300 km north of Vientiane and is the capital of Luang Prabang Province with a population of around 50,000.

It was also known by the ancient name of Chiang Thong and till the communist took over in the year 1975, it was the royal capital and the seat of the government of the Kingdom of Laos. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city is well known for its various Buddhist temple and monasteries where hundreds of monks from various monasteries walk each morning through the streets collecting alms. The Luang Prabang Monks are an interesting part of the culture and a signature of the city.

Main Industry - Tourism

Most of the people of Laos are Buddhist and hence an integrated part of society. Boys especially from poor families attend monk classes and get educated through these monasteries though most of them leave at the age of 18 -20 resulting in less monks.

Those who do not spend time at the monastery think it their duty to become monks later on in life, devoting some time for the same. A major landmark in the city is a large steep hill which has the Wat Chom Si. The surrounding areas of Luang Prabang is occupied with stunning mountains with lust green vegetation and the popular spots to explore are the waterfalls, Kuang S and Tad Sae as well as the caves Pak Ou.

One can also visit the whiskey village or weaving village close to which is the paper village and visitors can take the opportunity of good bargains on handmade paper books or beautiful silk scarfs.

The main industry in Luang Prabang and Laos is tourism with the main attraction in Laos being the chance to get a glimpse of the old, unspoiled Asia. The official slogan of Laos is `simply beautiful’, which is an apt description of this amazing city.

Entertainment – Traditional/Modern Dancing

Golden Buddha
There are many options on transportation in Luang Prabang. The inner city is easy to walk on foot since there is one-way traffic on both the roads by the river and other side roads. It takes about twenty five minutes by the main road of Luang Prabang to walk from the start of the night market to the tip of the peninsula.

With regards to entertainment, it ranges from traditional dancing to movies, modern dancing or sports like petong and pool. The national museum offers traditional dancing shows at night and the tickets are quite affordable.

 The shows though short are intense and well balanced. Luang Parbang has a tropical wet and dry climate under the Koppen climate classification and though the city is very warm throughout the year, it is fairly cool during the months of December and January.

 It also has wet and dry seasons with wet season starting from April till October while dry season during the remaining five months.

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