Though Vientiane is the capital of Laos, Luang Prabang is probably the most visited city by tourists in Laos. With its location along the famous Mekong river Luang Prabang is the touristic beating heart in Laos. Even when you wish to travel off the touristic track, still a visit to Luang Prabang can be a wonderful experience. From Luang Namtha the travel to Luang Prabang was made by a small bus.
Leaving from Luang Namtha bus station early in the morning and arriving in Luang Prabang late in afternoon. One of the main reasons for making a stop here was the famous Mekong River. The Mekong river has many different faces. These faces especially caused by its beautiful nature. Along the Mekong River there are many places where you can stay and enjoy the beauty of this Asian pearl.
Also here at Luang Prabang, where along the Mekong river there are many activities arranged for tourists. Cruising the Mekong river itself is already a pleasure itself. Though not always necessary, its best is to arrange a ticket a day ahead. Especially if you wish to go at a preferred time. Walking in Luang Prabang along the to the point of departure along the river.
Even early in the morning Luang Prabang is bustling with activity. At the point of departure there are still several boats waiting. The tall elegant boats remind a bit of previous trips made on the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar. The long river boats made for shallow waters are mostly painted in blue green and red/brown colors. After only a short period of waiting the boat driver goes on its way.
Immediately the river presents its faces of interest, diversity and beauty. Old colonial houses near the riverside that have their remembrance about historic times. The boat construction along side the river, though also the construction of electricity dams. Still important part of the life takes place there on the Mekong River. The fisherman, simple wooden houses along the riverside are an example of that.
At one of our stops we arrive at a small village. Though truly now equipped as tourist attraction it shows some views of Laos culture. With a demo how they make alcohol, included with the convincing words that some animals put in the alcohol boost healing powers. The bottles contain, for example, snakes, scorpion other insects contained in the alcohol.
The village also offers a view of the Lao religious culture combined with the sales of Lao traditional clothing. Most of the clothing presented in a wide range of bright and eye catching colors. After its stop the boat continues its trip on the Mekong river. The time of the year can also give the Mekong another face, one of an active tiger. This late spring time of year the river is quiet and It has a face of being a sleep.
Along the riverside some other attractions are provided, one of them is the Elephant riding. When arriving at the village that provides the rides people are invited for the trip. Ofcourse to attend for the Elephant trips a ticket has to be purchased. When needed with some help you are seated on the elephants back together with the driver the trips are usually not too long around the village towards the riverside.
However for a first elephant riding experience it is a nice event to attend to. Also its an advantage when you haven’t a fear of heights. Continuing the river trip the boat arrives at the cave. The cave in the rocks is just along side the river. When the boats lays along side the simple dock there is the climb up the rocky stairs. The cave is a real touristic cave however it is a fantastic place to use as a Photo viewpoint.
In the cave being at the highest point with a river view, you have an amazing viewpoint. With the cave surrounding you, combined with the view over the Mekong river towards the mountains. Also inside the cave there is some place for worship. Heading out of the cave down there is the square for rest and relax a bit. At the square some statues of worship are placed, together with places to sit and enjoy the view.
When lunch is done heading back to boat to enjoy more of the Mekong River. With its farmers that grow crops close along the riverside. Besides the human live there is also the animal life. Depending on time of day and period of visit the animal life can be active. Enough for anyone to enjoy, Cows are usually seen near the riverside. When sun sets the birds show their presence with their whistling sounds.
When sun sets the human life slows down, however the animal life takes its place. Sunsets along the Mekong river are amazing. The best way for a good impression is to be there and enjoy. Back in Luang Prabang ends the day on the river and starts the enjoyments of the evening…
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