The big Indochina trip: exploring Luang Prabang 

Today I’ve had a relaxed day walking around central Luang Prabang, checking out the various temples and museums. 

I started with Luang Prabang national museum which contains the royal palace as well as the Prabang temple. The palace is suitably luxurious and besides showing off the various rooms has a number of royal gifts on display. You aren’t allowed to take photos inside but it’s interesting.  The Prabang temple is newly built but very elaborately decorated, it’s really impressive. It houses the Prabang Buddha a statue that was given to the king of Lan Xang kingdom (historic kingdom in Laos) in 1512 and the city was named Luang Prabang after it. Again, no photos inside but it’s really impressive. 

Prabang temple from the outside 

They really like these hydra creatures 

The view from the porch 

Next to the museum is mount Phousi, a small hill only about 100 meters high but it still counts as a mountain. I hiked up to the stupa at the top then walked down slowly, stopping at the temples that are scattered across the lower slopes. 

Stupa on the way up

Stupa at the top 

View of the city from above 

Stupa and view of the river

Some Buddha statue from the way down

A small shrine inside a cave

 Snake figures mark the sides of the path

At the end of the peninsula where the Nam Khan river flows into the Mekong, lies the most famous temple in the city, Wat Xieng Thong. It is big with several smaller temples and shrines within the temple complex. I happened to be there when a sermon was going on so I could hear the chanting and see the people praying. 

One of the temples 

The large urn and litter stored inside

The main temple 

People praying and chanting

One of the smaller shrines inside and out

Very shiney stupa

There are more temples nearby  but none quite as famous or impressive as these. I kept wandering around the peninsula the rest of the afternoon and just enjoyed not doing anything.  For dinner I went t0 a French Lao fusion restaurant called Tangor and had a really good fish ceviche with lemongrass and chili, highly recommended. 

The river just before sunset.

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