Monday, November 30, 2009

Laos Trip - Luang Prabang

After almost 12 hours of journey by bus, I have reached the World Heritage city of Luang Prabang at almost 9 in the morning. It is the former capital of Laos and as I have said, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and I was excited to roam the city. There, I met my tour guide Vang so we left the bus station and led me to a place where I can have a breakfast. It was a quick meal so we started our journey.

Our first spot was in this place (damn I forgot the name!) where there were at least 4 wats (temples) and numerous monks. I managed to get inside each of it and found several buddha displays. I was told that these buddhas were being protected by the monks living on those wats; also there were these pieces of paper where you can pick one but first, you have to choose a number to reveal a "lesson" that suits your personality.

After a few moments, we transferred to another place of temples, it was called Wat That Luang . Same to the previous place, it also consists of several temples with mostly gold structures with beautifully designs of buddhas. We also visited Wat Wisunarat of which another set of temples were found. By seeing those structures, I can say that they have a rich culture in buddhism and it was amazing on how they manage to preserve its original foundation. I had a super lunch afterwards on which I requested authentic Lao cuisine.

Our next destination were the handicraft and buddha curving areas. I was told that many of the people in Luang Prabang are working on this site. I was shown on how a certain silk was made, the process it went thru and the final output. There were also some parts of woods that were converted into paper and other useful things that are made out of paper, really nice! Not so far, I saw a man patiently curving a buddha image from a wood. Vang told me that most of them plant their own trees to use for their handicraft business.

We next visited the Mount Phousi on which I was required to climb up to the top by stairs with over 300 steps! It was really tiring that time as it was almost 2 in the afternoon and it was so hot. But when I reached the top, it was worth it as the view of the entire Luang Prabang was breathless. It was kinda cool on the top and quite refreshing. On the top of Mount Phousi was the Wat Chom Si.

On our way down, we passed by on several buddha images. I saw some footsteps and I was told it came from buddha. Some images are inside a cave, on top of a rock and they were all designed in a nice presentation. Really cool huh?! After this trip in the provice of Laos, it was time to return to its capital Vientiane to catch my plane for Myanmar with a stopover in Bangkok. I had to sleep again on the bus on my way back and again, the travel period was almost 12 hours!

More Laos pictures here.

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