There are some places in the world that defy description; some places that have an ambience, a beauty, a feeling about them that is such that you just have to go there and experience it for yourself. Luang Prabang is one of those places.
Situated in the landlocked country of northern Laos, Luang Prabang was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. This enchanting town sits between 2 rivers: the Nam Khan and the mighty Mekong. A short drive from the town takes the visitor to breathtaking waterfalls, an elephant sanctuary as well as a bear sanctuary where you can get up fairly close to bears who have been rescued from poachers. Stay for a couple of days and you'll be calmed by the slow and easy pace of life in Luang Prabang; the warm Laotian people will charm you. Stay for a few more days and you literally won't want to leave.
French colonial influence has lingered here with pretty patisseries and cafes in abundance in the main street but make no mistake - this is a South East Asian town. Laotian food falls somewhere between Thai and Vietnamese if it has to be compared to anything and the general mode of transport is the tuktuk. You only need walk out of your hotel and you'll pass one of the 33 Wats (Buddhist temples) in town. If you are inclined you can be part of the daily alms giving ceremony at sunrise during which the locals give food to the monks in reverance.
In short Luang Prabang is "Temples and Markets". At night the main street is closed to traffic and is given over to what must surely be one of the calmest and easiest night markets in Asia. In keeping with the atmosphere in town, there is very little hassling or counterfeit tat. The visitor can meander through slowly, admiring the wealth of creativity on display. Crafts from the surrounding area's ethnic groups are on show here, ranging from quilting, art, jewellery, ceramics to leather and embroidered silk, the latter being most evident.
In this collection Temples and Markets are featuring our favourite finds from the Luang Prabang Night Market - each piece is of course genuine, handmade by local artisans and unique. What's not to love?
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