Luang Prabang is located in northern Laos at the heart of a mountainous region built on a peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan Rivers.
They say Buddha would have smiled when he rested there during his travels, prophesying that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful city. Known as Muang Sua, then Xieng Thong, from the 14th to the 16th century the town became the capital of the powerful kingdom of Lane Xang (Kingdom of a Million Elephants), whose wealth and influence were related to its strategic location on the Silk Route. The city was also the center of Buddhism in the region. Luang Prabang takes its name from a statue of Buddha, the Prabang, offered by Cambodia.
Luang Prabang is exceptional for both its rich architectural and artistic heritage that reflects the fusion of Lao traditional urban architecture with that of the colonial era. Its remarkably well-preserved townscape reflects the alliance of these two distinct cultural traditions.
Luang Prabang was the royal capital of the country. It is a sleepy town. Most tourists come to Luang Prabang and may add on other areas of Laos.
Walking along the peninsula is a wonderful thing many tourists do. You can start one one river and walk around to the other river passing many temples and talking in the spectacular beauty of the town.
Last year the pedestrian walkways were torn up to make was for parking. Everyone was horrified at first and it has made walking difficult as there is not much walkway left. Never mind the tourists in a tourist town.
It has created more parking, it’s just a shame the ever increasing numbers of minivans park on the road and not the parking bays, perhaps it’s because they tend to be full of tourist camper vans?
I just hope everyone responsible can plan and work together to maintain the unique characteristics that make Luang Prabang the amazing place it is.