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Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang is situated on a bank of Mekong river. Set at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers, with its tree-lined banks, many temple roofs and the rising peak of Mt Phousi, Luang Prabang has for centuries enchanted those who arrive by boat. That is still probably one of the best ways to arrive.

The city was since 1353 the capital of Lan Xang kingdom. Around 1357 got nowadays name. Luang Prabang has become a tourist attraction mainly because of its historic temples - 32 temples of the original 66 built before the era of French colonisation remain. It was declared like a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The city was for a long time isolated from rest of the world. It has one of the best architecture of Southeast Asia. Even today time is running slowly without any rush. Luang Prabang is small, population is around 16 000. Everywhere can be reached by foot. Walking and traveling by bicycle is the best way to see this tiny city.

Among the most important temples is Wat Xieng Thong established in 1560 during period of king Setthathirat. Building is supplied with library from 1828 and tower with drum from 1961. The oldest running temple is Wat Wisunalat established in 1513. in front of this temple stays 34,5 meters high stupa. Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham is decorated with classical luangprabansk’s style from 1821.

City offers many good restaurants. Travel agencies offers tracks in jungle but compare to Chiang Mai in Thailand they have higher prices.

I can recommend Sysomphone Guesthouse, Banvisom 22/4, Tel: (856-71) 252 543. Family guest house has a good atmosphere. A single room cost TB80, free of charge drinking water and bananas. One time per week they cook a dinner.

Ban Phanom is village of Thai Lü and situated 4 kilometres north east from the city. Here you can see local women and silk and cotton production. This products is also possible to buy.

Just a few more kilometers and you can see tomb of Henri Mahout. Frenchman lived in Luang Prabank but famous is for discovering of Angkor Wat - the biggest spiritual complex in the World.

Just around 13 kilometers southeast of Luang Prabang are situated beautiful cascade waterfalls Tad Sae Waterfall. Taller but about 30km southwest of Luang Prabang, passing through many ethnic minority villages are the magnificent Kuang Sii Waterfalls.

Pak Ou Caves are situated 25 kilometers north on the right bank of Mekong river. These two secret caves have entrances decorated with many pictures of Buddha which are overlooking the majestic river.

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