Luang Prabang, Laos, Asia | Luxury Travel in Asia with HIP Hotels TV5445
Luang Prabang is a small city in the north of Laos, situated on a peninsula formed by the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
It was once the capital of a kingdom of the same name and until 1975, the year the Pathet Lao communists took power, it was the Royal seat of the Kingdom of Laos.
Today, the former Royal Palace has been turned into a museum and the capital has moved 300 kilometres downriver to Vientiane but Luang Prabang remains the more fascinating city to visit not only because of it’s natural beauty, surrounded as it is by mountains, waterfalls and rich jungle but also because in the interim years, since 1975, it’s relative political irrelevance has preserved certain key aspects of the town’s authenticity.
Top amongst these are the many monasteries and the hundreds of Buddhist monks that reside in the centre of town. Originally, the monasteries were here because the King, a devout Buddhist, lived here but even after he was deposed the monasteries and the monks stayed. Today the ritual of ‘tak bat’, the early morning walk for alms by hundreds of saffron clad monks is a splendidly colourful ritual that has made the town quite famous in South East Asia.
The other well preserved aspect of the town is its heritage of French Colonial architecture. When Laos was a French protectorate, Luang Prabang was its most important town and the houses that survive here reflect the patronage of an extended Royal family and that of French governors and commissioners.
Despite its popularity and the presence of a brand new shiny airport Luang Prabang still feels small and unspoilt and the visitor is certainly not short of things to see and do. Top of my list is a boat trip down the Mekong River to a small island that the King used to use to meditate. It has a small temple, lots of steps and nothing else. It must rank as one of the most memorable places for a picnic on the entire planet.
Where to stay while in Luang Prabang?
From its collection of bronze Buddha’s spread around the gardens to the signature green tiled swimming pools and teak four poster beds, Satri House immerses the guest in the culture and ambience that makes Luang Prabang such a desirable place to visit: http://bit.ly/1mrhU9g
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Photography: Herbert Ypma
Music: ‘A Ra’ João Donato
Album: Blue Note Trip 7: Birds / Beats
Production: HIP Hotels Media
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