Get up close to the folklore of one of the most beautiful cities in Thailand. In Luang Prabang, we will have the opportunity to walk through unique places.
Today in My Trip we want you to join us on a short tour of the culture and surroundings of one of the most beautiful cities in Thailand: Luang Prabang. This is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, in Laos, and offers its visitors the opportunity to get lost in truly unique natural corners.
The characteristic nature created around the Mekong River and the folklore that is still almost intact have made Luang Prabang one of the three most touristic cities in the country. In fact, the position is currently being disputed with other cities in Laos such as Vientiane and Champassak. Would you like to join us on this exotic journey?
The origin of the jewel of Laos
The origin of this beautiful city begins with a marriage bond. It would be the Khmer princess of Angkor who, after accepting the marriage proposal of the Lao prince, would give life to this city. Both rulers thus founded the kingdom of Lan Xang, which translates as “a million elephants “.
The city, formerly known as Muang Sua, was built in a unique location: right between the Mekong and Nam Khane rivers. In addition, it is sheltered by the sacred mount Phousi.
The splendor of Luang Prabang begins in the fourteenth century thanks to the good management of the Buddhist monks.
However, it would not last long. Years later the city would be conquered by the French. European influence, as in other parts of Thailand, has shaped a unique cultural environment.
By becoming a French colony, it was part of ancient Indochina along with other major countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia. Thus, Luang Prabang would be the capital of Laos until the fourteenth century. Then it was moved to Vientiane, purely for defensive and commercial strategy against the Burmese invasion.
This extraordinary city in Southeast Asia remains, even today, the spiritual and cultural capital of Laos. And not only for its number of temples but for the preservation of traditions since its foundation.
And it is that here they have been able to live in harmony with the nature that surrounds them and learn to love even other cultures such as the French. It is not uncommon to find cafes where you can read quietly in a colonial atmosphere and savor some crepes or baguettes. For all these reasons, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.
What to do in Luang Prabang?
If what we are looking for is to get to know their culture better, we recommend you attend the Tak Bat Ceremony, also known as the Alms Giving Ceremony. It starts every day at 6 in the morning. Here Buddhist monks walk the streets dressed in their ceremonial dress and with a metal container. In this, the inhabitants offer rice, fruit, or cookies to the monks. This ceremony is performed in the 35 temples of the city.
It is also highly recommended to walk through the streets of the city to visit its markets. We want to highlight the opportunity to try its rich gastronomy and learn the ins and outs of its trade in the night market. It can be accessed from Sisavangvong Street and is open to the public from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Another recommended activity is to cross the famous bamboo bridge. Thanks to this curious construction we can walk on the Nam Khan River. A curiosity of this bridge is that it is renewed with each dry season since during the rainy season it is covered by the waters of the river.
Finally, we should not miss the opportunity to take a boat ride on the Mekong River, especially at sunset, to enjoy one of the best postcards in the city.
Undoubtedly, one of the most typical environments of Luang Prabang is the Tat Kuang Si waterfalls, located just 30 kilometers from the city. Here we can take a bath in its magical turquoise waters and climb the rocks to feel part of this jungle full of life. In addition, in the surroundings, we will find all kinds of services, from restaurants to local fruit stalls.
Another of the most famous enclaves is Mount Phu Sí, which is 100 meters high. The journey to the top is done by climbing a long staircase of more than 300 steps. The effort will be worth it, not only for the views but for having the opportunity to visit the Wat Chom Si temple. This was built in 1804 by King Anourat and features a golden Buddha statue that receives offerings every day.