Friday, 26 November 2010

Luang Prabang - world heritage

After a 6h ride I arrived in Luang Prabang at evening. I took the first guesthouse on the road and fall asleep in my bed, even tho it was just 8:30pm :P
After some fine 12h sleep I started to discover the city. Unluckily it did not meet my expectations. Too many tourists and the city seems a little surreal, as everything is about tourists :(
The temples were not as great as I hoped they were. But after being in the city for 2 days I really enjoyed it.
Well, ok... I started my first walk along Nam Khan river, enjoying breakfast at the river front. A small glimpse into Wat Sensoukarahm, Wat Sop, Wat Sirimungkhun and Wat Si Bun Heuang before visiting the more famous and old Wat Xieng Thong. River Nam Kham meets Mekong river and I continue my walk along the Mekong river front. A visit to the Royal Palace Museum and it's Wat Ho Pha Bang before I climbed 328 steps up to Phu Si hill and That Chomsi. I couldn't wait for the sunset as simply too many tourists have been there. So I climbed down and slandered over the handicraft night market to finish my day.
The next day I woke up early to see Tak Bat - which is when every morning at dawn all monks come out to receive their food for the day from the people. I was astonished by the number of tourists, but even more by the number of monks. It were at least 100... maybe up to 200 monks on the street. An sheer endless line of saffron robbed monks walking in front of the temples. I'm not sure though if they were able to outnumber the tourists... I have my doubts on that^^ Afterwards I walked along the streets to visit some more temples and the morning fresh market. At 12am I went to see Tat Kuang Si waterfall. It was an impressive one, indeed. Many small falls and pools lead you to the main waterfall. A climb up the hill allows you views down the waterfall and see the great landscape. After the climb I took a swim in one of the pools, really refreshing :D On the way back we stopped at a Hmong village. Unluckily that was simply too touristy... the villagers did set up stores all way along the village and the kids were trying to sell and beg non-stop. Sad to see what too much tourism can lead to :(
At the evening I take the bus to Luang Nam Tha.

Wat Sensoukarahm

Wat Xient Thong

Buddha within Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Ho Pha Bang

That Chimsi at the top of Phu Si

View down to the Mekong and to the mountains from Phu Si

View over Nam Khan river and Luang Prabang from Phu Si

Monks receiving their daily food as gift

Tak Bat, more than a hundred monks

Wat Ho Siang... that is a special Naga^^

The morning fresh market... yummy :D Do you see the shoes?

Tat Kuang Si waterfall from downstairs

Kuang Si waterfall from upstairs^^

good view from up the waterfall :)

Late afternoon sun gives a great atmosphere to the smaller falls

The pools were great for a refreshing swim :D

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