luang prabang-must-sees & how long

Old Jul 16th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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luang prabang-must-sees & how long

We're moving towards finalizing our december trip to vietnam & laos with the help of this board. We're trying to figure out how much time to spend in LP. What are the highlights? We're tentatively scheduled to fly in from Hanoi (via Vientiane) on 24 dec (don't know the flight times yet). We have to decide whether to fly down to Phuket on 27 dec or 28 dec where we'll spend the first nite in town in Phuket, 2 nites in Khao Sok and another 2 in Phuket before we return to Bangkok (evening of Jan 1) for our flight out on jan 2. We'd hate to lose a nite in Phuket since we've never been there, but we don't want to shortchange ourselves in Luang Prabang - and if Phuket's just another pretty beach, then we'd give up the day there. Thanks for your advice.
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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Well, I loved LP and spent a week there. Lp has some must-sees, but I think of it more as a must-experience, which means you have to slow your pace to this charming small town to relly get the flavor. Do a search on LP on this board and you'll get lots of reviews and comments.

LP has a couple dozen working wats with monks and many novices. (Someone recently commented on how much the novices out numbered the monks. That is of course, related to the the purge by the Panthet Lao which killed or "re-educated" so many monks.) While you'll want to see at least a few of the wats, if you are reallt interested in Buddhism, you'll want to see more of them. Wander the streets, visitng wats, small shops, the old Palace which is now a museum. Climb Mt. Phousi to the small wat and beautiful view, take a boat trip on the Mekong to the Pak Ou Caves, drive out of town to the two nearby waterfalls for a lovely sample of the countryside. Visit Hmong villages nearby. Go to the weaving village and buy hand-woven silks from the weavers at the Co-op. There are also several local markets in town, one is Hmong. There is a "tourist" market now, but it won't be as interesting as the local markets.

For my tastes, I'd certainly spent (at least) the extra day in LP. Phuket is a beach. LP is a fascinating cultural (and perhaps spiriual) experience.
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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Hi Kathie. Thanks so much for your advice. LP sounds like a fascinating place and somewhere we should definitely take a deep breath and spend more time. You might be interested in an article in the NY Times the other day on Laotian food places to eat in Laos (featuring LP)where they talked about the Café Ban Vat Sene, 3 Nagas and Mango Tree. You can find the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/di...bzxQ23QP2jXQbQ. If you have any other suggestions, please pass them on!
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Sharon, I posted the link to the NYT article a couple of days ago. Yes, it's a good article. We enjoyed long, leisurely lunches at the Villa Santi, sitting on their balcony overlooking the street.
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Old Jul 17th, 2005, 01:48 AM
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Re: Luang Prabang
We went to the Royal Palace for their tour first thing in the morning. To the left of the Palace is a theatre and we booked for that night the Aspara dance show and got first row seats. The costumes are not as beautiful as the Aspara dance show in Siem Reap but we enjoyed the story telling and the dance.
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