Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

“You went where?” – A Visit to Luang Prabang, Laos

by Suzanne Fluhr on July 1, 2014 · 60 comments

Buddhist monks, Luang Prabang

map of laos Before I decided I should be a travel blogger instead of a lawyer, I’d never even heard of Luang Prabang, Laos. Pretty much all I knew about Laos was that during the 1960’s and 1970’s, it had the misfortune to share a border with Vietnam. In researching our trip to Southeast Asia, I read that it’s not wise to wander off established paths in many parts of Laos, including in Luang Prabang province, because of the risk of setting off unexploded ordnance (UXO). Over nine years, the United States dropped more bombs per capita on Laos than on any other country in history. Thirty percent didn’t detonate, leaving them still lying in deadly wait for an unsuspecting child, farmer — or tourist. I’m glad we went anyway.

Flying over the Mekong River into Luang Prabang, Laos

Flying over the Mekong River into Luang Prabang.

We flew to Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand on Lao Airlines. When I booked our flight to Luang Prabang, I somehow missed the fact that a Lao Airlines plane of the same type, a turbo-prop ATR-72, had crashed into the Mekong River the previous month, killing all on board. Had I known this, I might have been more perturbed when the flight attendant recited the safety instructions in “English”, and the only two words we understood were “seat” and “belt”.

Our one hour flight was blessedly uneventful. (Mr. and Mrs. Excitement prefer not to be excited on airplanes). We were able to obtain a tourist visa upon arrival at the Luang Prabang Airport by shelling out $35 USD. (Bring an extra 2 passport photos if you want to do this). We took a shared van from the airport into Luang Prabang, trying not to inhale any aerosolized sputum from one van mate’s tubercular sounding cough.

Luang Prabang street scene with French colonial buildings.

Luang Prabang street scene with French colonial buildings.

Wooden house, Luang Prabang, Laos

This wooden style Lao house had an interesting architectural feature, a wall constructed from discarded televisions

 

 

 

 

 

 

We visited Luang Prabang in January during the high tourist season. However, the town did not seem impossibly crammed with tourists. French language and cuisine were more in evidence in Luang Prabang than anywhere else we visited in Southeast Asia. Indeed, our first meal was at a French owned restaurant along the main street. Many of the visitors seemed to share our Baby Boomer demographic. Luang Prabang is not known for its nightlife — not a problem for Mr. and Mrs. Excitement.

We spent three nights in Luang Prabang at a guesthouse a block from the “real” market where the locals buy their provisions.

Luang Prabang outdoor food market.

Chicken for sale in the Luang Prabang outdoor food market.

Rice for sale in the Luang Prabang street market

And the rice to go with it.

We decided not to go on tours out into the countryside, but rather to explore the city itself on foot. Over our two full day stay, we did the following:

Walk along the Mekong River to Where it is Joined by the Nam Kahn

The bank of the Mekong River through Luang Prabang is lined with small outdoor restaurants and bars. The kitchens are often across the street, making service somewhat slow and inefficient by Western standards. If you banish your Type A personality and go with the flow, you’ll enjoy a pleasant interlude. Try to catch a sunset over the Mekong.

sunset over the mekong river, luang prabang, laos

Sunset over the Mekong River & long tail boats.

We wandered down to the seasonal bamboo bridge that crosses the Nam Kahn River. This bridge looks kind of rickety and is rebuilt each year with the understanding that it will be washed away during the rainy season. We paid $0.62 to test our nerves and cross to the other side.

Seasonal bamboo bridge over the Nam Kahn River, Luang Prabang, Laos

Seasonal bamboo bridge over the Nam Kahn River.

Climb Phu Si

This large hill is visible day and at night, when the golden stupa of one of its temples is illuminated. We managed the ascent of 328 steps with only a few stops to catch our breath look around.

 

Switchback stairs up Phoi Si, Luang Prabang, Laos

Switchback stairs to ascend Phu Si

There are small temples at the top, but if you are not on a religious pilgrimage, the climb is for the 360 degree view of Luang Prabang, the Mekong and Nam Kahn Rivers and the surrounding hills. There is a small charge (about $2.50 USD) to make the climb.

Looking down on Luang Prabang and the Mekong River from our ascent up Phu Si.

Looking down on Luang Prabang & the Mekong River from our ascent up Phu Si.

We visited two museums:

The Royal Palace National Museum

The Royal Palace was constructed in French colonial style in 1904. The last reigning king lived there from 1959 until being deposed by the Communist Pathet Lao in 1975. I found it kind of chilling that all the explanatory signs in English simply end with the date 1975, with no explanation as to what happened to the Royal family. Apparently, they were removed to a remote “reducation” camp where it is believed the King died. The state rooms are quite elaborate while the royal living quarters actually seem somewhat spartan. There is an interesting collection of gifts to the royal family by various heads of state, including a moon rock from the United States. On the grounds is a separate building in which the King’s collection of now vintage cars is displayed. There is also a quite nice Buddhist temple.

Temple with classic Lao roof on the grounds of the Royal Palace Museum.

Temple with classic Lao roof on the grounds of the Royal Palace Museum.

There is a small charge to visit the museum (about $3.75 USD). You will need to dress modestly as you would to visit a Buddhist temple, with shoulders and legs covered. Shoes must also be removed and bags must be left in a locker. The grounds also house a Buddhist temple. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and is closed for a period at mid-day.

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre

Opened in 2007, this non-profit museum’s mission is to “collect, preserve and interpret” the traditional arts and lifestyles of the diverse Laotian ethnic cultures. We spent a good hour in this small, well curated museum where films augment the collection of artifacts in explaining the daily life, crafts and beliefs of these groups. Although we did not dine there, the museum has a well-regarded cafe, serving ethnic minority cuisine. The Centre also supports handicraft production by over 600 Lao families and is committed to the principles of fair trade and sustainability. 

The museum is currently open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Free for Laotians, admission for foreigners when we visited was 25,000 kip ($3.11 at today’s exchange rate).

Wats (Buddhist Temples)

The hammer and sickle of the Communist Party flag. Luang Prabang, Laos

The hammer and sickle of the Communist Party flag.

Since 1975, when the last king was overthrown, Laos has been the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the red hammer and sickle flag of the ruling Communist Party is much in evidence. The Pathet Lao were not very successful in tamping down the practice of Buddhism and other tribal religions. Their acceptance of UNESCO’s help in preserving their religious patrimony and architecture in 1995 is evidence of a change in policy. You will come across a number of wat complexes in the city. Some have an admission charge. You are welcome to enter them if you are modestly dressed and remove your shoes.

In a ceremony known as Tak Bat, everyday at dawn, there is a procession of Buddhist monks along the Mekong seeking alms. During this silent procession, townspeople give small gifts of food placed into the monk’s bowls as they pass. We did not attend this, partly because we were not looking to be anywhere other than in bed at dawn and partly because apparently, it is often the scene of tourists behaving badly.

 

Buddhist temples, Luang Prabang, Laos

There are a number of restored Buddhist temples to visit.

Buddhist monks, Luang Prabang

Buddhist monks are very much part of the Luang Prabang scene.

Night Market

There is a street night market from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. on the main street in town every night with all manner of handicrafts and other items for sale. You are expected to bargain. We were so bad at it, that one vendor proposed a lower price than what we offered.

IF YOU GO:

It goes without saying (right?) that you MUST research visa requirements for countries you visit BEFORE you get there. US citizens should avail themselves of the State Department’s very helpful country reports to research requirements and country conditions. You can access the Laos report here. I found that for Southeast Asian countries, what looked to be official websites for visa and travel information, did not always provide correct information.

Currency: We were able to obtain Lao Kip from an ATM at the airport and from ATM’s in town.

Where to stay: Luang Prabang accommodation choices run from 5 star hotels through shared dorm hostels. We stayed at the well-located, laid back, Manichan guesthouse which I picked out based on TripAdvisor reviews and which was fine for our purposes. Our high season rate of $45 per night, was for a basic en suite room and included a robust breakfast, served in the outside courtyard. There was some street noise, but it was easily compensated for by our white noise app. There was free wifi which worked best in the courtyard.The guesthouse is owned by a multi-lingual Belgian, Peter, and his Lao wife, Manichan. Peter can arrange all sorts of tours and provide restaurant recommendations. We actually purchased lunch twice at the guesthouse which was prepared with fresh ingredients right from the nearby market.

[This blog post has been added to the Thursday Travel Photo Link-Up at Budget Travelers’ Sandbox.]

Do you have anything you can share about a trip to Laos? Where is the most exotic place you have visited?

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti July 1, 2014 at 1:31 am

I had to give some thought to your question, where is the most exotic location I’ve been to. Exotic? It seems I am not an exotic traveler. This comes as no surprise to me as I’m not big on stepping too far out of my comfort zone. This is probably not a good thing, but it is what it is. I love to travel, but exotic doesn’t seem to define my must see list. Does Hawaii count? Probably not. New Zealand? Probably not. Those are my 2 best shots at exotic. Your photos definitely captured the essence of your visit, lovely. And, just as a side note: I know chickens have feet because I quite often chase our neighbors chickens out of our yard, but yet, I just can’t buy a chicken with feet attached. 😉

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Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) July 1, 2014 at 6:42 am

Good point, Patti. I’m not even sure I know how I define exotic. When I stood on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii and it looked like Mars, that felt pretty exotic. And Milford Sound shrouded in a ghostly mist on the South Island of NZ also felt pretty exotic.

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Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) July 1, 2014 at 5:46 am

Wonderful pictures! Thank you for the map or I would not have known where Luang Prabang is! The idea of possibly encountering a non-detonated bomb might prevent me from venturing here, so I am relieved that you avoided any such thing and also seemed to have really enjoyed your stay. And I must congratulate both for crossing the river on the bridge! Wow! I can’t say that I have been anywhere near as exotic…Bali maybe:)

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Jacquie — As long as you stay on the path, they say you’ll be OK. That obviously worked for us since I lived to blog about it. 😉

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Linda ~ Journey Jottings July 1, 2014 at 8:05 am

Loved reading your write up Suzanne –
I travelled through SE Asia many moons ago so rattan type mattress accommodation is what comes back to mind – It’s great seeing the place from a more mature perspective and that there is accommodation catering to the strong boomer demographic you say you saw there –
It looks so calm and unhurried – Even the street scene at the top appears empty!
Maybe it’s time to revisit 🙂

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Luang Prabang definitely had a laid back, non-frenetic vibe compared to some of the big cities like Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. I think you’d enjoy it and as you can see, there is plenty of beautiful fodder for Journey Jottings picto-travel journaling.

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Michele Peterson July 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

I loved northern Vietnam so it sounds as though I would like Luang Prabang as it shares a French colonial history. Your photos make it look very lush and peaceful. Plus, who ever heard of a vendor suggesting a lower price than what you were willing to pay? Love it!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Luang Prabang was certainly lush with jungle foliage, but being a little higher, it was quite comfortable in terms of temperature when we were there in January. It was a little embarrassing to be such poor negotiators that the vendor had to take pity on us.

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Tim July 1, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Great to see Luang Prabang again. It has been a decade since I was last there and it has always remained one of those destinations I know I will return to one day. It is a photogenic town and you did it justice with your shots and your descriptions. There are some great books to read on the history of Laos and US involvement and one is Air America. It is all about the Secret War and the CIA. Well worth the read.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Tim, I was actually alive during the secret war and I can corroborate that it really was secret. Learning the history and the continuing aftermath was quite sobering. I do hope you get to return to Luang Prabang some day. It is still beautiful and has a relaxing vibe.

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noel July 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm

wish I had time to visit when I was in Chang Mai, it is beautiful and would have loved to explore the area, but from being templed out in Chang Mai, I needed a different infusion – sorry I missed out.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Noel, I would love to see photos taken by you and your eye in Luang Prabang. The Temples in Luang Prabang had a somewhat different vibe than those in Chiang Mai — perhaps because of more recent history when the Pathet Lao attempted to tamp down Buddhism.

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Doreen Pendgracs July 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Beautiful shot of the Mekong River, Suzanne.

Yes, isn’t it true, that as writers and travel bloggers, we do get to visit some pretty obscure and unique places! I am so grateful for that opportunity.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm

I admit that I get to visit some of these places because I’m a “trailing spouse” — whatever, however. I’m also grateful to be able to travel.

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Donna Janke July 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I enjoyed visiting Luang Prabang with you in this post. I likely would have had the same issues with bargaining as you did. But someone would have had to pay me (a lot) to cross the bamboo bridge.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm

It’s just hard for me to haggle with someone who obviously needs the money more than I do. As for the bamboo bridge — it was the only way to get to the other side (sort of along the same lines as the proverbial chicken who crossed the road) ;-). I think I was more freaked out by the pedestrian suspension bridges along the Mildford Track on the South island of New Zealand. They were higher. The worst that was going to happen if the bamboo bridge gave way was probably getting wet and in Laos, hypothermia was not going to be a problem.

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nan @ lbddiaries July 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Love the temple pictures. I think it is the roof that draws me – so unique. I love visiting places vicariously. I traveled a lot as an Army brat. I think our most “exotic” visit was the Palace of Versailles with its Hall of Mirrors. I was a child but I still remember that!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Versailles is definitely memorable, especially when you learn the history surrounding it.

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Mike July 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm

“…trying not to inhale any aerosolized sputum from one van mate’s tubercular sounding cough…” LOL 🙂 I would be so paranoid about eating those chickens just due to food safety. But, I do know you can get a lot of safe street food from reading travel blogs! Ironic about Laos as just a few nights ago I watched a CNN special on the Vietnam war called “The Sixties.” I would love to meet the monks! Good post 🙂

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Thanks, Mike. We’ve been watching that CNN “The Sixties” series too—except for us, those things were current events back in the day! We didn’t eat street food in Laos nor drink tap water—-nor use it to brush our teeth — and we religiously took our malaria prophylaxis. In a month of travels in SE Asia, neither of us got sick.

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Cathy Sweeney July 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm

I guess that Laos has never been high on my list of places to visit (mostly because I have no idea how I’m going to find time to even get to the Top 20). Most of my knowledge of the country came from the the 60s and 70s, too. You’ve shown me why I should be open to possibilities to go there. I’m sure I’d have the same issue with bargaining. Funny story.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm

I didn’t expect to make it to Southeast Asia, but when I knew we were going to be living in Hawaii for 3 months, I figured, “Well, it’s half way there”. Actually, it’s not. The Pacific Ocean is a lot bigger than the Atlantic, but in retrospect, I’m really glad we made the trip.

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The GypsyNesters July 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm

The temple at the Royal Palace Museum is stunning! I’d go to see that alone – and stay for the 62 cent bridge, fascinating! Love your bargaining story – I have a hard time with that too! -Veronica

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Girl, given some of the activities I know you’ve tried on your travels—hang gliding, sky diving spring to mind, the 62 cents bamboo bridge would have been a no brainer for you. 😉

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Anita @ No Particular Place To Go July 1, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for the informative tour of Luang Prabang and your beautiful pictures. After reading your post Laos is firmly inked on our list of places to go. It sounds amazing and the photo of the temple on the grounds of the Royal Palace Museum is lovely.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Anita, after your time in Costa Rica, I think you’ll enjoy the countryside in Laos. The Buddhist temples make it feel exotic.

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Irene S. Levine July 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Sounds like you really got to see and do a lot in two days—emerging unscathed. My most exotic trip was probably Kenya. Given recent events, I would probably be too fearful to return any time soon. I tend to travel “safe.”

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 1, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Irene, we’re scheduled to make our first trip to Africa in October—South Africa. Mr. Excitement has a conference in Capetown. Then, we want to head to Kruger National Park for a safari. There are a lot of dangerous places in the world. I think we might have missed our window for visiting Egypt.

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Suzanne Stavert July 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

I can’t say that I was familiar with this destination before I read your informative post. The photos were outstanding. The only remotely exotic location we have visited is in Queensland Australia where we stayed in a “treehouse” in the rainforest. Thank you for the tour!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Oooh. Treehouse in the rainforest. Do you have a blog post about it?

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Debra Yearwood July 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm

You are brave souls to have crossed that bridge. I got nervous just looking at the photo and I’m still uncertain why I would pay for the privilege of risking my life. 🙂 The temple is beautiful. Are they all so picturesque or is there a lot of variation?

My husband prefers that I say nothing when there’s bargaining to be done as I’m more likely to increase the cost.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Debra. All the temples we visited in Thailand and Laos were picturesque in their own right. I like the Theraveda Buddhist ones more than the Mahayana Buddhist ones we saw in Vietnam.

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Dale July 3, 2014 at 3:02 am

I loved that rickity bridge! Though we managed to cross without paying, can’t remember how we managed that one.

It’s a pretty interesting town, as you saw, and one that I’m glad you went to because there aren’t an abundance of places like it.

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Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) July 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Maybe you took a boat across elsewhere and walked back across the bridge. They only collect fees on the Luang Prabang side. Or, maybe it was into the rainy season and they weren’t collecting because they expected the bridge to fall into the river at any second. You obviously survived the crossing—so no harm. No foul. 🙂

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Lisa Richardson July 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Suzanne, great tour. You braved the bamboo bridge!
Bud, Bali is probably the most exotic adventure my husband and I have had, but experiencing Sicily and Umbria with 30-somethings stationed in Italy had an edge, too.

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Lisa Richardson July 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm

That was Ubud, Bali

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Michelle July 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Wow you went to Laos! I played around with the idea when in Asia, but never made it. It looks just as exotic in your photos as I imagine it! I had a friend back in my 20’s who grew up there. She was so pretty – I wonder if all the girls are as beautiful? Anyway, I love almost everything about most places in Asia especially the prices. I love the photo of the temples and the sunset!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 5, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Michelle, I think you’d enjoy Laos, especially Luang Prabang if you were traveling solo.

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Michelle July 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Thank you for letting me know that Laos is a good place even for a woman traveling solo 🙂

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Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it July 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Since we just returned from Europe last night, my most exotic place was my bedroom. I woke up and had no clue where I was. I guess my brain was still catching up to my body yet. Seriously, this looks like a peaceful place to relax and enjoy a country that had so much damage from bombing. Places like these make me hate the political nonsense which hurts the peace loving people the most.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 5, 2014 at 12:55 am

Welcome home! I look forward to reading about your trip—after you figure out which time zone you’re in.

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Jess @UsedYorkCity July 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Wow, this sounds incredible! Good for you for going, regardless of what was being said! We did our honeymoon in South East Asia a few months ago, and while we didn’t get to Laos, I was completely enamoured with Cambodia…from the natural beauty to food to the lovely people!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Stay tuned. I’ll have a post up about our visit to Cambodia soon. 🙂

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Debbra Dunning Brouillette July 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I’ve never visited anywhere near this exotic or with such a different culture. The most exotic place in my travels so far would have to be Bora Bora, as it was the most beautiful place I have been, and then there are the Galapagos Islands, which have to rank highly for the diversity of life I was able to see while there.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr July 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm

The Galapagos are high on our bucket list. I think Bora Bora sounds pretty exotic. 🙂

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Rita @ The Crafty Expat July 6, 2014 at 1:18 am

I dream of going to Laos one day. What a fabulous adventure! I think Thailand is the most exotic place I have visited. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

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alison @GreenWithRenvy July 7, 2014 at 8:58 am

Nice overview Suzanne. I hope to combine a Laos/Cambodia trip sometime in the near future. I think the most exotic place I have ever been is India. It is a spot that has captured a piece of my soul and I try to return at least every two years. Looks like you had a really nice trip.

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Chanel | Cultural Xplorer July 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I really would like to visit Laos someday. It is high on the list 🙂 Happy TPMonday!

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jan July 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm

We visited Luang Prabang in 2010 before I became a blogger as well. I heard about it because my Brother had done consulting work there and recommended it. It lived up to my expectations and four years later is still one of my favourite destinations. The weather was much clearer for you than us at the very end of the dry season in April. Everything was seen through a layer of smoke (from slash and burn) when we were there. Evidently it clears with the rain but we did not get any in the five days we were there. Thanks for the memories 🙂

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Kimba July 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

Thx for sharing your wonderful descriptions of a place that I must admit was not on my bucket list for a visit.

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Sand In My Suitcase July 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

We’ve heard before that Luang Prabang is quite delightful. It sounds like it’s not overrun by tourists and has retained its authentic character. Nice you had the opportunity to visit 🙂

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Ryan July 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Pretty bummed that I didn’t make it to Laos while I was traveling around Thailand and bits of Southeast Asia since I thought I would have been staying much longer in Thailand. I’ve heard its pretty awesome, though being afraid of flying I feel like that plane would have scared me!

Awesome article =)

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Muza-chan August 28, 2014 at 2:57 am

Beautiful place… Maybe I will visit someday…

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Jackie Humphries Smith August 28, 2014 at 3:03 am

Chiang Mai in the very early 1980’s was as far north as we got in Southeast Asia. And the highlight of that trip was a Christmas Day elephant trek through the jungle (which I shouldn’t even admit these days in reading other bloggers cries of outrage about such treks) but one must consider the time and the age of the travelers. It was the most exotic and most exciting thing that this Mr. and Mrs. Excitement had ever done (and to this day is the most wonderful, memorable Christmas we’ve ever had)! Your trip sounds fantastic!! We have dreams of returning to that part of the world.

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jan August 28, 2014 at 8:02 am

Hey, we stayed at Manichan as well and loved it. Your photos look so different to ours – we were there at the end of the dry season and everything was very hazy. Everything looks so bright and crisp in yours. I went there in 2010 with huge expectactions and was not at all disappointed. LP was the only place we visited in Laos and we flew from Bangkok. It qualified as an exotic location for me.

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Michele {Malaysian Meanders} August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

I have heard so many great things about Luang Prabang. That it’s so relaxing and has excellent French pastries plus all the cultural things that you can explore. Your trip there looks wonderful. And oh my, that is definitely a rickety looking bridge. Good for you for crossing it.

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Johanna September 22, 2014 at 10:58 am

Loved your shot of the Mekong river … and Chiang Mai is somewhere we have yet to discover … have dreams to discover more of SE Asia one of these days.

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Lina @ Divergent Travelers September 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

Great article! We haven’t been to Luang Prabang yet, but it’s on our list for this fall. We’ve heard some good things and some bad, but I found your post informative and I think we will keep a stop here on the list. 🙂

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 30, 2014 at 10:54 am

Lina, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with a visit to Luang Prabang.

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