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The Fierce Temples of Luang Prabang

The main thing I remember about Luang Prabang, Laos was that it was HOT. So very, very hot. Visiting South East Asia during the hottest month of the year (March) may not have been a brilliant strategy, but it did decrease the number of other tourists wandering, dazed by the heat.

Luang Prabang is a city of temples. It’s the old capital of Laos (before the commies moved it down to Luang Prabang), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike other communist countries, religion has been allowed to continue and thrive here and monks in bright saffron robes wander the streets.

One hot dusty day I set off to explore the temples of the city.

 Once again I discovered that the best temples all require a bit of strength and dedication to reach (Phou Si):

Young monks with an umbrella to protect from the sun. There was a school for Monks next to the temple.

Vat Xieng Toung. The oldest set of temples in town, known to be the most beautiful. I loved the details that adorned the handful of buildings here.

Worn out from a day of temple seeking in the hot sun, I settled down at a tiny cafe next to the Mekong River for lunch. The breeze was cool, but I wasn’t so lucky with the food. While delicious, this papaya salad was so hot it made me cry.

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7 Responses to The Fierce Temples of Luang Prabang

  1. Nora Lynch August 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM #

    Lovely pics – you’ve captured the feel of Luang Prabang. The som tam looks amazing and fiery. I have a food story from Luang Prabang I’ll share. I love mango with sticky rice in Thailand, and so when I read about a Lao version of this in Lonely Planet, I had to try some. We asked a woman who owned a cafe there if she could make some for us. When we returned the next day, she proudly brought us a giant plate of sticky rice cut into big squares. One bite told me it wasn’t the sweet and delicious treat I was hoping for – so I discreetly handed my square to my husband, who manned up and polished it off, along with several additional squares. What a trooper! Thanks for the memories with your lovely post!

    • Steph August 21, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

      Thanks for sharing.

  2. paul August 19, 2011 at 10:08 PM #

    i love world heritage site temples! i’ll definitely stop a few days at luang prabang. and thanks to you, i won’t do it on march. lol. thanks for sharing your photos!

  3. Katie December 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM #

    Luang Prabang is such a great city. It is extremely laid back and there are cool sights to see. If you make it there, be sure to partake in feeding the monks or almsgiving.

  4. David Smith January 19, 2015 at 1:03 AM #

    I read your article and also like this.These pictures are very nice and informative.

  5. Sinh Le April 21, 2015 at 8:56 AM #

    Luang Prabang is place of Buddhist culture your post is represents all the Holy Buddhism and flavor of Laos. Nick Clicks!

  6. Minh Nguyen June 30, 2015 at 12:42 AM #

    I like temples in Luang Prabang. it’s really to sit under the shade of trees in those temple and rest. the temples’ architecture is very unique and sophisticated. however, this city is getting more touristy. to be honest, i prefer vientiane to LP

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