Visit Luang Prabang For an Authentic Look at Laotian Life and Culture

Visit Luang Prabang For an Authentic Look at Laotian Life and Culture

Until quite recently, Luang Prabang in Laos was not a very popular tourist attraction, but not because there was little to offer. Rather, it was difficult to access for anyone seeking a bit of culture because the only way in and out of this amazing town was usually by crowded buses that took them on a long and windy mountainous journey. Although the scenery was absolutely stunning, few tourists really wanted to brave the main access route.

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You could get there by boat, but that too was an arduous journey that took two whole days along the Mekong and that held little allure for tourists. Once the airport was modernised back in 2011, Luang Prabang became a virtual hot spot, literally overnight! If you want to explore a bit of culture and authentic Laotian lifestyle while you’re at it, your best choice would definitely be a boutique hotel in Luang Prabang. Why not stay in the lap of luxury while exploring local culture?

Marvel at a True UNESCO Heritage Site

While many places are named UNESCO World Heritage sites, the old town centre is said to be deserving of the honour. Not only will you get a view of the awesome Mekong River, but you will get to view authentic French colonial architecture, amazing wats,and historic monasteries, making this a truly memorable place to visit. If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘wat,’ it is a word that denotes ‘temple’ in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. The wats in Laos are said to be of the finest examples of historic temples still standing today.

View a Traditional Monks’ Alms Walk in the Early Morning Hours

What could be more authentic than to see a historic religious ritual that has been going on in the very same way for hundreds, or thousands, of years? In Luang Prabang, the monks have been making this walk since time immemorial and the one thing you do not want to do is venture too close to the line. Some tourists have treated the young boys abominably and have earned a bad reputation as a result. Not all tourists are there to gawk and if you want to truly appreciate the culture, show some respect! Do take pictures but use the right lens so you aren’t venturing into their ‘comfort zone.’

A Foodies Paradise of Local Markets

Unless you’ve tasted the amazingly aromatic and delightful Laotian dishes, you’ll never know what you are missing. Not only can you take food home to your hostel or hotel to enjoy later, but you can eat a bite or two as you travel the streets from vendor to vendor. Most of the vendors you’ll find are local farmers and fishermen, but the foods they bring to market could be sold at the classiest 5-star restaurants in major cities like London, Paris and New York. If you are a foodie, nothing gives you a more authentic ‘taste’ of local culture than the taste of their local delicacies.

Are you ready to head on out to Laos? If so, remember that this is a new hotspot of tourist activity, so you will get a real feel of the people and their culture. Just be ready to enjoy some delightful sights, sounds,and tastes. It’s promised to be the holiday of a lifetime, so see for yourself.

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