Luang Prabang

Street with large houses to left and parked motorbikes. A typical street in Luang Prabang with comfortable houses and shaded pavements Luang Prabang lies at the heart of northern Laos, some 340 kilometres north of the capital Vientiane, and a tortuous 850 west of the Vietnamese capital Hà Nội. Its great asset is its physical geography. The town sits on the banks of the Mekong, already a wide river although still with some 2,400 kilometres (1,500 miles) to go before it reaches the sea. It is held in an arm of the River Nam Khan, on the peninsular formed as that river runs parallel to the Mekong and then turns at right angles to join it. On this spur the heart of the town sits, the rivers offering endless opportunities for waterside cafes, cool walks and pleasing prospects. Maybe it's a little invidious, but this is among a handful of my all time favourite places. One of its key attractions are the wooden buildings, making ample use of the fact that Laos is proportionately the most wooded country in Asia. This page is unbalanced, showing but one side of Luang Prabang - pagodas are the town's crowning delight and await the next page. A pavement with a line of large boards on which are small circles of cake. Small pastries cooking in the sun A street lined with shops, a bank to the right with seat nearby. Gentle traffic (there are no through roads), orange trees and seats aplenty, characterise the town centre Model house with blossom in glass on an altar. A model Luang Prabang house, forming an altar, near the street Street with vendors along left pavement, motor-bikes to right, and palm trees around. A main street in the town with motor-bike taxis waiting at the right Substantial wooden corner house with large satellite dish. Although villages in Laos are generally poorer, these well built larger houses seem to mark a level of affluence... Tightly shuttered wooden house. ...that is higher than found in similar communities in Vietnam. This is reflected in the higher prices visitors pay Children playing, woman watching, river and vegetable rows beyond. The background to the children's play is provided by the River Nam Khan
- richly planted with vegetables
A motorbike with side by side seated sidecar. Motorbike sidecar converted to rickshaw style travel - is he the owner or a customer? Long bodied well decorated motor-tricycle with seats for 8 people facing inwards. This rather splendid eight passenger motorbike (as indicated by the '9' on the side for the number of people allowed in it) caught Han's eye... Two women walking over bridge, one with long hair pushing a cycle. While my eye was caught by this girl's hair as she wheels another mode of transport Han trying out the motor tricycle on a patch of open ground. ...and he had little difficulty in persuading the owner to let him have a shot Red tractor unit pulling two wheeled cart with six passengers on benches. An alternative form of minibus. Farm tractor unit pulling a trailer equipped with benches for passengers More enclosed, less pristine, motor tricycle. Another motor tricycle with more protection from the weather; but less aesthetic decoration Eight passenger motorbike with family. A smartly turned out eight passenger motorbike with driver and children on board View from restaurant down the River Mekong. A riverside restaurant with a view. Down the Mekong... View from restaurant up the River Mekong. ...and up the Mekong View from restaurant down the River Nam Khan. And another restaurant. Down the Nam Khan and... View from restaurant up the River Nam Khan. ...up the Nam Khan. (The bridge was in the pictures above) View directly across the Nam Khan from restaurant. And from the last restaurant the view directly across the river View across Mekong with moored boats on both sides. The Mekong with its wide rocky shores; boats give it scale, as do the monks below Footbridge with gate on it and house on far bank of the Nam Khan. Above and below photographs of the River Nam Khan as it winds around Luang Prabang. Above a small toll bridge, below again seen from further up river The view down the river towards the foodbridge with fields of vegetables on the far side. River Mekong shore with two monks and cafe on bank above. A foot toll bridge over the Nam Khan with keepers house. And another angle on the toll bridge and its keeper's house.
A small pop-up cafe sits on the beach nearby
Trailers... The Wat Ho Siang. Missing from the page above are the jewels in Luang Prabang's crowning glory - its pagodas. The subject of the next page. View over the River Tweed towards the Eildons. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Viewpoint'.
Or go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 26th September 2020 Murphy on duty to this site

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