Flashback – Trip to Luang Prabang

Bee in DC’s second guest blogger post, from the lovely and fabulous Meg. My dear travel buddy.

The Bee asked me to write this guest post last week and I hesitantly committed – I’m not a blogger, but I couldn’t refuse one of my besties… I agonized over what I could possibly say about Luang Prabang.  I had total writer’s block, but a classmate of mine helped inspire me.  I grabbed beers with classmates on Saturday when, somewhat fortuitously, the topic turned to travel.  Someone asked me what my favorite place I’ve ever traveled to was.  My answer was automatic.  Laos.  I didn’t even have to think about it – there was no hesitation or second guessing.  After that, I knew I could write this post.

I am extremely lucky to have been to such a magical place as Luang Prabang and I owe it all to the Bee.  I became friends with her when I first moved to D.C. in the summer of 2007.  We had known each other for about 6 months – long enough for her to discover my geeky interest in Communist revolutions and the war in Vietnam – when she invited me on her family vacation to Southeast Asia.  Such is the Bee…a loving friend and true adventurer.

After a two-day cruise on a family boat down the Mekong River, we arrived in Luang Prabang.  This ancient royal city is sure to charm everyone who visits.  It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means buses and trucks aren’t allowed on the city roads (so you only have to beware the crazy pedi bikes) keeping it quiet and adding to its mysterious allure.

The city is well-known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries. The colorful buildings and the orange robes of all the monks add a unique element to the already vibrant scenery.

Every morning, hundreds of monks from monasteries in and around the city walk through the streets collecting alms from the people.

It was amazing to watch people giving their time and food to the monks – and mind-blowing to think that this tradition happens every day…. Watching the Buddhist monks silently and gratefully receiving alms was one of the most incredible things I’ve had the privilege to see.

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” – Buddha

Luang Prabang was formerly the capital of a kingdom (which bore the same name). Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The royal palace Ho Kham is now a museum that displays old royal objects and Buddhist artwork from Laos and Cambodia.

Not only is the city full of gems to visit and markets to explore, the area surrounding Luang Prabang is absolutely picturesque and provides for some fun outdoor adventures.

We rode elephants…

…and climbed a waterfall.

The few days we spent there were magical.  Luang Prabang will forever remain one of my favorite travel destinations.  Of course the entire vacation was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I owe all to the Bee.

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3 Comments

Filed under Guest Bloggers, Travel

3 responses to “Flashback – Trip to Luang Prabang

  1. I always hear of how fascinating Luang Phra Bang is, but never get a chance to visit this city despite the fact that it is not far from my location compared to other countries where I have been to. Hopefully, I will go there soon.

  2. You really should! Meg and I are dying to go back.

  3. Pingback: A Walk Down Memory Lane | Bee in DC

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