26 March, 2012

Squirreling about - far far away

This little squirrel is just back from squirreling about far, far away - this time to Luang Prabang in Laos!  It has been over ten years since I visited this sleepy little city and I was so glad and relieved to find that although it has changed, it still retains all its old charm.

Luang Prabang is located in north central Laos on the banks of the Mekong river.  It was named a UNESCO World Herigate Site in the early nineties, which has helped ensure that several of the old colonial style buildings have been preserved and restored.  Many of them have also been converted into hotels with verandahs overlooking the Mekong river - the ultimate room with a view!  We stayed at one of these hotels called Le Calao Inn, built in 1904 in Portugese style and the only one like it in Laos.  There are several newer hotels in the vicinity which are also beautiful, but I still like this one for its feeling of history and friendly staff.  You can find out more about the hotel on their website

Although there are several things to do outside of Luang Prabang, such as visiting waterfalls and taking boat trips, for me the real pleasure lies in just walking around the city, absorbing the laid-back atmosphere and admiring the temples and architecture.  There are also lovely little cafes overlooking the river where you can indulge in french crepes and baguette sandwiches with a cup of tea or a glass of wine.  Here you can just sit and relax with a book or watch the river traffic until the sunset turns the water pink, then stroll over to the Hmong evening market and browse. 

The next day, repeat!

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