We only got two nights and one day in Luang Prabang, Laos, but we made the most of it. We got up at 5:30 and didnt sleep until after visiting the night market.
Luang Prabang was a really sweet little town. It was pretty quiet and felt much nicer than the big busy cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Most of today was spent traveling. We had the morning free in Chiang Mai, but I didn’t go out. The flight to Luang Prabang was only an hour and once we got settled into the hotel some of the local people performed a Baci Ceremony for us.
In the Baci Ceremony we were blessed then each local tied a piece of string around each of our wrists. By the time they were done, we each had 8 strings on each wrist. You are traditionally supposed to leave the strings on for three days for luck, but we gave most of ours as an offering to the Buddha caves the next day. I did keep one string on for the three days though.
Today was our one and only day in Laos, and it was a full one. At 5:30 am we left the hotel and went into town to give alms to the local monks. The monks passed in a line with their baskets opened, and we put handfuls of sticky rice in each basket as they passed. We walked through the morning produce market (which had a lot of meat, some of which was still alive) before going back to the hotel for breakfast.
An hour and a half alter, we left once again and made two quick stops at small villages. The first was a paper making village and shop, and the second was a whiskey village. At the whiskey village we got to try moonshine taken directly from the still.
From the whiskey village, we walked down to the bank of the Mae Khong river to take a cruise up to the Buddha caves.
In the afternoon we visited Wat Xieng Thong, the most important temple in Luang Prabang, then toured the Royal Palace Museum.
In the evening we had dinner in town then shopped at the night market.