Read Part 1, Part 2
We spent a total of 3 nights in Luang Prabang. Our flight back didn’t leave until 5pm, meaning we got plenty of time to walk around even in the last day. After the first two days of continuous downpours, the rain eventually slowed down into a splatter and enabled us to complete our mission to climb the revered Phusi Mount which is opposite to the National Museum.
It is a known fact that there are 328 steps up to the top of Phusi. It is also a general advice to go there at dusk, to watch the breathtaking sunset over the Mekhong and nestled town of Luang Prabang and to bring along a torch since there’s no lights whatsoever when the sun’s down and you’ll need some lights to find your way on those stairs. But it was cloudy all day during our stay, so we could climb the mount whenever we wanted and never mind the sunset.
We got up on top of Phusi sometimes in the mid afternoon. As you might be able to tell, tropical typhoon brought along a condensation in the air, plus the general temperatures in September hanging about 30C – 35C, we were, of course again, in a state of perpetual perspiration. It is also advised that we took the staircase opposite to the National Museum and not the one on Kingkitsarath Road, for that one was way way too steep and would make you feel like climbing up the wall. So we took the easy staircase and climbed all 328 required steps. It was a good climb, with the big trees providing the needed shades and cool, fresh, air. Luang Prabang is a green area of Laos, and the locals that we talked to appreciate that fact very much.
“If you go to other provinces, Vientiane for instance, you’ll see nothing like this,” says a local young man who works as everything including a driver at the hotel. “Luang Prabang is green, lots of fresh air, and good friendly ambiance. I was born here and after doing a bit of travelling around, have no intentions to move anywhere. Although bigger cities mean better salary, I think I require a good life rather than good pay.”
So we had dinner at Tamarind Restaurant again. But this time we decided to go a la carte for we thought we had an idea what their food was like. We ordered whatever we wanted and shared. And we ended up paying much less than ordering a set for each of us. Plus, it was a comfy, not too big of a meal, too.
Lao dishes are pretty much like Thai-Esan dishes. But here the produce are much more natural for none of the vegetables are sold in supermarket, yet. We got to see their superfresh produce at the morning market which is another must-see besides the morning merit making ritual of sai bath khao niew. Their fresh vegetables are so attractive. I also wish now that I brought some of their particular black sticky rice home. There’s none like that in Thailand and I love the black sticky rice.
Our last day was the easiest one. After the breakfast by the calmer Mekhan, we went for a walk again. We even went to their famous Joma’s original branch and saw lots of hand-made silversmiths. Shoppers might like their hand-woven baskets and handicrafts items. For us, our home is already very cluttered and we have come to realize that all we need is less. So..walking and seeing we did.
We went further down the Srisavangvong Road and saw Wat Mahathat and then walked all the way to Wat ViSounnarath which is one of the most ancient temples of Luang Prabang. Originally erected in 1515 and rebuilt in 1898, the premises also contain the famous That Mak Mo known as the “watermelon stupa” because of its similarities to the fruit.
For more information about Luang Prabang, visit Tourism Luang Prabang.