As suggested by our travel guide, we woke at dawn and offered alms to the many monks of Luang Prabang. Yes, we felt like the tourists that we are, but it was a unique experience and a serene morning.

Monks in Luang Prabang

Monks in Luang Prabang

Monks in Luang Prabang

Monks in Luang Prabang

Monks in Luang Prabang


We then found a market on a side street. The smell of herbs, particularly something resembling dill, was fresh in the air.

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang

Morning Market in Luang Prabang


Breakfast was a muddy Lao-style coffee with a thick bed of condensed milk, some fried dough, and some coconut-rice-thing wrapped up in a leaf. (Plastic spoons included, womp womp.)

Luang Prabang Breakfast

Luang Prabang Breakfast

Luang Prabang Breakfast

From Vientiane we flew to Luang Prabang. This entire former capital is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and indeed just about everything is old and picturesque. Mountains, monks, the Mekong, all in the haze of burning leaves.

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

We took an overnight train from Bangkok to Vientiane, crossing the Mekong, and arriving four hours late. At lunchtime we had our first genuine Lao meal: beef larp with sticky rice.

Train to Laos

Train to Laos

Train to Laos

Vientiane


Afterwards, we took a stroll in area and found a school. Uniformed children were waiting and playing in the yard. Of course I took photos, and usually this is a one-way assault, but this time they shot right back -- with a Nintendo DS no less. Shenanigans ensued and I quickly found myself winded and sweaty from the horsing around.

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane


We rented bikes and spent the rest of the day exploring the quite capital of Laos.

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane