(written June 9)

Luang Prabang is pleasantly empty of tourists right now; a result of low season and the current lack of tourism in Thailand that overflows into Laos- and I am reaping all the benefits. The ambiance is even more relaxed that the town’s already sleepy reputation. Instead of being constantly harrassd and chased by street vendors as in every other Southeast Asian city, I find myself waking up old women in the streets to buy a handful of sticky rice or a locally woven silk scarf. I walk down the coconut-palm and temple lined streets in utter silence, without the clashing, competing sounds of karaoke bars, radios blaring, horns honking, hawkers yelling…so out of the Southeast Asian character I had become accustomed to.


Sometimes in the early morning, it seems I am only in the company of the monks receiving their alms at sunrise. It’s fascinating the rites of passage males of different cultures go through into manhood, and how it shapes the culture as a whole. Israelis get drafted into the army, Americans go the “American College”, and Lao’s go through monkhood. We’re all the same. We are so different.

Sunrise in Luang Prabang

Sunrise in Luang Prabang


~ by ceciliabien on June 14, 2009.

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