Wat Mai - don't just rush past it!
Wat Mai is a peaceful wat, just alongside the old Royal Palace. The front doors and facade of the sim are very richly decorated, and worth 'reading' for the many interesting features. Phousi rears up high above the wat to the north.
Wat Mai was where the first French delegation stayed, because the then king refused to speak to them. He reckoned they were foreign imperialists come to snatch away his kingdom. Perceptive. The delegation befirended the senior monk who acted a s go-between for the two parties.
I found it by chance and (what a pity!) too late.
In the middle of Sakkarine Road you can find a small shop of massages called "Lotus Massages". Here you can try:
- Feet massage, 3 USD
- Body massage, 6 USD
- Aromatherapy massage, 9 USD
I discovered it on my last night, and tried only the feet massage. You are sit on a "chaise longe" with your feet up. Then the massager sits in front and washes your feet: delicately, strongly, slowly, deeply. Then they wrap your feet in hot towels. Then they start with the right feet: palm oil, fingers massage, sticks massage, finger-by-finger massage... all that during 30-40 minutes! and then the same for the left foot!!
AND at the end you get a "quick" (more than 10 minutes) neck and shoulders massage... all this in a relaxed chill-out atmosphere... you go out of the shop floating!!!
I can't even imagine how the "aromatherapy" massage would be, but have the firm intention to go back and try it some day, LOL
- Luxury Travel
- Spa and Resort
Pak Ou village
Pak Ou is a tiny village on the Mekong river, opposite the famous Pak Ou caves. There are about two dozen thattched-roofed houses raised off the ground, and about 50 villagers. Sadly there are also several stalls selling souvenirs - it's not too sure to whom, since there were no other tourists at the village, when I was there. Aside from this there was a huge fat turkey, the fattest I have ever seen, a little shop selling eggs and cigarettes, and an empty "restaurant" selling food to no one at all.
Pak Ou caves
Pak Ou caves are two caves that are found inside the vertical limestone cliffs opposite Pak Ou village.
For a couple of thousand years they have been an important place of worship.
At the beginning people used to worship
the river spirit and gods, and when Buddhism spread into Laos they simply shifted god, filled the caves with buddha images and statues, and went on worshipping there. They are located across the river from Pak Ou village - or else about 25 km north of Luang Prabang
It's called the jar makers village and it lies about 30 minutes from Luang Prabang. However, more than jars, people here produce the delicious Lao-Lao rice liqueur. The distillery is under the first hut on the right, at the entrance of the village.
here you can find a cluster of huts and wooden houses, and a brick one: the pharmacy - although I did not see much that it could sell. There's also a school: a floor, a roof, a few benches and no walls or desks. et the kids seemed very happy (and the teachers very bored)
I was fascinated by the fishermen who waded into the Nam Khan to fish or fished off small boats in the Mekong. How come it's so relaxing to watch other people do all the work?
Sadly Laos is one of the most bombed and land mined countries in the world having been blanket bombed by the Americans during the Vietnam War. Remains of these sad times can be found around town.
- Historical Travel
OK. it's not really off the beaten track, but as you wander around you will see some wonderful river views and river activity. The rivers and the wats are what really make Luang Prabang special.
OK, I know I am just being weird here but I was quite fascinated by monks' washing lines. Just the fact that everything was orange.
I love to sit and watch sunset it made me feel relax and often that sunset come with the breeze wind
Cross the Mekong to the other side of the city ...
It is a good idea to cross the Mekong to see the opposite site of Luang Prabang and there are also some Wat's to see ...