Travel to Laos: Luang Prabang
Pictures of the former capital of Laos.
Louang Prabang lies along the Mekong, and boats tie up informally.
There are many temples close to the river. At several times of day, monks beat immense bass drums.
The Buddhist elements are embedded in a colonial landscape including precisely surveyed streets--this one parallel to the Mekong but set back one block.
Xiengthong Road, the commercial street perhaps least altered since the French period.
A less atmospheric scene.
The upstream side of the city is confined by the Nam Khan, which parallels the Mekong before joining it, thus creating a peninsula occupied by a third of Louang Prabang. This is the part of the city where efforts to retain a traditional or colonial flavor are most likely to succeed, because there's no room for expansion.
One of many surviving colonial houses on this peninsula.
A late-colonial undertaking.
Another example of modernistic design.
Buildings like this one, which elsewhere in the Far East might have been torn down by now, not only survive in Luang Prabang but are increasingly likely to be saved.
Under renovation: the former French customs house, at the tip of the peninsula.
A hotel, but designed to fit the place.
The provincial hospital, still in use as such.
The most active market remains the French Talat (Market) Dala, which stands across from the hospital.
Inside, bricks of kip are changed. (Thanks for the correction, "pjk3.")
Continuity and change.
Signs of change are everywhere, including store-bought clothing and satellite dishes.
Still farther out, a landscape fully in keeping with Asia's ambitions.
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