Side trip to Laos

The beauty of backpacking is the freedom of changing the route whenever I want; the itinerary is not set in stone. Laos was not on my radar at the beginning of the trip. I actually don't really know why. However, this changed when other travelers enthusiastically spoke about this country, and in particular Luang Prabang. So, I took a flight from Siem Reap to this small city (population of about 50,000) in the north of Laos.

Luang Prabang is set at the confluence of two rivers (Mekong and Nam Khan) that almost surround the town, and against a backdrop of green and rugged mountains. The city is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries, and there is a temple-topped hill right in the middle of it. Luang Prabang reminded me immediately of Hoi An in Vietnam, a town with a similar atmospheric and charming personality.

I mainly used my time in Laos to relax and reflect on the last weeks, which have been quite busy. Nonetheless, I did some temple sightseeing and a day trip to Kuang Si Falls, a pretty amazing multi-stage waterfall about an hour's drive out of town. Also, every morning at dawn, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries in Luang Prabang walk through the streets collecting alms of rice from locals and nowadays also tourists.