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  1. #1
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    Luang Prabang / 2007

    I've been to Luang Prabang twice - first, in October 2003, floating down the Maekhong for 2 days from Thailand, and by accident bumping into the local version of loy krathong. I stayed there six days and was deeply touched by the festivities and the everydays as well. I did have a regular film camera, which of course broke down, so I don't have a single picture of that holiday. Later I got a couple of hundred from a Hungarian woman that I bumped into, but she didn't stay for the festival.
    So, all my pictures are from March 2007, when we visited with my mother for 6 days. We flew in during the worst smog season of the region, both Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were scorching hot, covered in ash and soot. This was my first trip with my new Fuji f31fd camera. Out of the 900 or so photos I took here, only 120 remained when downloaded. The rest were only recovered a week ago, when I tried some programs online to save another card and suddenly I remembered this old one as well.
    It wasn't an easy week - we were planning to take it easy, take big walks, take the time, take photos - I spent two days in bed with severe salmonella (think it was, after a pancake that wasn't properly baked), hot, dehydrated and with a horrible cough. It was a memorable birthday.... But I loved our little room overlooking the Maekhong, the big walks around, the bookshops, the food, taking photos, visiting the temples, listening to the monks' chanting, not really a tight sightseeing schedule.
    I always regret not going back for loy krathong - usually it coincides with the October holiday at school. Not this year though. But in a way I am also scared, what if they have thrown away their candles and banana leaf boats and "upgraded" to portable accumulators and styrofoam. I'm always scared of old memories being overwritten by new ones, even though it was only 9 years ago that I first came to Asia. What on earth will I be doing and feeling 20 years from now? I know change also benefited Luang Prabang in many ways - the UNESCO world heritage status meant lots of fund and careful renovations, so wish traditional and old things were being taken care of like that elsewhere as well. But I am always scared of change, I always want to look for the timeless, and hold on.....

  2. #2
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    boats on the Maekhong (which is called Nam Khong around here). you can see how bad the smoke was.... could hardly make out the opposite bank.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    I came down on a river boat from Luang Phrabang to Viengchan in December 1968. It was a five-day trip that will last in my memory for ever. In those days it was a war zone, but I saw nothing that caused too much concern.
    น้ำผึ้ง

  4. #4
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    any pictures Nam Phyyng?
    Last edited by Betti; 02-08-10 at 09:50 PM. Reason: sorry about spelling :-(

  5. #5
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    sorry I feel asleep after asking Nam Phyyng.

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    Wat Xieng Thong is the most famous temple in Luang Prabang. Black walls with golden painting dominate - but I'll come back to that later.
    Many but not all temples charged an entry fee of around 1-1.5 dollars back then, but after sunset they didn't bother. Don't know about current practice. I remember it did not go down well, did not feel right.
    This temple is at the confluence of the Khan and Khong rivers and is thus the home of the two river nagas (dragons). However, it is usually not nagas that guard the temple gates (unlike in Chiang Mai), something that surprised me because nagas are said to be living in the Maekhong.
    It also used to be under royal patronage, kings were crowned here.
    It was extensively remodelled in the 60s so the present decoration looks old and weathered but the black walls with golden paintings and the outside murals are actually quite recent.

  6. #6
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    We went to Luang Prabang April 2007 the easy way, by airplane from Chiangmai. Climbing up the steps was quite a challenge for me since my neuropathy had been getting worse. Landing was pretty scary zooming down over mountains diving into the valley.

    We took a lot of photos but unlike you we didn't take notes. We wrote back home then when the experience was still fresh in our minds.

    http://www.ourbluemarble.us/New_Jour...baguettes.html

    Here a few photos I picked more or less arbitrarily except the one with the baguettes which impressed me.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    thanks for sharing. I didn't have a decent photo of those standing Buddhas, not enough light.
    the flight - when we got off the bus, all the farang tourists froze in their tracks, ourselves included. there was a collective gasp, I'm not kidding you. and then everyone reached for their cameras. it was my first time ever on a small propeller plane and I have to admit I was so terrified I was crying for half an hour or so.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    any pictures Nam Phyyng?
    Yes lots Betti, but they are not in digital form of course - mainly old half-frame 35mm slides.
    น้ำผึ้ง

  9. #9
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

    gold on black at Wat Xieng Thong temple

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    ceiling

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    sorry - still a temple enthusiast - and there are lots of those in Luang Prabang. most of them are quite dark and it took me ages to learn to use the Fuji properly in the dark so not too many temple pics, though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Luang Prabang / 2007

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