On a peninsula in Northern Laos sits the city of Luang Prabang. Formed by the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, the city is surrounded by green Mountain ranges, such as the PhouThao and PhouNang Mountains. Continue reading to learn more, and see Kevin’s photographs of Laos’s top tourist attraction.
“Spicy fish soup with Mekong cat-fish next to the river. Lime leaves, galangal, tamarind, lemon grass and or course chilies and fish sauce… Yum! Luang Prabang celebrating 20 years as a world heritage site as I write this. Beautiful town with fantastic French architecture. All the Charm of Havana or Yangon but with the buildings well-preserved.”
The fusion of traditional Lao architecture with that of European Colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries is exemplified quite famously in Luang Prabang structures.
Typical Lao buildings are made from wood, excluding temples, which are built from stone. The pagodas or “Vats” in Luang Prabang are some of the most sophisticated Buddhist temples in South East Asia. They are decorated with engravings, paintings, sculptures, and assorted furniture. The colonial houses were usually built with brick, and often featured balconies and decorative wooden elements. These buildings still line the main streets and the Mekong river.
Although the Lao people continued building with wood during the colonial period, they were also influenced by materials brought by the Europeans. New tools and techniques were developed due to this merging such as plaited bamboo panels coated with wattle and daub.