I checked out at Levady GH soon after my visit at the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. When I got to Thony II they were still cleaning up my room at the upper floor. While waiting, I saw a small poster where it says that they can take me to Tat Kuang Si Falls for 50,000 kip round trip. It was pretty cheap than taking a sole tuk-tuk on your own which is around 150,000 kip. I booked to be included on the afternoon tour.
My morning temple hopping led me to Th Sakkarin Area. Before I went back to Levady GH to get my bags and move to my new lodging I decided to visit another temple since I had plenty of time to spare before checkout. It’s easy to get templed-out in Luang Prabang, so it’s best to choose which ones to visit. If you would only choose to visit just one it should be the most magnificent temple in Luang Prabang. And that is Wat Xieng Thong.
I enjoyed walking through the Night Market of Luang Parabang but had to withdraw myself early lest I get tempted to spend. I headed to Th Khem Khong Road, another parallel road to the river but quieter and closer. Then I had a quick dinner of Stir Fry Mushroom Beef (16,000kip) and a strawberry shake (6000 kip) at one of the riverside restos there. Checked the internet and emails nearby then headed back to Levady Guest House for the night’s rest. By 9pm the town quiets down. There’s an 11pm curfew in Luang Prabang.
The street was full of open red and blue tents when I got down from climbing Phu Si Hills. It would seem that come dusk, the whole stretch of Th Sisavangvong is closed from vehicle traffic and as it becomes a ground for a market. I stayed on the upper ground beside a foreigner painting the National Museum. I observed the locals preparing their wares as the darkness deepens and the Luang Prabang Night Market illuminates with a tranquil glow.
I remember Laura, the petite English girl I met down south of Laos in Wat Phu Champasak, telling me that the sunset at Phu Si Hills is really beautiful and I shouldn’t miss it. So I made sure before 4pm, I made my way to Phu Si Hills, a 100-meter high hill found at the center of town along the main roads. There are several temples on and at the slopes of the hill. It’s also a popular place for the tourist to catch that famous Luang Prabang setting sun.
Staying in a lodging in Th Sisavangvong Vatthana street, which is an inner street from the Main Street of Th Sisavangvong, I am close to a lot of temples within town. Take note that there are numerous temples in Luang Prabang, some of them have entrance fees and others are free so it’s wise to choose the important ones first. I first visited a couple of temples just a short walk from the lodging. The first one is a charming little temple and the other one is a school for artist monks.
Situated 700 meters above sea level, I felt relieved that Luang Prabang has cool mornings and nights compared to the other places I’ve visited in Laos. Surrounded by mountains and intersected by the mighty Mekong River and Nam Kahn River, it has one of the most varied landscapes in Laos. Add in a charming town dotted with numerous temples, crumbling French colonial houses and gentle people, Luang Prabang is like a place time almost forgot. Definitely a favorite of all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites I’ve visited.