Royal Visit…..

Royal Visit…..

Today we looked into flights to Vientiane there are two companies we can use Lao Airlines or Lao Central Airlines. Lao airlines worked out best for us in terms of times. The tickets are booked for Saturday.

We had a wander around town, visited Phou Si temple (climbing around 300 steps to get there!), Buddhist footprint, other temples and a Buddhist monk school.

Phou Si
The main hill in the city from which you have a good view of the whole area. It’s not a very steep climb from the bottom and sunrise and sunset are particularly rewarding times to go up. There is a near-panoramic view from the top. There are 2 entrances from ground level: 1 on the north along Sisavangvong Road, facing the Royal Palace, and another one on the East, on Sisavang Vatthana Road. The northern entrance has about 130 steps up to the ticket counter, and another 190 steps to the top. The eastern entrance is longer than the northern one by a factor of 2 or 3, and is hence less steep and has more points of interest along the way, which are perfect excuses for stopping for a breather on the climb. Entrance fee 20,000 kip. Here there is a Buddhist footprint.

Temple at the ticket office
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looking across to the Royal Palace Museum
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The next steps up
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Views from the top
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the temple from the outside
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Another temple at the bottom
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Monks studying
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Afterwards we had a walk around town popping into the Big Brother Mouse offices (more information in my post for tomorrow) and Ock Pop Tok (a fair trade textile shop which is linked to the Living Craft Centre). The shop assistant was curious and asked what religion we are We told her, she then wanted Sangeet to tie a turban on her. She also gave us her email address and wants information on Sikhi.

Big Brother Mouse
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Ock Pop Tok shop, the lady liked Sangeet’s turban and wanted Sangeet to tie one on her.
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We then popped into saffron cafe for a strawberry smoothie.
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Red chillies
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We wandered around town for a while then made our way to The Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace (official name “Haw Kham”) in Luang Prabang, Laos, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. The site for the palace was chosen so that official visitors to Luang Prabang could disembark from their river voyages directly below the palace and be received there. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the Crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the grounds. In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the Royal Family were taken to re-education camps. The palace was then converted into a national museum.
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On the way back through the night stall which was being setup we stopped at the vegetarian stall for a late lunch / early dinner. We were the first to arrive so were able to enjoy the buffet whilst fresh.

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In the evening I went to pick up the laundry from town and also had a one hour foot massage. It was a bargain at 40000kip (around £3)!

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