Friday June 15, 2007 Laos Motorbike Trip - Day 3 (Luang Prabang) 0 Km Covered
And on the third day we relaxed. In 1995, Luang Prabang was awarded the status of a world heritage site as ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’. The French colonial architecture was hard to capture with the camera, but excellent for the eye. It felt like a French city trapped in SE Asia. I can only imagine how cool it would have been 100 years ago. The croissants and coffee are another great legacy of the French. We walked along the Mekong waterfront, past Buddhist temples, colonial buildings, and markets. The Royal Palace was an interesting visit. It was left vacant in 1975 following the Lao Revolution. As the story goes, King Sisavang Vatthana and his family were imprisoned in a cave in Hua Phang Province following the revolution. They have never been heard of since, and there has yet to be an official report on the whereabouts of the royal family by the Lao PDR government. They have now turned the palace into a museum and you can walk into most of the rooms. I particularly enjoyed a room that showed
presents that had been given by various world governments to the royal family. The US gifts were - a silver Tiffany desk pen/letter holder with JFK’s name and presidential crest on it, and a miniature model replica of the Lunar Lander spacecraft with a small piece of the moon encased next to it. Interesting gifts I thought. (I wonder how many other lunar landers there are around the world in other dignitaries’ glass show cases?) That night we walked around the markets and enjoyed a Pizza dinner. After a month and a half of noodles and rice it was nice to enjoy the simple luxury of a Pizza.