Friday, March 15, 2013

Farwell Luang Prabang

 Travel in the afternoon--from Luang Prabang to Vientaine, the capital of Laos. 

But first breakfast and a visit to the Royal Museum in Luang Prabang.

Tamarind for breakfast

The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are used extensively in cuisines around the world. 

To eat, one breaks open the pod, peels away the fibrous strings and eats the date-like yumminess. The seeds (each lump in the pod has one) are not eaten.

Luang Prabang National Museum

The Royal Palace 

The Royal Palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for the King of Laos and his family. When the communists took over the country in 1975, the Palace was converted to a museum. 

The Palace rooms are large, adequate but not extravagant as in many palaces. Photography was not allowed inside.

On the grounds are the Palace, the Royal Barge Shelter, Haw Pha Bang and other buildings.

Gable of Royal Palace

The Royal Barge Shelter

This is for the head monk

Haw Pha Bang

 Although the temple in the complex lacks historical significance, having been built in 2006, it is quite beautiful.  It will house possibly the most important historical object in Laos, the Pra Bang, a standing bronze Buddha statue that is covered in gold leaf. It came to Luang Prabang in the 14th century. The city takes it’s name from the statue--Pra Bang and Luang which means large. Presently it is housed in a bank vault in Vientiane, awaiting it's return to Luang Prabang. 

Looking inside through outer door
Hmong women doing embroidery craft

Is the ladder on the left is the stairway to heaven?....

Joma Bakery café of Luang Prabang

The Asian Equivalent of Pearl Street Bagels (located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming)

Started by Canadians, this café has flourished based on the wait to order at the counter. Wonderful bakery items and coffee. Our waitress' name was "Phooey"--tongue-in-cheek name or Lao?

This menu could appear in any American cafe, except for the cost column. For example, a small latte is 15,000 kip

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