Minibus to Pai, Chiang Khong, Mae Sai Visa Run Get to know Pai
Jul 28

Luang Prabang Province

Luang Prabang is the ancient capital city of the Lan Xang Kingdom. According to the Luang Prabang legend, the first name of Luang Parabang was Muang Swa, named after King Khun Xua around the eighth century, later known as Xieng Dong and Xieng Thong. During the reign of King Fa Ngum between 1354 and 1372 A.D., Xieng Dong, and Xieng Thong cities were renamed Luang Prabang in the name of the gold image of Buddha, the Phrabang.

Luang Prabang was the capital of the Lane xang kingdom from 1354 A.D. The capital was then transferred to Vientiane city in 1560 A.D. Luang Prabang is rich in cultural heritage, known as the seat of Lao culture, with monasteries, monuments traditional costumes and surrounded by many types of nature’s beauty. Luang Prabang province has a total population of 365000.

The National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. Constructed as a palace between 1904 and 1909 A.D., during the reign of King Sisavangvong, now turned into a National Museum, it houses the Royal throne of Lan Xang kingdom in its original splendor, and many other regalia and religious treasures. It is located on the bank of the Mekong River, facing Mount Phusi.

Situated on the bank of the Mekong River, on the wedge of land formed where the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers meet, Vat Xiengthong was constructed in 1559/1560 A.D. by king Say Setthathirath. Vat Xiengthong is the most beautiful among all monasteris of Luang Prabang and represents the typical Lao art style. Many old and beautiful religious artifacts of the period between the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, and some ancient masterpieces of Lao art, for a valuable collection of cultural heritage.

?The spectacular Kouangsy Waterfall is located in an ideal area deep in the forest, away from human habitation. It is perfect for rest and relaxation. On the way to the falls, quaint villages with their traditional hydro-rice mills can be also visited.

The cool limestone caves are located on the steep rock cliff rising vertically from the waters of the Mekong River, at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The craggy mountains scenery is breathtaking with overhanging cliffs above the swift flowing river. The best attractions here are the two caves full of Buddha images of varying styles, ages and sizes. The lower cave called Tham Ting, or Tham Leusi contains a hermit of Leusi statue. The other noteworthy cave is called Tham Theung (upper cave), or Tham Prakachay. The caves can be reached by a 2 hours boat trip, upstream from Luang Prabang.

Vat Mai, constructed in 1821 A.D., during the reign of king Manthatourath, was once the residence of Phra Sangkharaj (the Patriarch of the Buddhist clergy). The five-tiered roof of the wooden Sim is the traditional Luang Prabang style. That Chomsi of Luang Prabang was constructed on top of the Phusi hill in 1804 A.D. during the reign of king Anurut. It is an impressive structure, fully renovated in 1994. It is a meaningful symbol as it stand in the center of the twon. At mid-slope, and at the foot of the hill, are several religious sites including caves, Buddha footprints, and templates. Drumming on top of Phusi was once a tradition of the Luang Prabang people. The sound of the drum, every three hours could be heard for miles around.

Ban Lu or Lu village of Ban Phanom, only 2.5 km from the center of Luang Prabang town is famous for cotton and silk weaving, and some beautifully hand-crafted souvenirs. The Lu people of Ban Phanom came originally from Sip Song Panna in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, having been invited by King Kitsarath.

Vat Visoun was built between 1500/1520 during the reign of King Visounarat. The phrabang, the fine gold Buddha image, the religious symbol of the Kingdom, was enshrined here from 1504 to 1715 A.D., and from 1866 to 1874 A.D. In 1942, it was turned into a Museum of Religious Arts, and housed collections of Buddha images and religious artifacts from the fourteenth century. Within its precincts stands the gigantic That Makmo (watermelon stupa), originally known as That Patum or Lotus Stupa, constructed in 1503 A.D.

Contents adapted from publications by the National Tourism Authority of Lao PDR.
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6 Responses to “Get to know Luang Prabang”

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