Luang Prabang in the north is a sleepy little former French Colonial town which hosts some of Lao’s oldest and best preserved Buddhist temples. This mellow hamlet rests on a peninsula, sandwiched between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
What I remember most of Luang Prabang, in the spring of 1998, were two things: a tranquil and picturesque town, where locals lived seemingly well for being in one of the poorest countries in the world — and the smoky air produced by excessive crops burning that year. (At the time, the fires throughout that part of Southeast Asia were killing scores of people. Eventually, I had to evacuate to Bangkok just to breath.) Nevertheless, this first visit to Luang Prabang was wonderful.