The Luminous Laos: Luang Prabang

Mantra Reader, Atiyah Wazir

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Instagram: @travelling.hippo

Laos is taking the limelight in Southeast Asia. We skipped the capital, Vientiane, and headed to Luang Prabang, a place that seems to be floating on the Mekong River. The former French town is known for its intricately gilded temples, impossibly turquoise Kuang Si waterfall and dense jungles.

You can wake up early and take rice to the procession of orange-robed monks who walk the streets every morning for giving alms, or explore the many sights up mountains and along the river, or tear up the guidebook and just notice the colors. We wander down a dusty road and find stalls where locals barter and chickens escape cages.

Emerald green raw mangoes pile up, saffron-colored marigolds sell cheaply for prayer offerings and bananas are bought by the branch. A walk through the night market reveals a congregation of paper parasols shining like jewels under fluorescent light. An elder has stitched woolen heart brooches in her favorite shades of purple and pastels. We forgive the cursing of a taxi driver because the colors of his tuk-tuk are so vibrant.

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