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Author Topic: Luang Prabang, Laos  (Read 1401 times)
Mike Raub
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« on: October 11, 2013, 11:17:25 AM »
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I'm going to be there a the end of the month. It's a very small town and I'm guessing most of the best photo ops will be easy to find, but if anyone has visited there and has any photo tips, I'd appreciate them.
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cmburns
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 11:30:02 AM »
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Go down where the rivers meet at sunset. Also book a boat ride out to the caves late in the day so you're returning around sunset.

There's some waterfalls that are nice. You can book cheap trips to them on the main street. There's also a market on that street at night kind of a touristy thing and then there's the real locals market during the day that has everything under the sun. That's a little further out.

Of course all tourist turn up before sunrise for the monks. You won't believe how crowded it is. Get a shot or two with them walking by some of the temples and then go to the back and side streets where there's almost no tourist. The monks walk a circular route back to their place, if you're there a couple of days you'll figure out who goes where. Also hang around the temples when they get back and you'll see them doing everyday stuff, washing dishes, cooking breakfast, etc.

There's a footbridge across the smaller river that may or may not be there depending on how big the flood was, have they rebuilt it yet, etc. but if so there will be some shots to be had.
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Mike Raub
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 02:59:14 PM »
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Thanks for the helpful information. I've read the alms giving has become so touristy that you almost expect the monks to be carrying gadgets to swipe credit cards. Getting up early should not be a problem since I read they roll up the sidewalks (to the extent they exist) at 11PM.
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Praki
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 05:19:33 PM »
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There is a day trip on the Mekong that you can take to small caves. The trip along the water will be quite nice... the river must be full after the monsoons. The monks are not the issue the tourists are. FYI the monks don't eat after 12 noon and they each carry a small bowl which the locals may fill with rice or some food. We gave them some fruits.  The locals gather before dawn to give the alms as has been their habit for centuries but the tourists have made it a spectacle by coming in luxury buses and they act like it was feeding time at the zoo.  The monks neither ask for nor expect alms. This was three years ago. So the remark about credit cards and the monks carrying card swipers is off base.
The night market is mostly handicrafts and the textiles are very beautiful. The day market is for staples like food, vegetables meat etc. There are a couple of palaces and museums but not photo worthy. There is one temple on a hill but nothing to write home about.
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Philmar
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 02:02:39 PM »
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The temple on the top of Mount Phousi is nothing special but there is an interesting reclining Buddha on the trip up. Also the view from the top is quite nice, especially at sunrise/set. The morning alms seems like a tourist attraction because of the number of tourists. Many of the tourists are bused in from Thailand. They participate in the tak bak by giving food to the novice monks. They pay a fee and the tourist company has prepared foods and prime spots for them to give food to the monks.
I cannot recommend strongly enough that you walk around the wats in the afternoon so that you may be engaged in conversation by novice monks eager to improve their English skills. The novice monks are overwhelmingly children of poor rural rice farmers who cannot afford them an education. this is their only chance out of the rice fields and to get a formal education. you may be asked to help at an evening English language class offered for novice monks. You just need to read English text so they can hear proper pronunciation. these kids will amaze you with their cultured manners, good behavior, maturity and eagerness to learn. Meet a few friends, buy them a Lao-English dictionary at a local bookstore.


Here are a few of my shots from my last trip there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil_marion/sets/72157628665340967/
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An office drone pension administrator by day and a photo-enthusiast by night, week-end and on vacation who carries his camera when traveling the world:
Please have a chew on my photos:
http://www.fluidr.com/photos/phil_marion/sets
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