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The Acient Town of Luang Prabang

 The ancient town of Luang Prabang situated in northern Laos, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Considered by many travellers and writers as being the heart of Laotian culture, the tiny town is encircled by mountains and is 700 metres above sea level at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers.

Luang Prabang was the ancient royal capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom until King Phothisarat moved the administrative seat to Vientiane in 1545. Regardless, it has continued to overlook Vientiane as the destination of choice with its amalgamation of crumbling French architecture, glistening temples and extensive natural beauty. Even the hardest of hearts would have a struggle not to warm to the place. The town's entire historical section is dedicated to tourism, with everything from former royal palaces to over 33 Wats (temples), on the tourist trail. This former Royal capital still remains the main centre for Buddhist learning in Laos and is the perfect location for spiritual contemplation.

Wat Xieng Thong

This site is famous as the location for the coronation of Lao kings and as an important gathering place for significant annual festivities. The original temple was created in 1560 under the royal instruction of King Setthathirath and narrowly missed invasion on several occasions, nevertheless time took hold and much-needed remodelling took place during the 1960s. The temple still remains in its original form with repairs undertaken to the roof, and gold leaf gilding and gold lacquering restoration added to the walls and entrance.

A superb piece of Lao temple architecture, Wat Xieng Thong presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall. The tree portrays the tale of the founding of the temple which legend states was by two hermits who decided to create the sanctuary next to a large flame tree where the rivers met. The story continues inside with dharma wheels depicted in gold on the ceiling. Relics include a rare reclining black Buddha dating back to the reign of King Setthathirat displayed in the Red Chapel. The Buddha image was showcased in Paris in 1931 before being returned to the temple in 1964 and it is considered to be extremely unique.

Pak Ou Caves

One of the most respected holy sites in Lao; Pak Ou Caves have a history dating back thousands of years. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves, a shrine to the river spirit and Lord Buddha, are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. There are two caves to visit, the lower cave called Tham Ting and the upper cave Tham Theung, both boasting miniature Buddhist figures that are mostly made from wood.

Positioned about 50 feet above the river, Tham Ting filters in some light but a torch is required for the absolutely pitch black Tham Theung. The upper cave is home to the majority of the Buddha statues and you will need to find your way in darkness to the thousands of hidden icons. The statues are believed to have been left in the caves by local people for hundreds of years.

Kuang Xi Water Fall

Kuang Si (Xi) Waterfall is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals. You can change clothes for swimming at the wooden huts located close to the entrance.

Breathtaking cascades of water make the Kuang Si one of Luang Prabang’s most popular tourist attractions. The journey to the waterfall is worth taking time over with vistas across rice fields and the opportunity to meet locals along the way. A Hmong village is a great place to stop where the older female villagers still dress in traditional costume, you can also purchase their hand woven crafts to take home as a souvenir. If you want to take photos at the village you will be expected to buy from them in return.

Elephant Village Sanctuary

Close to the banks of the Nam Khan River, the Elephant Village Sanctuary (also known as the Elephant Park Project) works towards providing a peaceful future for rescued Lao elephants. Starting by saving the elephants from often brutal logging work, they are then given a home in the jungle where they can rest and recover. Some of the elephants at the sanctuary are disabled and are offered a chance of rehabilitation with an onsite fulltime vet to help those in need.

The village is located in a lush river valley which is on a long government lease so long as the sanctuary opens its doors for tourists to see the programme. Excursions are offered through Tiger Trail Outdoor Adventures and include elephant riding and a mahout experience with anything from a half-day to a two-day tour. Whatever trip you book will go towards ensuring the existence of this sanctuary benefiting both animals and the 40 staff employed from the local villages that would otherwise be most likely without work.

Mount Phousi

Rising 150 metres above the centre of town, Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure on the Luang Prabang skyline. The hill is popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set over the Mekong River. From the summit you can enjoy a spectacular 360 degree outlook across the city and its many temples, and out over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance. Count on spending a couple of hours for the climb and descent, with several stops to see the temples, rest under the shady trees and admire the magical views.

There are hundreds of steps to negotiate, but the climb is gentle enough for anyone who is in reasonable health. For a complete experience, go up Mount Phousi on one side and use the other set of steps to make your way down again. You can pray and make offerings at several temples along the way. Next to Wat Chomsi at the top of the hill you can buy flowers to offer for blessings, as well as caged birds. The Laos believe that if you set a bird free you will enjoy good luck and happiness in the future.

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Best Time To Visit Vietnam

Best Time To Visit Vietnam

Best Time To Visit Vietnam

 “when is the best time to visit Vietnam?”

If you’re not entirely sure about the time to go, let us clear your clouded thought by a fact that any time can be a good time to travel to Vietnam.

Why? The different weather patterns from the North to the South of Vietnam give each month in the year an advantage.

 

 

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Visa on arrival in Vietnam

Visa to visit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Visa to visit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

For our clients who need a visa to enter Vietnam

Agenda Tour Offir for all its customers the administrative costs of the prior approval of Visa on arrival in Vietnam. This means that customers can prepare only 25 usd / person for the printing costs of visa and 2 photos Identities…

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Exploring Cham Culture at Po Klong Garai Tower

Exploring Cham Culture at Po Klong Garai Tower

 Po Klong Garai Tower near the city of Phan Rang-Thap Cham in Ninh Thuan Province is an attractive destination for visitors who want to learn about the culture of Cham ethnic people.

 

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