Luang Prabang Was A Gem – Is It Still?

Before technology, you learned about those “great places, those must see places” through word of mouth. One traveller would whisper to another and then to another just like the telephone game little kids play. Privileged to receive the secret message, backpackers would quietly travel on to the latest gem.

In this case, that gem was Luang Prabang in Laos.

And boy was it a gem. Like I have died and gone to Southeast Asia heaven kind of gem. Beautiful, quaint, charming, peaceful, sweet, unique, magical, mystical…it had all that. I would wander, simply wander, and relish the feeling that although some knew, not many knew, and I liked it like that.

Selfish? Well… probably. Some backpackers (me included) like it the way it was… …and are reluctant to show and tell too much for fear that gems might change.

I remember waking up in the morning and taking a look outside my hotel window only to see many monks walking down the road collecting alms from the local people. Spell bound.. mesmerized.. it was one of those moments I never forgot.

I love travel blogs and follow many religiously (not a shocker to those who know me) and was shocked and stunned to recently learn that this simple spiritual and beautiful custom has become, maybe a 3 ring circus, each morning. I hope I am wrong but I am not sure if Luang Prabang is still on my “to show my children” list. I imagine it should be, but maybe not right at the top where it once was.