Before coming here, I read a post by a well-traveled blogger, who declared her dislike of the town because, she said, it was like Lao Disney – too sanitized, too close to tourists’ expectations of a serene Buddhist town, too completely beautiful to be ‘proper’ Laos.
Well, you know what? She may be right, but I don’t care – this place is GORGEOUS, and it’s real. A unique combination of incredible architecture left over from the French Indochina occupation, stately and awe-inspiring temples, the beautiful, sleepy Nam Khan and Mekong rivers converging with the spindly bamboo bridges the only way across, and the overwhelming serenity of this city makes it one of the most all-around stunning places I have ever visited. Yes, there are tourists, but the locals – whilst friendly – go about their rich lives pretty much unconcerned with us lot and our snapping iphones. There are monks everywhere, the slash of bright orange adding more depth and color to already beautiful vistas. I could go on and on about this tranquil, spiritual city, but I think it’s best to just show you. So here you are. You’re welcome xxx.