2 new places to recommend near Luang Prabang
7th September, 2013
Returning recently from Luang Prabang, I'd like to draw attention to 2 rewarding places to visit, which you don't yet learn of from guide books.
1) The Butterfly Park, next to Kwang Si waterfalls, opened only some weeks ago and is a really delightful extra during a visit to Kwang Si. Its centrepiece is a net-enclosed garden, the air full of wonderfully coloured butterflies. The guide points out details of butterfly life all around you, the caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies busy laying eggs on leaves. The whole site is a very attractive garden full of flowers and water features and with a Laotian orchid collection and a snack bar run by a Dutch couple.
2) Sakkalin Cave, directly across the Mekong from Luang Prabang, may feature in quite a few guide books but it seems that the writers haven't actually visited it because this cave is far more spectacular than any of the books say. The entrance to the cave is a small rock chamber where discarded Buddha images are stored and this is all that is mentioned in the guide books. But a passage leads steeply and dramatically down from this chamber into a large natural cavern with some huge sparkling quartz stalactites and plenty ups and downs to climb.
You can reach it as follows. Cross the Mekong by ferry to the village opposite Luang Prabang. A lane leads off to the right of the village on what's intended as a standard tourist walking trail. You pass one fair-sized monastery, Wat Xiengmaen, then a small one, Wat Chompet, up a steep dragon staircase. Then, passing through woodland, the trail takes you to Wat Longhoune monastery. At the latter, an official Lao guide was selling a joint ticket to that monastery and the Sakkalin Cave. She assembled a few visitors & led to us to the Sakkalin Cave, loaned us torches (essential) and took us down.
#1 Posted: 6/4/2014 - 12:48
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