Luang Prabang – the Palace and the Library

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3/26 – It’s still cool and overcast, with a drizzle of rain, so we decided that today would be a good day to visit the palace; home to the Kings of Laos until the last was overthrown by the Communists in 1975.  Like other places, we are required to remove our shoes before entering, and store our cameras and phones in a locker. IMG_8340

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Outside there are gardens and a pond filled with hungry fish that rise to meet anyone that approaches.  image image
We see the gold-covered conveyances that once carried the king on ceremonial occasions.image
There was a large garage filled with Mercedes Benz and other cars given to 20th century kings as gifts, including a white Ford Edsel in mint condition.  Sorry, no pix allowed there either.  Inside the palace, we see bedrooms, dining rooms, and a very impressive golden throne room, with walls covered with mirror mosaics of tiny Laotian people.  Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor.image
Several rooms are dedicated to gifts given to the king by foreign governments- France, Britain, China, Japan…  I’m starting to feel embarrassed to be an American – no gift from us?  Then I spot it – two pens on a stand given by Richard Nixon, and a moon rock.  Thank goodness!  I can hold my head high once again.
Walking back from the palace, we see the Luang Prabang Library, where tourists are encouraged to donate to buy a book for one of the two Library Boats that cruise the river to bring literacy to village children. image
At lunchtime we investigate the street stands, and Jim finds a lady grilling chicken and fish.  It smells so good, he just has to have one!

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One more wat, and we’re done for the day – we plan to get up very early tomorrow morning!

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