thomas m wilson

Luang Prabang – Farewell

December 24th, 2014


Yes, this isn’t Luang Prabang itself, but rather a waterfall 30kms out of town.  But it got your attention.

I’m sure countless tourists have taken these photos, but I still love a good waterfall.  Especially when the water is this colour.



Yesterday morning staying on the peninsula in the old quarter of Luang Prabang I really understood why people love this town. Up early to watch the procession of the monks receiving alms in the misty morning twilight.


While I was watching them I started watching three old women who live on the street I’ve been staying on waiting patiently with their rice and their low bamboo stools. One of them had emerged from a dilapidated and elegant French-colonial residence opposite. Its one of my favourite buildings in Luang Prabang, easy to miss, not in any guide books, but sinking into tropical deliquescence while losing none of its original cool French classicism or charm. Its green and tangled garden seems to gather the house in its arms lovingly. After the monks had passed the old woman retreated back into her house, and I couldn’t help taking a photo.


I thought of the different eras she has known, and of what an elegant urban ecology she is one small part of. What a changing and yet historically contiguous Indochinois world she has known for many, many years.




Not all of this city is curated for the tourist gaze.



And a dog.

In Laos there is always a dog.