I spent the last two weeks in Bangkok (Thailand) and Luang Prabang (Laos).
Like many others places in the world too, the two cities of Bangkok and Luang Prabang are really worth visiting! They are geographically close to each other but still they are completely different.
Bangkok with its over 8 million inhabitants is an amazing town with modern infrastructure, transportation and commerce, just like many other big town in other countries. But the influence of Buddhism, especially the religious buildings and temples, and also the fact, that Bangkok as the capital city of a kingdom has its royal buildings (i.e. the Grand Palace), turns the city into a special place that I would really love to visit again.
Luang Prabang on the other hand is the former royal capital city of Laos. The small and quiet city lies along the Mekhong river, features 34 Buddhist temples and counts 50'000 inhabitants. bakeries selling croissants and french-style post-offices are todays visible reminders of the former French colonial government. While there are big roads with many cars in Bangkok, fast trains carrying thousands of people, big shopping malls selling goods from all the well-known brands from all over the world and just everything seems to be a lot more hectic, living in Luang Prabang seems to be much slower and much more unhurried. Buses and trucks are stopped outside of the UNESCO world culture heritage city center, people walk or dislocate riding their bikes or motor rollers or hiring a tuk tuk and everybody looks quite relaxed. The main street turns into a beautiful market every morning and evening and there is much more of a living on the streets, people talking together and enjoying their lives in a slow and peaceful way. And every now and there you see orange dressed monks walking around.
Both cities have their special charm, you will eat delicious asian food in both places and you will take home beautiful memories from both cities. Here come some photographic memories of my own...