Laos is like Thailand without the bustle. The food is less spicy, but has greater depth of flavor. The temples are smaller and less grandiose, but are decorated beautifully and with great care. In Bangkok, the traffic along the Chao Phraya river never stops; in Luang Prabang, it seems that every vessel on the mighty Mekong pauses to appreciate the sunset.
We spent three days in Luang Prabang, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its “well-preserved architectural, religious, and cultural heritage”. Despite being a tourist mecca, it does not feel ‘touristy’. In the old town, vendors sell Laotian textiles and craft. Buddhist monks go door-to-door at sunrise collecting alms. And the street food is truly amazing. Our advice: if you want to go to Thailand, head to Laos.