I fell in love with Luang Prabang/Laos from my first sight of rugged mountain peaks and a muddy brown river meandering lazily through deep green valleys. The heavy air is redolent with the scent of Indian hill stations from my childhood: wood fires, freshly turned over fields and a crispness from sparsely inhabited land.
Our abode is the Villa Santi a former royal residence in the heart of the old historic city and just delightful. From another era of dark wooden floors, high ceilings, rosewood furnishings and silk textiles in traditional Lao-colonial style.
The striking of gongs and the clash of cymbals heralds the evening worship of the monks at the golden temple. It is a sight to behold as they sway in a hypnotic rhythm as they pound the drum. The city reverberates with the echoes.
And the long day ends with a traditional Lao feast of coconut curry chicken, sweet and sour fish, brown sticky rice, deep fried rolls and a clear broth with local green vegetables. All to the accompaniment of an exquisite local dancer and musician.
Adios till next time!