This was probably one of the most popular sentences when someone wanted to write about this town. Well, ‘sabaidee’ meant ‘hello’ in Laos but meant ‘(I was) doing fine’ in Thais.
There was something similar between Thailand and Lao PDR. In my opinion, that might be cultures, foods, clothes, and language. So, I didn’t need to use English to speak with others but just to use my Thai language. Their clothing was similar to people in Northern of Thailand, even the souvenirs, some stuffs I could find in Chiang Mai’s night market (hehe+). Cultures were similar as well. This was because we had the same religion, Buddhism. And foods, I had a chance to try some and they were similar, especially the food in Northern and North Eastern of Thailand.
Well, that’s not the point. I just wanted to tell the differences. I saw one t-shirt’s screen ‘same same but different’ I thought they were talking about Thailand (hehe+). First, the civilization, 99% of Luang Prabang household saw Thai’s TV programs and listened to Thai songs. They loved Thai stars as well! The transportation also lacked of development. 30 kilos took nearly an hour to the waterfall. This was because the bridges still made of wood and holes on the roads were everywhere (even in downtown). Most of personal stuffs like shampoos, instant noodles, soaps, cooking ingredients and more were imported from Thailand as well. Well, this was the first difference but it’s not that bad.
As a Thais, I felt good to know that we were better in these ways. But, so what?! Next difference was ‘The World Heritage City (the whole city, you know!?). I was overwhelmed by the buildings and temples of this city. It was so beautiful!!!! I couldn’t stop taking pictures! And, I was glad to see how people gave offerings to the monks. It was so original. People wore traditional clothes, took of their shoes, sat on the mat, and then gave only sticky rice to the monks. I was in love with this. It was simple but beautiful. My faith for Buddha was skyrocking! I loved Buddhism more than ever. Well, I should say I was so impressed by this tradition. It might be because I rarely saw how people did this in Thailand. Last but not least was nice people. Laos people were so nice. All people I had experiences with were so good, lovely, and nice. My taxi drivers from the airport or to the waterfall, receptions at the guesthouse, waiters and waitresses at restaurants, shop owners at small shops or at night markets, well even foreigners I met during my trips (this’s not involve, actually!), I could say that all of them were nice!! I loved them all! My feeling for this city was unexplanable but I could come back for more!
If you had a chance just a few more days, please visit Luang Prabang and you would feel the same way I did.