Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is an ancient town that is located in northern Laos, and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995 – yes, the entire town is a World Heritage site (pretty neat!). It was even the royal capital of Laos until 1545 when King Phothisarat moved the capital to Vientiane. Luang Prabang is home to 33 Wats (temples), and is the main location for Buddhist learning in Laos.

During our stay, we visited the popular night market, dined at local French-inspired restaurants, took a motorbike trip along the Mekong Delta and through the mountainside, visited the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, saw the crystal clear blue Kuang Si Waterfalls, hiked Mt. Phusi, and admired the golden Wats along the tourist trail.

The most memorable part of our trip was the day we spent with the elephants at the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary! If you haven’t yet had a chance to spend a day at an Elephant Sanctuary, I highly recommend that you add it to your bucket list immediately. These gentle giants will touch your heart with their soft-spirited nature and calming presence. We spent the whole day in the jungle walking with the elephants, feeding them snacks, giving them baths, observing them in their natural environment, and simply loving on them as much as possible. Our tour guides were absolutely wonderful and even took us to a local village and to a beautiful waterfall. Our guides went above and beyond after our tour ended in helping us to buy the village kids new soccer balls. This was a truly enriching day, and one that will stay with me forever.

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