“[T]he silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion.”
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
I gave myself plenty of time to wander around the touristy area of Luang Prabang — the section of town full of redeveloped houses turned to hotels and surrounded by rivers. On my first day, I wandered to edge of town to the bamboo bridge — I thought it’d at least provide a view for sunset.
As I discovered, the opposite side of the bridge has the sunset view and there was a toll to walk across the bamboo bridge. Not wanting to pay the $1.50 toll, I walked along the rocky shore at the confluence of the Mekong River and Nam Khan River and watched the mix of locals and tourists.
To get to the bridge, I had to climb down a cliff with a semi-maintained path. The walk down was worthwhile as the views of the rivers and mountains surrounding the area are beautiful.
While standing around in the shade, contemplating the bridge toll, I watched two novice monks walk in my direction — I only realized it was two as they approached because the second younger monk was hidden from view behind the one in front.
It was a peaceful scene to enjoy before wandering through Luang Prabang in search of dinner (or multiple smaller meals) and a possible tour option for the following day to Pak Ou Cave and Kuang Si waterfall.