At the center of Luang Prabang is a 325-foot hill capped with a golden tower. Its rocky sides are dotted with old temples and gilded Buddha statues, while its summit is a popular spot for watching the sun rise and set over the rivers and mountains that surround the town. We got to Luang Prabang in the dark, and when we looked out of our bedroom window, our first real sight of the town was the lighted tower on Phousi Hill.
100-foot-high Phousi hill dominates downtown Luang Prabang. We could see the golden stupa on top from the bedroom window of our first guesthouse.
On one flank of the hill is an old Buddhist temple, unusual for its plain wood carving and its interior murals
Murals in the old temple
This scene shows the sorts of traditional instruments still played in Laos
In the center, a demon captures a white elephant
A Buddha inside the old temple
Melissa loved this scene of a tiger attacking an elephant
Chinese people bringing horses to Luang Prabang
Higher up the hill, there are wonderful views over downtown Luang Prabang, with the Mekong river on one side . . .
. . . and the Nam Khan river on the other side
On the other side of the hill from the old temple, steps wind through a current monastery and a series of Buddhas set among the rocky slopes
Pausing for a rest on the steps, we talked to a young monk who wanted to practice his English.
He also wanted to practice his phootgraphy by taking a picture of us.
Finally, as the light waned, we reached the golden stupa at the top of the hill
Buddhas and offerings at the top of the hill
The hilltop gets crowded at sunset
Watching the sun set over the Mekong river
The crowds made it hard to get a good spot from which to photograph
Heads (lower left) kept getting in the way
But at least Melissa managed to get the shot she wanted!