Luang Prabang is a small city along the banks of the Mekong River in Laos. The city has a long, complicated history, having been a part of the various struggles between Thai, Khmer, Lao and other groups that long vied for control of this part of the world. The city was the capital of an independent kingdom for a period of time. When Laos eventually became a part of French Indochina, Luang Prabang was recognized as the royal seat, and after the French were driven from Laos, the king in Luang Prabang become the head of state of the Kingdom of Laos until the Pathet Lao seized power in 1975 and disbanded the monarchy.
The city is famous today for its Buddhist temples, traditional architecture that resembles the Lanna style one sees in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the spectacular scenery of the mountainous countryside surrounding the city.
This image is of the principal temple at Wat Xiengthong, one of the city’s best known Buddhist sites.