Monday March 27, 2023

The Diplomat

The ancient citadel of Luang Prabang, hidden away in the mountains of northern Laos, has miraculously survived for centuries. Preserved by its picturesque isolation, it is the iconic center of Lao Buddhism, culture, and history.

Waves of tourists are expected to flood Luang Prang this year, buoyed by a succession of upbeat reviews from outlets like National Geographic, CNN, and Time magazine, all listing this much-loved UNESCO World Heritage-listed town as a must-see Asian destination in 2023.

But the predicted tourism recovery and economic revival is clouded by more dire news for the town renowned as an unspoiled oasis of eco- and cultural tourism.

Construction has just started on a huge dam just 25 kilometers upstream from the heritage town, and only four kilometers from the revered Buddhist shrines hidden inside the Pak Ou caves.

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