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Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

We made back to back trips to Luang Prabang during March 2010 and 2011. What a change one year can make. On the plus side we were virtually smoke free in 2011 vs 2010 from 3-8 March. The down side came as soon as we were on landing approach. I noticed the up turned dirt next to the existing runway and turned to my wife to say "oh no, they're building a runway for bigger aircraft." Checking in with a Luang Prabang friend indeed the onslaught is preparing to arrive. Add to that a train from China is being developed. What will happen to Luang Prabang when 190 people per Boeing 737 flight, 10 fights a day begin arriving? What about when 250 additional arrive on trains daily? The explosion in hotel building on the peninsula is nothing short of amazing and to an extent that the local authority is seeking to cap new hotel conversions. Traffic up the quiet Mekong was double this year and each boat had many more people on it. How will the quiet, kind and "Laos" paced natives deal with the on-slaught of in-a-hurry, sometimes brusk tourists that will descend on eateries and lodgings alike? I see another Siem Reap in the making. Hordes of buses, Sisavangvong Road swelled to over capacity, the up and down stairs to Mt Phousi with queues like massive snakes, monks unable to collect alms without tripping over hundreds, thousands of tourists. I know tourism is healthy for Laos and there will be a healthy Lao GDP increase, but that quiet little place that always wore a brilliant smile will soon be changed forever.

Jersey, United...
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1. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

true ,true,...and why is this all happening?...TOURISM!!!!

Vientiane, Laos
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for Vientiane
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2. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

LP has been changing visibly every year since about the mid-90's - inevitable really (even Bangkok was a quaint little place in the 60's) - but the provincial government do have some good development guidelines in place, mostly driven by the UNESCO world heritage tag. Hopefully that status stays firmly in place.

Luang Prabang, Laos
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3. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

The problem is there is no other industry here in Laos that could bring in the revenue/employment.

Vientiane
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4. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

Try mining and hydro electricity to name just two.

Luang Prabang, Laos
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5. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

Interesting answer - how many Laos people are employed in these industries? - where does the investment come from and how much money stays in Laos or goes to China? Yes there maybe employment in these projects but most of it is given to the Chinese.

Vientiane
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6. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

Rob, you are wrong.

A lot of Lao are employed in these industries, in fact the majority of employees are Lao. Last year one of the big miners paid $75 mill USD to the govt of Lao in taxes.

Jersey, United...
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7. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

yes, unfortunately laos is falling victim to the illness of the consumer culture, just like china and vietnam.......

-see it now, because "progress" will destroy it's quaintness ,as tourists "demand" 5 star luxuries, complete with massive swimming pools, outside aerobics, theme parks, and other western " necesseties" such as cinema, etc.....

--Urghhhhhhh.....!!

Santa Cruz, Cal
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8. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

Ijust read where a thai guy is in the process of building a 300 room hotel 5 star with a theme park in LP

Jersey, United...
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9. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

what did i tell you...????

-whatever you say, please don't say "macdonalds"....Ahhhhrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Shame about Luang Prabang.....hurry and see it now

Here's a link to a story about the new 300 room hotel:

ttrweekly.com/site/…

Located 4 km outside of town on the way to the Guang Xi waterfall.