Independence was gained in 1953, the same year the First Indochina War ended, and what should have been an optimistic time for the country became a lengthy struggle. Laos quickly became unofficially embroiled in the Vietnam War, which officially began in 1959. The Viet Cong allied with the Pathet Lao, a Lao nationalist group, while the Americans and Thais supported right-wing factions. Prince Souvanna Phouma of Laos tried to remain neutral while serving as prime minister from 1951 to 1975.
But the country itself became a sad victim of the greater theatre of war in the region as American bombers tried to suppress the infamous Ho Chi Minh trail that created an arms supply network through the eastern jungles of the country. Eventually it became the ‘most bombed country in the history of warfare’, a legacy that continues to this day as large areas of unexploded ordnance remain off limits. While the Americans based their activities in Vientiene, Luang Prabang and much of the mountainous north was either bombed or terrorized by the Prathet Lao insurgents. Fortunately the city itself was sparred any real destruction, but the general effect on the country was devastating.
The Pathet Lao won support upon the American withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975 and a communist state was established that same year under the name of Lao People's Democratic Republic. The monarchy was abolished and replaced with one-state party control. Hard-line socialist reforms were initiated but later reviewed in the 1980s, when economic and social policies were brought closer into line with those of neighbouring Vietnam.
Now a UNESCO protected World Heritage site, the city has gained attention as a tourist destination primarily for its well-preserved architecture and colonial charm.
Luang Prabang’s climate is characterized by dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season runs from June to October, when heavy rains can be expected most days. Despite the rains, temperatures throughout this season remain high at about 25°C to 30°C. This is one of the least favored times to visit Luang Prabang as many of the city’s unpaved roads become unusable. Despite this, there are plenty of sunny patches and the vegetation is altogether lasher and more pleasant. If you arrive during the wet months, make sure you take advantage of the nearby waterfalls, which are at their best during this season. >>> Read more>>> Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13| 14 | 15 | 16 |