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TRANSITIONS

13/12/2011

LAOS |

Change is inevitably permanent…

The ancient town of Luang Prabang in Laos is at a crossroads.

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Named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1995, the strict guidelines on construction, renovation and restoration have helped preserve the city’s nostalgic façade.

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However, the problem it faces today is like any other place stamped with this approval – saving the place from modern development for tourists to appreciate causes it to lose much of its authenticity and character.

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This transition couldn’t be more visible than in the life of the Buddhist monks.

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The very peace that attracts visitors here is slowly being taken away from them while tourist numbers rapidly increase each year.

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There is less time for meditation and peace. Other ideologies are discussed and new technology is embraced. The East melds with the West in every aspect.

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These transformations in the cultural landscape may well be a turning point in a town where heritage preservation is ironically dependent on foreign influence.

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Source: Jake Verzosa

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