July 6 – 7, 2011.. Luang Prabang in Lao

Luang Prabang is the ancient capital of Lane Xang and is one of the oldest cities in Laos, founded around 1200 years ago. It became the first capital of Laos in the 14th century when King Fa Ngum returned from Cambodia where he and his father were exiled by the previous king, Fa Ngum’s grandfather. Fa Ngum had the support of the Khmer kingdom centered at Siem Reap and brought with him thousands of soldiers to assist in establishing his own kingdom. Luang Prabang was previously known as Muang Sawa, but the settlement’s name was changed after Cambodia bestowed a precious gold image of the Buddha, the Phra Bang, as a gift. The Phra Bang is today the symbol of the city the Buddha image is on display at the museum. Popular rumor has it that the real Pra Bang image was sent off to the Soviet Union in the 1970s to settle a debt

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