Time Traveler

Travelers heading to Luang Prabang—the fabulous complex of temples in Laos—can choose to brave Highway 13, a serpentine, two-lane mountainous road prone to accidents and bandit attacks. Or they can do as the locals have for seven centuries: float.

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Traditionally, this meant squeezing among livestock into a nook of a cargo boat, but these days you can sail in style. East-West Siam (mekongcruises.com) operates the luxurious Luang Say—a purpose-built passenger vessel that plies the waters between Luang Prabang and the Thai border crossing at Houeisay. It comes with padded benches, fresh coffee, a full bar and English-speaking...

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