The name Azerai is influenced by the Persian word caravanserai, a resting place with a central courtyard for travellers. Azerai’s first hotel is located in the heart of the Buddhist township of Luang Prabang, one of the lesser known but beautifully preserved living UNESCO heritage sites in the world. Luang Prabang is a land locked peninsula town located in the north of Laos.
Its setting is a green hearted valley surrounded by steep mountainous countryside and horseshoed by the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. The iconic heart of the town is Mount Phousi, known as sacred mountain, crowned by a 24-metre gilded golden stupa of Vat Chomsi.
This spiritual and soulful town is home to 30 active temples with Theravada Buddhism as its religious centre. Saffron-robed monks are a common sight at any time of day throughout the town but more regularly during the time honored custom of Tak Bat or Alms giving which takes place every morning for the monks to collect their beakfast served by the local community. The monks main meal of the day is given by the local villagers at 10:30am and after midday they are only permitted to consume liquids such as coffee and soy milk.
Architecturally the town is an exceptional fusion of traditional and urban structures influenced by 19th and 20th century French and Vietnamese design elements along with European and Chinese innovations.
Vibrant local markets are plentiful where one can find an eclectic array of hand-crafted textiles, home wares and jewellery alongside fresh fruit and vegetable stalls. Cafes and vendors selling local delicacies are dotted throughout the tree lined riverbanks and hidden alleyways.
Luang Prabang is full of serendipitous moments. It is a place one can immerse themselves wholeheartedly and embrace its gentle mystery and soul.