Many would argue that the former Lao royal capital of Luang Prabang has somehow followed the fate of other UNESCO towns in Southeast Asia, acquiring over the last decade a Disneylandesque atmosphere. I recently spent a week there leading a photography tour and workshop and there is certainly some true to that. However, for those willing to take some time to explore the back roads, there are still many rewarding opportunities. Off the beaten track and away from the main temples, life still slowly unwinds very much unchanged from the past, and the setting at the confluence of the Mekong and the Kan rivers is still one of the most gorgeous in the region.