On our recent trip to the north of Vietnam, we went to the lovely Lao town of Luang Prabang to celebrate New Year's Eve. We arrived at 10:00 PM on December 31st, just in time to watch people lightning candles under small paper lanterns that were then released. Together, these lanterns looked very beautiful in the sky.

Luang Prabang is a World Heritage City because of the large number of Buddhist temples in the city center. Many young monks come to this city to study and can be seen walking around town in their traditional clothes.

There are many interesting places just outside of the city. One day, we took a boat up the famous Mekong River to visit a small village that makes its own whiskey and a large cave with thousands of small statues of Buddha.

We rented a scooter one day and drove into the forest around the city. We visited many small villages and a very high waterfall. People can swim in the small pools under the waterfall.