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This engaging memoir takes the reader on a journey into the heart of one of Southeast Asia's most beautiful and enchanting small cities. Lush, exotic--and full of contradictions--Luang Prabang sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers in Laos. Formerly the capital of the ancient royal kingdom of Lane Xang, "home of 1,000 elephants," it is now a World Heritage site that hosts nearly half a million visitors a year. It is also home to more than 35 Buddhist temples, and the center of spiritual life in a communist country that is the most-bombed place in history courtesy of the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The American authors found the Lao people charming and gracious in spite of this atrocity, and more than willing to welcome them into their homes and magnificent temples.