If you’re reading this, you will probably have heard about Luang Prabang already. You may know that it’s a World Heritage city, once considered off-the-beaten-track, but fast developing a reputation as one of South East Asia’s most interesting places to visit. It’s no surprise that it’s becoming so popular, and if you’ve been travelling through the hectic cities of Vietnam or the clamour of bustling Thailand, you’ll enjoy the relative laid-back atmosphere of Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Laos.
A finger of land, caught between two rivers, studded with palm trees, temples and colonial architecture, it’s the place to take a deep breath and give yourself over to the pleasures on offer.
There’s a wide range of accommodation choices, from budget guesthouses through to luxurious resort-style hotels. You can explore the town, the former capital of Laos by bicycle or on foot, take to the river on long-tail boats, indulge in longer trips further afield, and enjoy returning to the pleasures of Luang Prabang.
You can help teach young people to read and speak English, investigate the many and varied beautiful temples, talk to young monks eager to converse, explore Lao cuisine, be surprised by the quality of the locally grown coffee, stroll through the picturesque night market and barter gently for tribal handicrafts, and discover the beauty of the local hand-woven silks.
At sunset you can listen to the sonorous chanting of the monks, at sunrise you can observe the ritual of the daily almsgiving ceremony. At any time you can sit on the banks of the Mekong or Nam Khan rivers and watch the riverside activities with an astonishingly good Beer Lao in your hand. Investigate fascinating museums, spend the day with elephants, marvel at waterfalls and caves. You could climb to the top of the local Mt Phousi and marvel at the spectacle of the river as it stretches away before you. Cross the Mekong to the other side and explore villages and temples, and be back in time for dinner. And finally you will leave, wishing you had allocated more time in your travels to the wonderful town of Luang Prabang!
For tourism advice and things to do in Luang Prabang