A Visit to Luang Prabang in Laos

Things To Do In Luang Prabang, Laos

In the central section of Laos, visitors will find the charming and dreamy former Laotian capital city of Laos. It is a UNESCO World Heritage City, filled with many lovely attractions. Colonial architecture and fabulous temples sit side by side. There is a beautiful blend of French and Laotian, which creates a truly unique atmosphere. There are natural sights close to hand, with waterfalls and caves only a short drive from the city’s heart. A visit to Luang Prabang in Laos is one of South East Asia’s highlights.

Getting to Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang has an international airport that operates flights to and from several other southeast Asian countries. There are also several domestic routes. The slow boat to Luang Prabang is a popular and scenic way to enter the city. It is also possible to get to Luang Prabang by road, with buses linking the city to other major destinations. With the roads in Laos often being quite poor, road journeys can take longer than anticipated, and there are often delays.

When to Visit Luang Prabang

In common with the rest of the country, Luang Prabang has a typical monsoon climate. Throughout the year temperatures are warm to hot. Most visitors go to Luang Prabang during the drier months. November to March is usually dry, with pleasant temperatures. April is also dry, but with the temperature starting to soar it is often too hot for many people.

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Accommodationa in Luang Prabang

The city has the most varied selection of accommodation options in the whole of the country. Loved equally by the rich and famous and the backpacker crowd, Luang Prabang caters to all requirements and budgets when it comes to somewhere to stay. There are luxury hotels, smaller boutiques, guest houses, and places offering basic facilities, often with shared bathrooms.

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Eating in Luang Prabang

There are many restaurants, cafes, markets, and bakeries scattered across Luang Prabang, and the rich variety creates a real foodie heaven. International favourites are available, along with traditional Laotian fare, delicious baguettes and pastries from the days of French rule, and a delightful and sumptuous fusion of both Laotian and French. There are places to eat to suit all budgets.

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Photo by: Slippy Slappy

Luang Prabang Attractions

Beautiful and ornate temples are littered around Luang Prabang, and a great way to see the best of the city center is to simply wander and soak up all the sights. Boat trips along the river give a different perspective to the city. Mount Phousi dominates the skyline, and a walk up the hill will lead past several smaller and glittering temples, interesting statues, and a variety of plants and flowers.

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There are great views from the summit. With a rich culinary scene, numerous places offer cookery courses. A little out of town, the Kuang Si Falls are spectacular. Water cascades down several levels, forming clear blue pools. Swimming is possible in some pools. A bear rescue center is close by. The Pak Ou Caves house hundreds of Buddha images.

With its low-swooping roof and richly decorated gold exterior, Wat Xieng Thong Monastery is easy to spot in Luang Prabang. It is one of the city’s oldest monasteries, having been built by King Setthathilat in the mid-1500s. There are intricate mosaics, sculptures of rare Buddhist deities, and intricate wall carvings.

The temple is situated on the southwestern tip of the Luang Prabang peninsula. It is easily accessible on foot, but it is also possible to travel there by tuk-tuk for a small fee. It is best to go early in the morning before the heat of the day and large crowds of tourists arrive.

The Mekong River is vital to the city’s history, and you should take advantage of the opportunity to explore it while you’re there. A boat trip across the Mekong to the opposite bank is available from the town. On the other side of the river, there are numerous temples and small caves to explore, including Wat Chompet temple, which is located on a hill and offers spectacular views of the city.

Kuang Si Butterfly Park, located a little outside of town, has large landscaped gardens and orchids, as well as thousands of butterflies living inside a netted butterfly garden. On-site, there is also a natural fish spa and a small European-style bakery.

If you want to learn more about Laos’ rich history and culture, a visit to the National Museum in the Old Royal Palace is an absolute must. During the French colonial era, the Palace was built in 1904 for King Sisavang Vong. As such, it is a one-of-a-kind blend of French Beaux-Arts styles and traditional Lao motif architecture. In 1995, it was opened to the public as a museum. It offers a glimpse into the lives of the Lao royal family in the early twentieth century, with many paintings, murals, and even the original royal classic car collection.

Nong Kiew is a sleepy village located a few hours outside of Bangkok. The surrounding limestone cliffs are ideal for experienced climbers, and there are numerous hiking trails leading to nearby waterfalls and caves. The most popular trek is to Phadeng Peak’s lookout, which takes about two hours as you climb above the clouds for views of the mountains. Y

Final Word

A visit to Luang Prabang is a true delight, and one that is sure to captivate, thrill, and charm, and turn even the hardest heart into a romantic. The relaxed, thoughtful atmosphere created by the serene temples, combined with the absence of smoky traffic, make this ancient city a truly one-of-a-kind experience. If you want to immerse yourself in Southeast Asia’s rich history and culture, explore the breathtaking surrounding landscape, or simply experience something completely unique, this is the place to be.

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