What can you see in and do in Laos?
Is it worth visiting Luang Prabang?
How touristic is Luang Prabang?
Luang Prabang is a stop that almost everyone includes in their itinerary in Laos (for many is also the only city visited in the country).
It’s easy to see why. The city is charming, but it also has all the “comfort” that are necessary for every kind of tourist.
We spent almost a month in Laos and Luang Prabang seemed like a city detached from the rest of the country.
Perhaps it was more authentic int the past and certainly is trying to keep up with the times and with increasingly demand.
In this post, the 5 reasons to visit Luang Prabang.
1- Why you should visit Luang Prabang: Location
Luang Prabang lies at the confluence of two rivers, the famous and legendary Mekong and the wild Khan river.
The waters of the two rivers are the perfect frame for this suggestive city.
Climbing to the top of MOUNT PHOU SI, in the city centre, is the best way to enjoy the view of the setting sun on the river (entrance 20.000 kip).
During the dry season, you can also cross the two creaky bamboo bridges on Khan River. During the rainy season this is not possible. (Access to bridges costs 5.000/10.000 kip).
2- Why you should visit Luang Prabang: Temples and buildings
In 1995 Luang Prabang was declared UNESCO heritage site. Recognition is linked to the fact that the city “represents a perfect example of fusion between the traditional architecture of Laos and the colonial buildings built by the European authorities between the 19th and 20th century” .
The coexistence between these two styles is easily visible in the historical centre area. Here you’ll find both the French Colonial Residences and the ancient Buddhist temples.
Luang Prabang hosts more than 80 temples. These 34 are part of the UNESCO HERITAGE.
We think that writing a list of the ones you should not miss could be an understatement because the beauty of the city, in our opinion, is just to wander around the city and visit them. In a couple of hours, you’ll more than a dozen of them.
3- Why you should visit Luang Prabang: The atmosphere
The most positive thing of Luang Prabang is definitely the atmosphere you breathe. Between the two rivers the rhythm flows slow and the days follow the rites of temples.
The Monks who walk on the streets since dawn and the little traffic, give this city an aura of peace and tranquility.
4- Why you should visit Luang Prabang: Hotel, Guesthouse, food, restaurants and cafès
Luang Prabang is well equipped in terms of accommodation and service for foreign tourist. Compared to other areas of the country, the life is certainly “easier” for those who visit and look for a place to relax and have fun.
There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses, not to mention restaurants serving “Western” Food, cocktail bars and the ubiquitous LaoBeer. Atms are scattered on every street corner.
Tuk-tuks are available everywhere and make easy to reach every place inside and outside the city.
Even the night market seems to have adapted to tourism and proposes countless souvenirs besides cheap food.
5- Why you should visit Luang Prabang: The surroundings
In the surroundings of Luang Prabang nature expresses itself with gorgeous blue waterfalls and the man helps her with bears and elephants safeguard centres. Despite the large number of people who visit it, the KuangSi Waterfalls deserve a visit (especially if you can reach it by own means early in the morning when there are fewer people! ).
The cost of entry is 20.000 kip and allows access first to Bear Conservation Center.
The Waterfall is truly spectacular, specially beacause of its turquoise color.
It is possible to climb to the top of the waterfall by following a path on the right, or on the left of the waterfall. From above the view is not the best, because it is covered by the high shrubs. But from there it is possible to take a path that in 3 km leads to some caves.
But Luang Prabang in not only about positive things… HERE the 5 things we didn’t like about this town.