This is a 4 day itinerary for anyone who is drawn to visit the beautiful and soulful Luang Prabang. This is a destination that will surprise and delight you at every turn.
- + 27
Laos4 days / August 2019
Highs & Lows
The prettiness of Luang Prabang town, Tak Bat Cremony, beautiful temples and Kuang Si Falls
Not having enough time! Also, Luang Prabang is a bit more expensive than most South East Asian destinations
South East Asia is full of surprises. Sometimes I think I know SE Asia, and then it surprises me again. Luang Prabang was one of the most surprising, and wonderful, SE Asian destinations I’ve ever visited.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO protected town – and you know that UNESCO doesn’t protect anything unless its particularly special. The centre of Luang Prabang is a finger of land, 4 streets wide, with its fingertip at the junction of the mighty Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The traditionally built guesthouses and hotels are lined up on the riversides on each side of the town.
Within this small finger of land, there are over 34 UNESCO protected Temples (Wats). Some of these temples are the most beautiful I have seen across SE Asia. What makes Luang Prabang even more remarkable, is that these temples are all living, working institutions. These Wats are home to more than 1000 Buddhist monks and novices.
Not only is the town centre a beautiful place to visit, there are so many wonderful natural and cultural sites to visit around Luang Prabang. If you only have a few days to explore the region, you want to make sure you experience as much as you can in a limited time frame.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I thought 4 nights would be enough to visit one town, but I could have done another 2 nights for sure.
How was the food?
The food in Luang Prabang is sensational. From amazing restaurants to the yummiest street food options. Luang Prabang is a food lovers delight!
What tips would you give a friend?
Stay on the riverside. I stayed on the Nam Khan River side, but I'd look at the Mekong side next time just because there are more cafes and its a tad prettier. But absolutely do stay in the main town so you can get up early and quietly watch the Sai Bat Alms Ceremony. And on that, don't be a douchebag. Its a very real and serious ceremony for the locals, not a Disneyland Parade for tourists. Be respectful and keep your distance. Don't be the douchebag sticking your camera in the monks face or blocking their way. It is a silent ceremony, so be respectful and shut up!
Light clothes as its a warm and likely humid destination. Bring good walking shoes too.
The local tuk tuks are a fantastic way to travel.
I was just surprised at how wonderful Luang Prabang is. I cannot believe that its not on everyone's travel bucket list. It should be. Also, I wouldn't call Luang Prabang expensive in western terms, but it is more expensive than most other South East Asian destinations. Expect to pay a little more for accommodation and transport.
I stayed in a Villa Ban Lakkham River View in a Deluxe Double Balcony Room. The room was spacious and had a lovely veranda overlooking the Nam Khan River. It was easy walking distance to restaurants and shops, so a fabulous location. Service was not as good as I'd hoped, but the location and the room made up for that. I'd recommend to others, but don't expect a cold beer or water, and service was average.