Luang Prabang Laos, a precious and fairly undiscovered diamond in the heart of Southeast Asia! Well, fairly undiscovered because it is definitely not like going to a remote hilltop village or visiting deep-dark-jungle tribes but still fairly undiscovered because there is a great chance that most of you haven’t been, yet. Congrats to you, you’re in for a treat. Luang Prabang Laos is one of those places that you don’t know much about before visiting and then accidentally develop a one sided love affair that will scar all your upcoming travels. For the rest of your life. It simply sets a new level of expectations. Consider yourself warned!
Luang Prabang Laos, sometimes spelled Luang Phabang, is a protected UNESCO world heritage site (since 1995), which first of all means that anyone thinking of repainting their house better load up on “incentive” beers for decision making people. Secondly, and more important, it means that is ridiculously beautiful. A quick history lesson, the French seized and held control over Laos and Luang Prabang around and during 1800-1900s and for some reason (why does that urge to proprage overseas seem such a strong desire? Also, feel free to interpret that however you see fit) the French built tons of houses in Luang Prabang. This has lead to the weird consequences that alongside a muddy Mekong river, wood houses and old ladies with barbeques, there are French colonial houses. A fantastically strange but great combination!
Luang Prabang Laos is situated in the middle of the upper part of Laos by the mighty Mekong and the less impressive but in reality really long Nam Khan. Both rivers give the Luang Prabangers a fair ordeal every rainy season and cause for speculations with the expats comparing pictures from the same spot weeks apart (“I swear, it was just a week ago, look!”). Luang Prabang is also hidden in between misty nameless mountains which makes a stunning view at sunset (and at noon and at sunrise and when it rains and when it thunders, darn it, all the time. They’re just a pretty backdrop).
The central city center, is on a peninsula. However, let it be noted, that the city of Luang Prabang is not just the peninsula, there is plenty more than what the guide book tells you. Continue to read and you will find out more. But first, a second to contemplate on the endless lush vegetation in the city and the abundance of temples, great selection of restaurants and beautiful people. And Mount Phousi. Yes, it is a funny name, but it’s a marvelous way to get a low flying birds view of the city. Luang Prabang is a beauty fest that lacks a natural comparison. Check out Luang Prabang Photos here.
Luang Prabang used to be the capital of Laos until it moved in 1563 to Vientiane because of fear of Burmese invasion. That doesn’t stop people from viewing it as the actual highlight of Laos (sorry Vientiane!) However one of the many amazing thing about Luang Prabang is its bountiful activities outside of Luang Prabang that allows you to do daytrips to even more breathtaking places but end up in the close proximity of a great (french) wine and OMG-this-is-delicious-food at nighttime (the French are still very much present). Decide if you prefer elephant riding, trekking, kayaking, waterfall tours, yoga retreats, homestay tours, boat cruises, cycling or cave tours and plenty more.
Luang Prabang tours offer zillion types of activities so be picky when you choose, if you do it well, you’re in for an experience of a lifetime. Afterhours, expect a city that will offer you entertainment, great food and stunning scenery. Let your Luang Prabang travel planning begin!