Luang Prabang

Atmospheric and Charming

Set against a backdrop of verdant greenery and rugged mountains, Luang Prabang is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture. This modest city consists of four main roads located on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers.

Formerly the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, Luang Prabang is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries. Early risers will enjoy a traditional treat, as every morning, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the streets collecting alms.

The famous Pak Ou Caves, are north of the town on the Mekong River, and are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves and take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain and reclining. Entering the caves from the river allows you to view the beautiful Mekong scenery along the way.

Insiders' Tips

  1. See the Alms Ceremony: Monks at down collect alms of rice from kneeling villages in the streets
  2. Climb Phu Si: Sunrise and sunset are the most rewarding times to see the views from the top of this hill
  3. See Wat Xieng Thong: This is the oldest monastery in town and one of the most beautiful.
  4. Taste Lao Street Foods: There are numerous market stalls selling breads, crepes and pancakes.

More Information

For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Luang Prabang chapter in our online Asia Cities brochure. Click here.

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