Luang Prabang sits on the sacred site where the Mekong River and the Khan River (also known as ‘Nam Khan’) meet. The people of Luang Prabang are proud of their religious heritage; monks in their bright orange robes still roam the city to this day.
This peninsula has a distinctly French feel to it because it was created during the French occupation for a leper colony. Leprosy may not be an issue in Luang Prabang today, but the French villas still stand as a testament to this era. There’s an astounding total of 33 gilded wats you can visit during your stay in Luang Prabang. But, we’ll admit it, you probably don’t need to see them all! However, Wat Xieng Thong should be on your itinerary. It’s one of the best known monasteries in Laos and has a gorgeous sweeping roof that goes right to the ground. Look out for the ‘tree of life’ mosaic on the wall and visit the rare reclining Buddha in the Red Chapel.
During your trip to Luang Prabang you can also visit the Royal Palace. A unique blend of Lao and French architecture, this palace was built in 1904 for King Sisavang Vong – it’s his statue outside. For a taste of local culture, head to the handicraft night market. Locals come together along Th Sisavangvong to sell silk scarfs, Hmong blankets, ceramics and other unique items. Trust us, it’s worth indulging in for just one night!
Luang Prabang is a bit more comfortable than many other destinations in Laos. Recent investments have revived the city and brought luxurious but affordable hotels and some of south-east Asia’s top chefs to the region.
This area is much more than a religious riverside town. It’s also a starting point for adventurers. Try trekking up to the sparkling waterfalls, winding your way through the hills on mountain bikes, kayaking down the river or simply appreciating the verdant mountains that surround this special and sacred place. It is beautiful.
Plan your trip to Luang Prabang today.