Nothing evokes the character and essence of Laos like the cultural capital of Luang Prabang, filled with temples, old and new in a tree-lined street environment of a town. To top it off, colonial buildings here and there further add to its character. Did we mention the laid back atmosphere? Perhaps its location by the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers has something to do with that. Walk down the streets of Luang Prabang and be mesmerized by her offerings!
The city rose to prominence as the capital of the first Lao kingdom in 1353 until 1975. There was a bit of a down period for the town, but until 1989, when Luang Prabang re-opened its doors to the world, the town rose back to prominence and was eventually declared a Heritage Site by UNESCO.
So, what to do at this laid back place filled with amazing sites and a relaxing atmosphere? You can find a spot to sit, have a nice drink and just watch the slow pace of life develop before your eyes. It surely is picturesque, with all the charisma of a quaint European town mixed with the wonderful, and unexplainable charm of Southeast Asia.
Early birds always get the rewards. Here in Luang Prabang, you’ll be treated to a one of a kind site that will leave your scratching your eyes in amazement. See lines of orange robed monks out on their alms walk in the early morning. They cannot hunt, gather or store food. Don’t mistake this for begging though. This is quite the opposite as alms walks provide the public with a chance to do a good deed and in return, the monks will bless the lay people. You are more than welcome to participate.
The day can also be spent wandering around town and exploring the temples that make Luang Prabang famous. Or if walking is not your cup of tea, perhaps an electric bike is? First stop, Wat Xieng Tong. Built in 1560, this is one of the oldest temples around, and quite fortunately, was spared destruction in 1887 because the leader of the invading force was once a monk there. Haw Kham Royal Palace was once the official residency of the country kings and now a converted museum. Other sites include Wat Sen and the town’s main hill, Phousi, where more glittering treasures await (as well breathtaking views).
Luang Prabang is also your headquarters to two amazing nearby stops. Nature lovers will surely get thrills from the towering falls, turquoise blue waters and lush scenery of Kuang Si Falls. And from town, cruise along the Mekong to the ever intriguing site of Pak Ou Caves, where thousands of gold Buddha statues await your arrival.
From the capital Vientiane, to the smooth rhythms of the 4000 Islands, the country will truly captivate you. Extend your stay with our Laos tours.
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