When it comes to being persuasive to visitors, Luang Prabang is a seasoned charmer. Nestled at the confluence of the mighty Mekong and Nam Khan rivers with forest covered mountains forming its backdrop, the town remains the countries number one draw.
Evocative scenes are not difficult to come by in the one-time Royal Capital. As the early-morning mists roll away from the Mekong, the streets fill up with saffron-robed monks collecting their daily alms, a ritual preserved for centuries – and more so here than anywhere else in Buddhist Asia. The gentle chimes of temple bells resound throughout the day, while the sound of diners chattering over riverside cocktails or gourmet meals defines the unobtrusive evening clamor.
Although modernity has encroached in the shape of slick new cafes and hotels, Luang Prabang remains very much in touch with its past. The city is UNESCO World Heritage-listed, which means that most of its unique combination of cultural wonders such as royal palaces, traditional Lao wooden style buildings, French colonial architecture and ornate temples remain safeguarded. Highlights include Wat Xieng Thong and Phou Si Mountain, which is located atop a hill overlooking the city and offers incredible views across the city towards the mountains.
Other draws, meanwhile, include the city’s impressive range of galleries and bookshops, its thriving arts and crafts scene, and its beautifully preserved colonial architecture.
Outside town, nature puts on a show at destinations such as Kuang Si Waterfall, a succession of falls and crystalline jungle pools, while the mountainous hinterland is perfect territory for trekking and other adventure pursuits.
WHEN TO GO & WEATHER
The best time to visit Luang Prabang is on the
shoulders of green season, March and November.
While November may provide more verdant
scenery, February to April are ideal for those
seeking a hotter climate.
GREEN TOUR OF LAOS (6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS)
With its unspoiled landscapes and low-key development, Laos is the ideal place to get back to nature. This journey take sin the country’s main two cities – Vientiane and Luang Prabang – while offering guests opportunities to flee the urban whirl for enlightening excursions such as an eco-trek focused on orchid preservation and a trip to a community organic farm.
- Explore Laos in an eco-friendly way. Walk and bike through Laos, appreciating the sights and sounds at a slower pace while minimizing the environmental impact of travel.
- Support local charity organizations. Contribute to a better future for the people of Laos with visits to charity crafts workshops, training center restaurants and a community-run organic farm.
- Embrace Laos’ natural and cultural wonders. Explore pristine waterfalls and waterways and understand deep-rooted traditions to help preserve the uniqueness of Laos.
LUANG PRABANG CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS (4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS)
More ethnically diverse than perhaps any other part of Southeast Asia, northern Laos is heaven for those who want to broaden their cultural horizons. One of the best ways to engineer encounters with the kaleidoscope of cultures that live as they have for centuries in the mountains is through a trekking expedition. A highlight of the trek, meanwhile, includes the opportunity to experience a Baci Ceremony first-hand.
- Village homestay. Venture away from Luang Prabang to a remote village and spend the flight amongst the Hmong people, learning about their culture and ways of life.
- Jungle trekking. Spend an invigorating day trekking through lush jungle, passing pristine waterfalls and Khmu villages.
- Traditional ceremonies. Partake in the morning alms donation to Buddhist monks and receive a special, traditional Laos blessing for safe travels.
LUANG PRABANG FAMILY HOLIDAY (4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS)
Everyone falls in love with Luang Prabang, whether 5 years old or 95 years old, making it the perfect place for a family holiday. Spend the days exploring the nature and culture of Luang Prabang and return in the evenings to comfortable, kid-friendly hotels. This holiday seamlessly balances relaxing family time with interactive, immersive activities that are both fun and educational.
- Farmer for a day. Plant rice and plough the fields with locals at an organic farm, an education and fun experience.
- Camp in the countryside. Spend a night in a tented camp and explore the local ways of life in a rural riverside village.
- Explore nature. Experience the natural beauty of Laos with a trip to a breath-taking waterfall, a boat trip on the Mekong River and a trek through rice paddies.
FULL DAY: PAK OU CAVES & KUANG SI
Discover Luang Prabang, a city where deep-rooted spiritual traditions are found alongside spectacular natural beauty. Travel along the mighty Mekong River to a Buddha-filled cave. Venture through villages where the way of life has remained unchanged for centuries. And trek through unspoiled jungle to a cascading blue waterfall.
HALF DAY: THE LIVING LAND
Experience the life of the Lao people with an immersive visit to an organic farm. Connect with the land and the people while working in the rice paddies and vegetable gardens. Learn about traditional farming techniques and the efforts being made to promote organic farming throughout Laos.
HALF DAY: FLORA WISDOM OF LAOS
Embark on a tranquil cruise along the Mekong River to reach Pha Tad Ke, the first botanical garden of Laos. Experience a range of exhibitions and presentations explaining the native plants of this vibrant, land-locked country. Enjoy countless nature walks through the botanical gardens, experiencing the verdant, indigenous flora of Laos.
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