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Traveling in Luang Prabang, Laos
Hunt for fresh produce at the
Luang Prabang market.
With its slow
pace, gorgeous scenery and abundance of cute restaurants and boutiques,
Prabang is the perfect place to kick up your feet and take
a load off.
Nestled in a valley in northern Laos, the small town of 100,000
is quickly becoming a hub for both well-off European travelers
and bohemian backpacker types.
has long been an important cultural center and was the seat of
the first Lao kingdom, Lane Xang, from the fourteenth through
sixteenth centuries. The town continued to be an important religious
center, but in the nineteenth century, it came under attack by
Black Flag bandits who destroyed many sacred works of art.
and beautification projects launched shortly thereafter, adding
charming French colonial buildings to the mix of traditional architectural
Prabang is a bustling regional center, but not overwhelmingly
so. You can easily spend several days (or weeks!) meandering through
town and embracing the peaceful Lao way of life. Try some of our
favorite things to do:
The best way to explore Luang Prabang's many scenic wats is on
two wheels. Rent a bicycle in town or from your guesthouse, and
spend an afternoon checking out Wat
Xieng Thong, Wat Visounarath and Wat
Chomphet. Try engaging the young monks in conversation; many
are open to discussing their way of life. Be sure to save That
Chomsi for last; it's situated at the top of Mount Phou Si,
which has spectacular sunset views.
Kuang Si waterfall is only one of
the scenic wonders on day trips
around Luang Prabang.
the surrounding natural beauty
There is no shortage of outdoor activities available in Luang
Prabang. Several tour outfits offer trekking excursions to nearby
mountain villages and day trips to nearby natural wonders like
Tad Sae Waterfall, Kuang
Si Waterfall and Pak
Ou Cave. I strongly advise using one of the smaller tour operators,
like White Elephant Adventures, that promote sustainable
souvenirs in the Night Market
Luang Prabang's night market is unlike any other market I've experienced
in Asia. Quiet and serene, the market is lit up with paper lanterns
and runs along Luang Prabang's main street. Vendors sell unique
souvenirs like hand-woven scarves, silver jewelry, and packets
of traditional tea.
the Stay Another Day exhibition
Located at the Kopnoi Exhibition Gallery, the Stay
Another Day Exhibition showcases Luang Prabang's efforts to
promote sustainable tourism, with a focus on Laos' environment,
culture and community. Spin the activity wheel to find more things
to do, but beware: like many in Luang Prabang's close-knit ex-pat
community, you may find yourself staying forever!
the Author... Jessica
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