Luang Prabang was my favourite stop in Laos. The ancient capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos, lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. It’s known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.
Top 10 activities for Luang Prabang:
- Hire a motorbike and road trip to the incredible cascading Kuang Si Falls. *ABSOLUTE MUST*
- Utopia bar – for a lazy afternoon with a book in hand, a good cheap feed or a few evening drinks overlooking the river. My favourite place to hang out in Laos!
- Bowling Alley – Laos has an 11pm curfew, though this is not strictly enforced for travelers. The bowling alley is the only thing that stays open late night and it goes off.
- Get a massage – Luang Prabang is full of cheap spa’s with quality massages
- Handicraft Night Markets – every night the main street is closed off and hundreds of market stalls pop up
- Get up at sunrise to line the streets with the locals to participate in Tak bak, an alms giving ceremony. Monks are only allowed to eat food that is donated to them before noon. Truly a memorable experience.
- Climb Mount Phou Si for a sweet sunset looking over the Mekong (though I hear Sunrise is even more spectacular). Visit the temple on top while you are there. Don’t forget your camera! Get in early for the best spot as it gets busy up there.
- Grab breakfast at Indigo Cafe, also good for 50c Beer Lao long necks which go down so easy in the afternoon heat. They also have an awesome rooftop bar that overlooks the night markets and a vegan/vego menu too!
- Visit the Royal Palace Museum and its Buddhist Wats. One of the most impressive buildings in Luang Prabang.
- Get an all you can eat plate for a couple of dollars at one of the smokey stalls at the night food market for the best Lao food ever. Seriously delicious and food for vego’s too! You can’t miss it.