Laos, a country that has many captivating spot is filled with architecture that dates back generations. It has the traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European influence, gained when the French colonised Indochina in the late 1880s.
We’re giving the former royal capital of Laos some spotlight to discover this quaint town by the river that retains its old-world charm despite once being under French rule.
How To Get There
Flying is your best bet as carriers like AirAsia fly straight to Luang Prabang International Airport. A bumpier alternative is by water through the northeast of Thailand, taking the river that leads to Luang Prabang in 6 hours if you take the speedboat.
What To Do
Luang Prabang is a river town thanks to the Mekong river so make the most of that by taking their array of river cruises to see the hillside views and spectacular sunsets. Boat companies like Nava Mekong offer lunch and dinner cruises with traditional Laos cuisine. Many boat operators can be found along the Mekong city centre between the National Museum and Wat Xing Thing Temple.
Besides watching the sunset on the Mekong waterfront, there is also an equal number of interesting spots outside the city such as elephant village sanctuary and farm, Tat Kuang Si bear rescue centre, waterfalls and caves.
Nature lovers will be amazed by the waterfalls, Kuang Si and Tad Sae. Kuang Si is a tiered waterfall with turquoise waters tumbling over limestone ledges to form stunning lagoons. Hikers have spoken of a hidden waterfall through a lesser-known trail. Locals prefer the Tad Sae waterfalls with larger lagoons where you can jump off the ledges.
Where To Stay
Travellers that want rustic chic accommodation can rest at My Dream Boutique Resort with the choice of bungalow or villa accommodation. The wooden villas come with wooden high ceiling and terraces that overlook the lush well-manicured gardens.
For a more central hotel that is close to the markets and restaurants, there is Sanctuary Luang Prabang Hotel. Historic buildings make up the main areas with the main one actually protected by UNESCO. All the rooms have a stunning view of the lotus pond and they offer guests to experience the traditional Laos BBQ or Sindat.
What To Eat
Luang Prabang is a gourmet heaven. You can find a wide range of cuisines, ranging from traditional European fare to spicy and exotic Asian dishes. At the Mekong bank, there is also a range of restaurants serving Indian and Laos dishes, and also French-Lao fusion. Notably, Tamnak Lao Restaurant would be an ideal choice if you are looking for high- quality, authentic Lao food.
Sticky rice or khao niaow is a big deal in Laos cuisine, served in small woven baskets, you can practically eat it with anything. Try them with dried buffalo and pork rillettes when you are at the Apsara Bar and Restaurant. Laotian coffee grown on the Bolaven Plateau is a delicacy you can’t miss in Luang Prabang. So have a cup at Café Le Ban Vat Sene accompanied with some of their homemade pastries.