Luang Prabang is one of those cities that deserves every bit of its reputation. I instantly fell in love with the charming, relaxing and hospitable former colonial town. Luang Prabang is a haven for weary backpackers and luxury vacationers alike.
1. Phou Si Mountain
Climb up for a spectacular view of the city and impressive Buddha statues. You can watch the sunset from atop the mountain if you don’t mind sharing it with tons of Chinese tourists. For an equally stunning but more chill experience, head to the banks of the Mekong river. It’s the same view as you would have from one of the boats, but free. Simply bring a beer and bug spray and enjoy.
2. Kuang Si waterfall
This stunning collection of bright turquoise pools and waterfalls lies about an hour outside of the city. Either share a tuk-tuk or rent a scooter for some more flexibility. But beware of the potholes.
3. UXO information centre
Due to the Vietnam war, Laos is the most bombed country in the world. To this day 80 million unexploded bombs and mines remain. UXO Laos strives to clean these up and educate locals about the dangers. The free information centre is well worth a visit.
The Luang Prabang night market is an evening filling experience. Go there for the amazing street food, such as these, (the Khao Soy at the west end of the market is my favourite) and shop for affordable clothing and souvenirs. Splurge on the beautiful 100% cotton, natural dye, indigo items.
5. Go out
Luang Prabang’s chill vibe caries from day into night at Utopia. Beloved by locals and backpackers this cool bar is the place to be. Or go to Sakura if you want to get drunk on a budget. After the bars close at 11.30, take a tuk-tuk to the bowling alley to continue the fun into the early hours.