"World Heritage wonderland." Top 5 Page for this destination Luang Prabang by planxty

Luang Prabang Travel Guide: 1,101 reviews and 2,808 photos

A place steeped in history.

I first visited Luang Prabang or LP, as travellers here tend to refer to it, seven years ago. I was amazed by it then and continue to be amazed by it now. It was, for some time, the capital of Lao until that function was removed to Vientiane, but for many Lao it remains the religious and cultural heart of the nation.

It is a UN World Heritage site, a fact of which the residents are justifiably proud. There are wats (temples) on virtually every corner, many of great religious significance to Buddhists. It also enjoys a very scenic location at the confluence of the Meking and Nam Ou rivers, and the sunsets over the former can be striking.

The UNESCO site has much more information and is worth a visit.

Luang Prabang UNESCO page.

What I did notice in the period since I was last here is the huge boom in tourist related services. There are many more hotels and guesthouses, most of the restaurants offer Western menus and there are many more bars catering to the travelling classes. In fairness it has not detracted much from the inherent charm of this wonderful city. It remains a place well worthy of a visit.

  • Last visit to Luang Prabang: Jan 2010
  • Intro Updated Oct 23, 2014
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Reviews (34)

Comments (13)

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    What superbly observed tips, Fergy - I almost felt as though I was travelling in your backpack (in which case even a seasoned ex-soldier such as yourself would probably have had one hell of a backache)!
    Hoping that I'll get to apply these sooner rather than later ...

    • planxty's Profile Photo
      Oct 23, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Hello again Cathy,

      I woke up this morning (sounds like a blues song, doesn't it?) and saw I had no less than 46 notices which I didn't really understand. I looked and found that many of them were ratings on Luang Prabang etc. and now it all makes sense so thanks so much for taking the time to visit my page here. Thank you so much for your kind words, they really are appreciated. I don't know about "superbly observed", it is just in my nature to observe things and then I try to write about them as honestly as I can. If that is of any value then I am happy.

      I am afraid getting in my Bergen (army slang for backpack / rucksack) then sorry but not a chance. At my time of life and with my already knackered back (had a disc removed over 20 years ago - too much rugby) I cannot even hump one about any more. I have had to resort to a soft rollalong which suits me nicely and use a little daysac for short rambles from my base. I am afraid my days of yomping over mountains carrying X pounds on my back are long gone. I still manage to get around though, so obviously I am not quite crocked yet.

      As for applying these tips then you really should. Lao is a most incredible country albeit becoming increasingly on the "tourist trail", it is certainly much changed from the first time I visited some years ago. There is, however, much to love there and the people are simply beautiful, no other word for it. There is a genuine friendliness and warmth about them, despite (or perhaps because of) most of them having very little. For crying out loud, I was even offered a bride out there! I don't know which of my Lao pages you have seen but have a look at this, it was hilarious.

      "Ancient skills in an unchanged place." - Ban Phonsavan Off The Beaten Path Tip by planxty

      You really should get out there if you can.

      OK, I have rambled on more than enough here so I'll knock it on the head. I do hope you and the family are doing well and is there any chance of you getting back this way any time soon? I really would love to meet you "in person" as it were, I am sure we would have much to chat about.

      Speak soon,


    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Oct 24, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      The family are fabulous (thanks for asking!) and we're starting to see the benefits of some recent simplications in our life. Never fear - we'll manage to share those long-threatened beverages sooner rather than later: there was a possibility I might have been in Europe in November, but I've since moved the event to South East Asia ... no prizes for spotting the link to my recent perusal of your travel page ... ;) But hopefully I will have reason to venture via London some time in 2015.

  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Just having a rummage round in your well written tips and pics, as I will be in Laos in Feb. next. Thanks for the hints.

    • pfsmalo's Profile Photo
      Nov 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      It is mainly a case of not wanting to go back on myself too much, that I thought of doing it that way. In all, with a week in Thailand before we'll be away just 5 1/2 weeks. No we've been to the south around Kerala, a big triangle from Kochi, Mysore and train to Chennai. Then local bus to Mamapuram (sp) and Madurai then back to Kochi via the waterways, but never Rajasthan.

    • planxty's Profile Photo
      Nov 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      As I say, you will oove Rajastahn. Be sure to take lots of flashcards for your camera, the place is just on huge photo op. I envy you. I wanted to go South but when I was in India I was told that it was so stikingly hot that it was not really viable. I don't mind heat but 40 plus every day is a bit much for me.

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Very interesting page. Sounds like you've had some great trips here. Cheers, Irene

  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Thanks so much for visiting my Bagan page and the kind remarks..I beleive it to be my favourite place in Burma..Like yourself I love S.E.Asia and try to get back there whenever I can.I must say I enjoyed Laos and Cambodia immensely.As you may see most of my travels are by train but alas, Lao, Cambodia no trains.Thanks again for your kind words.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Hi Fergy, hope youre enjoying your weekend...also hope I make it to Laos one day as I sure would like to, Id do it the same have a decent few months and just get around a few countries in that vicinity. Good for you the tips on helping the locals - Ive taken as much as possible with me every trip to Morocco to give to school children in poor/remote areas, enc their education any way poss, and take warm clothing where they are poor and freeze in the winter...am sure doing things sensibly anyway must help one way or another

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    Still planning my trip and thoroughly enjoying reading your pages. If LP is as good as it sounds, I can hardly wait.

  • Apr 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    I can only agree with what you're writing. I too watched the procession and was much tempted to slap some of these tourists. Makes one ashamed to be one of them

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    Besides a riveting hour of reading, you've provided an invaluable lesson in writing: thank you. These pages ALONE are worth a Barney - so glad you mentioned them in the forum. PS: sounds like even a kitchen disaster like me could make Lang Prabang salad?

  • i-s-a's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Happy New Year! Yes will do the LP pages (soon hopefully ^0^). Love the place immensely and would love to be back someday. Thanks for the great tips that inspired this travel.

  • betska's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Yes....same cooking school! I will have to revisit your pages when I have more time. They are awesome! Betts


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