Luang Prabang, a “big” town

Luang Prabang is the second city of Laos, hard to believe when you get there! It is a very quiet town, recently listed as UNESCO heritage and where people live with serenity. We meet the monks in every street and the facades of colonial houses of European style of nineteenth and twentieth century brings a characer of small village.

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Located on the banks of the Mekong and in the mountains, it enjoys a pleasant climate in which to live. I even had a little cold in December at night!

First town after crossing the land border from Thailand, tourism evolved greatly in recent years and prices have tripled in 3 years … You should know that Laos is one of the poorest countries of Southeast Asia and Luang Prabang is a curious mixture of modern and old  culture.

We see drivers scooters without helmets, children around small wood fires on street corners, all in the middle of guesthouses and restaurants dedicated to tourists. On the bank of the Mekong and the main street, there is a hotel or a guesthouse every two meters, so much so that some stores have a different activity are obliged to clarify.

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Between temples, natural sights and walks back city, here’s a preview of what you can visit in Luang Prabang among hundred other activities.

The Mekong and the Nam Khan River

Many restaurants overlooking the Mekong and gives you time to have a drink or taste the Laotian cuisine while admiring the reflection of the sun on the river.

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Boat offer to make an hour’s navigation on the Mekong.

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On the other side of town, you can cross the wooden bridge that straddles the Nam Khan River for 5000 Kips. You can admire the city from the other side and watch the fish traps sinners, located on the river.

The night market

Every day of every week, the night market settles on the main street. From 5pm, stalls take place. Each stand centimeter is calculated using the number of bricks along the sidewalk. The capitals unfold, pulling electrical wire to power the lights.

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Women hit each object for sale with ticket for good luck and attract customers.

The women come to sell thousands of items, from local crafts. Babies and children accompany them. In late night, they sleep at the bottom, resting on blankets.

You will find everything from jewelry, wraps, traditional outfits, umbrellas, notebooks, etc … It is a tourist place but that feeds the local population and where we can still negotiate prices.

Mont Phu Si

At the heart of the city, Mount Phu Si houses a temple where access costs 20,000 kip. If you do not want to pay, you can still go up to get a view of the surroundings.

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The non-paying party houses Buddha statues, a cellar, an imprint of the Buddha walking and stairs with dragons sculptures. Enough things to do for small budgets. If you take the time, you will probably have the opportunity to chat with the novice monks and learn about Buddhism and the lives of Laotians.

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Kuang Si Waterfalls

At 40 kilometers from Luang Prabang, these falls are a natural wonder. The clear waters of a milky blue that falls on white limestone rocks. All on several floors with the biggest for last, the star attraction!

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It is possible to swim, and even climb to the top of the falls where you can, in the shade of trees, escape the crowds. Children will have the joy of jumping in the water thanks to the Tarzan rope attached to the trunks.

The site is unfortunately very touristy. The entrance fee (20,000 kip). There are even small cabins to wear your swimsuit. Difficult to take a photo without people on it. Count 50,000 kip per person, round trip to get there by tuk-tuk.

Food street

The perfect place to eat local cost. At the end of the night market near the main square, a narrow side street is filled with food stand. 15000 Kips plate (1.50 euros) and you can put as much food as you want!

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You also have the option to nibble here and there the typical Laotian sausages, grilled chicken or pork, samosas and spring rolls, etc …

If you can, stay a little bit on Luang Prabang, the most “special” city of Laos!

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