A destination that is often overlooked in preference of Thailand’s scintillating turquoise oceans, or Cambodia’s mysterious temples, Luang Prabang is a charming city that deserves to be uncovered. The ancient capital of Laos is venerated for the ritualistic giving of alms to monks as well as its laid back and welcoming character filled with colonial charm. So what is there to do and see? Read on to find out what our Laos consultant, Keira, has to say…
Luang Prabang is a small city; how many days would you recommend for a holiday there?
Yes, Luang Prabang is indeed quite small, but that being said, it more than makes up for its small size by the myriad of things to do there. Four days will give you enough time to explore the area, observe the people’s ways as well as rejuvenate your soul. Wat Xieng Thong monastery, the Royal Palace Museum, the Mekong River and Phu Si are just a few of the sights to see. If you have more time, make your way to Muang La further up north and explore unchartered parts of the country.
Located along the Mekong, it’s safe to assume that there are many cruises operating in the area. Which would be your pick?
Indeed, it is a must to activity whilst in Luang Prabang! One of our favourite hotels in the area, Amantaka, has their own boat which been decked out with plush cushions and hands-on staff to serve drinks and canapes. Absolute delight! If you want to prolong your journey on the river, hop aboard the Luang Say for a superb 2 night journey to remote, mountainous stretches of the Mekong.
Is it suitable for families and where should families stay?
Laos may be more suited to older kids who are able to enjoy the more adventurous activities and appreciate Laos’ cultural wealth. That said, young children can still enjoy many activities like the cruises down the Mekong and the Kuang Si waterfalls. On top of that, the Laotians love children! Hotel de la Paix and Belmond La Residence Phou Vao can comfortably accommodate extra children in their lead in bedrooms and the latter has lots of lawn space for the kids to run about in.
Best place to stay for couples & why
I especially like the Satri House for couples or friends travelling together. This converted mansion of an old prince is very cosy and every room is decorated uniquely so it really feels like a home! The area is also very quiet even though town is not too far away.
Tell us about your favourite restaurant
Le Tangor was opened by the ex-Chef from Muang La. Located on the main strip of Rue Sisavangvong, the restaurant provides a cosy atmosphere to people watch and enjoy the classic French, Lao and international cuisine. They also serve great wine and pastis!