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Surrounded by the mountains of northern Laos at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, tiny Luang Prabang, the country's ancient royal capital, is the charming heart of Laotian culture and the main center for Buddhist learning. Natural beauty is a main feature here, with lush vegetation revealing the fascinating riverside Pak Ou Caves and the dazzling Kouang Si Waterfalls. There are also several villages where ancient silk weaving and rice paper-making techniques are on display. Within the city, most sites can be reached on foot, so exploring the 33 wats (temples) is easy. Among the most engaging attractions: the local monks' morning almsgiving ceremony; the colorful morning market; 16th-century Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang; the Royal Palace Museum; and Wat Xieng Thong, a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture dating back to the 16th century.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Luang Prabang. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Luang Prabang and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Luang Prabang, Laos insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Hello, I'm Toobee, and I was born in Luang Prabang. After successfully completing upper-secondary school, I went to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to study English and accounting at the English college and vocational school. I returned to Luang Prabang in 2001 where I worked at the reception desk in a hotel. In 2004, I became a guide and I am now one of the top English-speaking guides in Laos.
This is a great place to pick up an affordable souvenir or simply mix with the locals. Browse the stalls for a large variety of local handicrafts including wood carvings, silk textiles, wall hangings, and much more. The market closes around 9 pm and is a perfect activity before or after dinner.
Wake early in the morning to see this traditional ceremony, where Buddhist monks, in their saffron-colored robes, walk along Sisavangvong Road to receive alms (charity) in their bowls. Rice is the most typical type of alms and is used for their daily meals. If you would like to participate and give alms to the monks, remember that men are permitted to stand, but women are expected to kneel to offer the alms. This is an important Buddhist ritual, not a show, so whether you watch or participate, be respectful of the monks and their faith.
This collection of ancient buildings is the most important and striking complex of temples in Luang Prabang. Construction on the main temple began in 1559 and it is one of the very few buildings to survive centuries of pillaging from invading armies. Stop here to see the stunning Buddhist art and architecture including golden facades, vibrant murals, and shimmering glass mosaics.
Climb to the top, approximately 325 ft, for sweeping views of Luang Prabang, the Mekong River, and the surrounding mountains. Understandably, this is a popular setting to watch the sunset in the evening. Along the way, stop at one of the many temples and shrines that stud the hillside. There are several routes to the top, and whichever you choose, the climb is worth it!
This delightful bookshop serves light fare throughout the day and features an extensive tea and drink menu. This is a great place to unwind with a book, chat about your travel experiences, or stop by at night for an “artsy” movie.
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