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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, the multi-level limestone Tad Sae Waterfall, and the dazzling Kouang Si Waterfalls. 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; 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 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’s world heritage town. 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 in 2001 to my hometown, Luang Prabang, where I worked at the Villa Santi hotel in the reception and reservation center. I later changed to the E-Way Center, which helped the Lao youth students learn English, computing, and the Internet. I gained great experience and knowledge there, including Lao history, agriculture, geography, nature, arts, culture, and Theravada Buddhism. After finishing on the E-Way project, I continued to search for new experiences and in 2004, I became a freelance guide and went to study a special guide training course in Vientiane. I am a good and experienced guide, and I now am appointed to the frontline for English-speaking guides in Laos. I have received excellent feedback from my guests.
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!
Specializing in different “tasting menus,” you can sample some local Lao cuisine you won’t see in other restaurants in Luang Prabang. The experience is enhanced by the detailed explanation of the menu by the staff. Keep in mind they are only open during the day.
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.
Les 3 Nagas restaurant is renowed for serving very high quality and truly authentic Laotian cuisine with first rate presentation and quality of ingredients and consistently receives top reviews. Located in the main street of Luang Prabang in an historic heritage-listed building, this restaurant is deservedly popular with local Lao and expat residents as well as with travelers to Luang Prabang.
Directly across the road from Les 3 Nagas Restaurant is its sister restaurant named Mange 3 Nagas Restaurant. The more casual Mango 3 restaurant serves fusion Asian and Western cuisine and offers an extensive new menu of tasty appetizers, pastries, pizzas, pastas and varied options for light bites or satisfying meals. Set in a leafy courtyard with great views of the street this is one of the best spots to relax and observe the local life pass by.
L’ Elephant is probably Luang Prabang’s most well-known and highly regarded eatery and serves mainly French-style Western cuisine. Vegetarian options are well covered, as are good quality steaks and an Asian set menu is available. This is well worth the splurge for the sophisticated ambience and fine dining.
The chic Apsara Restaurant has a modern European and Asian menu including Laotian specialties and fusion dishes, and describes itself as ‘funky, fun & fabulously affordable’. In a restored building looking over the Nam Khan River, The Apsara is said by many reviewers to arguably serve the best food in Luang Prabang. A well stocked bar with an extensive international wine list adds to its appeal.
The popular Blue Lagoon can be found in a side street in the historic town centre and is highly recommended by Luang Prabang’s resident expat community and by regular visitors to the town. The décor is modern and casually stylish and the menu is eclectic with a range of tasty Asian classics and European delights.
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