Luang Prabang is one of the best preserved colonial cities in Asia. I may not have appreciated this fact had I not already seen other once grand cities that have since been concreted over.
[Restaurant La Cave Des.]
Luang Prabang is located at the junction of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. The Nam Khan flows to form a peninsular of land, which adds to the amount of river frontage. There are no buses allowed in the old town and as the historic section of town is on a peninsular there is no through traffic.
In the centre of town is Phu Si, a hill crowned by That Chomsi (a Buddhist temple). The view from the top gives you a better idea of how well located Luang Prabang is. From here you see the river valley and surrounding mountains.
[Luang Prabang from Phu Si.]
It didn’t occur to me before I arrived that Laos would have great coffee. You don’t really see it marketed well outside of Laos. It’s quite common to see the Sumatran or even Sulawesi blend at a Starbucks, but Lao blend that I recall. Local beans brewed in a coffee sock and the usual sweetened condensed milk as is the way in this part of the world.
[Coffee Lao by the Mekong River.]
If you are not flying to Luang Prabang it is a bit of a trek getting here. You can arrive by a 2 day boat from the Thai border or by bus on winding mountainous roads. I took the overnight bus from the border, which was a tortuous 13 hours on a winding potholed road. Being in Luang Prabang is the perfect place to be if you’re not in a hurry to get to the next place.
Despite the relative trek to get here, Luang Prabang has definitely been “found”. There are upmarket villas, boutiques and restaurants everywhere. I found myself in an air conditioned cafe using its free wi-fi while having a Cappucino Freeze.
Nomadic Notes Blog Posts
Notes on Luang Prabang: Soups, trains, bad bikes, and sad waterfalls – Luang Prabang trip report, including eating Laos food, visiting the China-Laos railway construction sites, renting bad motorbikes, and visiting sad waterfalls.
The best cafes in Luang Prabang – A list of the best cafes in Luang Prabang – best coffee, pastries, and my choice for best cafe overall.
Luang Prabang hotels – Search for discount hotels in Luang Prabang with lowest rates guaranteed.
If you are visiting Luang Prabang for the first time then this guide on where to stay in Luang Prabang will show you the best areas to stay.
Tourism Luang Prabang – Website of the Luang Prabang Tourism Department.
Luang Prabang Travel Guide – Index of Travelfish reviews related to Luang Prabang.
Luang Prabang Tourism Laos – Information on where to stay, attractions, food and drink, heritage information.
Hobo Maps – Luang Prabang – Detailed colour maps with information most useful for visitors.
Travel to Luang Prabang – Guide to Luang Prabang with reviews of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, temples and attractions.
Luang Prabang, Laos- My New Favorite Place on Earth – By thetraveluster.com.
The Sights of Luang Prabang – By alexinwanderland.com.
Vientiane to Luang Prabang by bus: Luang Prabang Travel Guide – By ooaworld.com.
Kuang Si Falls, Laos: The waterfall to beat all waterfalls – This waterfall is about 45 minutes from Luang Prabang. A guide on how to get there and what to see by theglobewanderers.com
Luang Prabang Photo Gallery – Photo gallery of Luang Prabang, Laos.
Photo Essay: The streets of Luang Prabang – By Dean Wickham from theroadtoanywhere.com.