Situated in the centre of northern Laos, Luang Prabang is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historic and architectural values and its harmonious relationship between the natural and built environment. In the 14th century, the King Fa Ngum founded the first Lao Kingdom, Lane Xang, here in Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang remained the capital of Lane Xang until 1565 when the capital was moved to Vientiane. It remained to serve as the country’s spiritual and religious centre. Visitors to Luang Prabang are charmed by the friendly atmosphere of this small town…
What is the best time to visit?
Luang Prabang has a tropical climate. The average annual temperature in Luang Prabang is 25.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1,315 mm. Here are some information about climate in Luang Prabang:
- On average, the temperatures are always high.
- A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the month: June, July, August and September.
- Luang Prabang has dry periods in January, February and December.
- On average, the warmest month is April.
- On average, the coolest month is January.
- August is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain.
- December is the driest month.
The best time to visit Luang Prabang is from November to March when the weather is comfortably dry with pleasant average temperatures.
Where to stay in Luang Prabang?
In Luang Prabang, there are 48 hotels, 14 resorts and over 234 guest houses. With prices from 10 USD to 700 USD per night, there are choices to suit the needs of everyone, from the budget traveler to those who wish to enjoy their holiday in style.
Suggested hotels in Luang Prabang
- Le Sen Boutique Hotel – 113 Manomai Road Ban Mano, 06000 Luang Prabang.
- Pullman Luang Prabang – Ban Pong Wanh, 06000 Luang Prabang.
- Houngvilai Hotel – Kitsalat Road Ban Pakham, Luang Prabang.
- Maison Dalabua – Oupalath Khamboua Road. Ban That Luang, Luang Prabang.
- Sada Hotel – Phouvao road Ban Mano , 06000 Luang Prabang.
- Cosiana River Side – Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Prabang.
Suggested guest houses in Luang Prabang
- Alounsavath Guest House – Wat Nhong Village, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang.
- Anongdeth Guest House – Phonpheng Village, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang.
- Atee Guest House – Visoun Village, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang.
- Ammata Guest House – Wat Nhong Village, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang.
- B & B Guest House – Visoun Village, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang.
Places to visit in Luang Prabang?
Luang Prabang is rich in cultural heritage, and is known as the seat of Lao culture, with monasteries, monuments traditional costumes and surrounded by many types of nature’s beauty.
In 1995 UNESCO declared Luang Prabang a World Heritage Site. This distinction confirms, through the concerted action of local, national and international authorities, a real motivation to preserve this wonderfully serene city. The title is justified not only by the many beautiful temples in Luang Prabang, but also by its traditional wooden dwelling, the old colonial style houses and the natural environment that encases it in a perfect harmony of plant and stone.
Wat Xieng Thong Temple
Wat Xieng Thong translates as ‘temple of the Golden City’ located in Luang Prabang. This Buddhist temple is one of the most beautiful and significant monuments in Lao.
Royal Palace Museum
Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, the Royal Palace Museum was first constructed in 1904 in the French colonial era. Visit the museum and see the real “Prabang” Buddha image.
Buddhism is part of everyday life in the country, and a great way to see their love for Lord Buddha. One of the most interesting things to do, especially in Luang Prabang, is to line up early in the morning and give food to the monks.
The View From Mount Phou Si
For a spectacular sunset, this 100 meter high hill is located in the center of Luang Prabang’s old town with the Mekong River on one side, and Nam Khan River on the other.
Kwang Si Waterfall
Talking of waterfalls, if you want to see one of Laos’ most dramatic, Kwang Si Waterfall should be at the top of your list. This three-tier waterfall is situated approximately 29 kilometers to the south of Luang Prabang, cascading 60 meters.
Pak Ou Caves
About 25 kilometers by boat from Luang Prabang along the Mekong River, at the mouth of the Nam Ou, are the famous Pak Ou caves. Two caves in the lower part of a limestone cliff facing the river are crammed with Buddha images of all styes and sizes (but mostly classic Luang Prabang standing Buddha images).
Night Bazaar In Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang night market (night bazaar) is something you simply can’t miss when visiting this UNESCO world heritage city. The market is open daily from 5:00pm to about 10:00pm. It is located along Sisavangvong Road from the Royal Palace Museum.
Luang Prabang Film Festival
You really know a country is moving forward when they host their own film festival. The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is an annual celebration of film making is southeast Asia that aims to educate Lao people about film as a means of cultural expression and communication, and to support a nascent local industry and art form.
What to eat in Luang Prabang?
Laos food is one of the best-kept secrets of Southeast Asia. Laos a country tucked between Thailand, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia offers a cuisine rich in flavors, herbs, and simple and fresh ingredients. Luang Prabang, regarded as the country’s culinary capital, offers a great window into Laos food with widely available street food and restaurants.
The food in Luang Prabang combines Laos food staples such as sticky rice and jaew and Luang Prabang specialties. You find unique Luang Prabang food such as Or Lam, Luang Prabang Salad and Mekong River Seaweed. Some dishes you must to try such as Jaew (Jaew Bong, Jaew Mak Khua), Sticky Rice, Laos Khao Soi, Laos Larb, Sai Oua… And some places that you can try to them: Dyen Sabai Restaurant, Morning Market, Khao Soi Noodle Shop, Xien Thong Phonsavanh Restaurant, Xien Thong Phonsavanh Restaurant…
How to get to Luang Pra bang?
You can get to Luang Prabang from Hanoi (Vietnam), Bangkok (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia) and Kunming (China) by air or from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia by way.
Several international and domestic airlines operate scheduled flights to Luang Prabang airport, including Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.
Shopping in Luang Prabang!
Some of the best places to go shopping in Luang Prabang are located in the town centre, where you can purchase authentic handicrafts, art, textiles and jewellery. Many of these items are handmade by Laos’ ethnic groups, whose handicraft skills continue to be practised through the generations.
This village, located 4 kilometers to the north of Luang Prabang, was a former royal weaving village, and is now an official tourism village. You can view women working on their looms, buy their products and stroll in the village. It can be reached by bicycle or tuk-tuk.
Ban Hat Hien
Ban Hat Hian is one of the province’s famous blacksmith villages. Handmade knives and other agricultural tools are for sale here. The village is located 2 kilometers from town, just past the Luang Prabang International Airport.
This village is famous for its traditional pottery-making, where you can watch pots being hand-thrown and fired in old ovens. The village’s lamps and pots decorate the small streets of Luang Prabang’s old town, and are known all over northern Laos. Ban Chan is located in Chomphet District, across the Mekong River and to the south. It can be reached by boat in 15 minutes, or by taking a boat across to Xieng Man and walking downstream along the river for 25 minutes.
Ban Xang Hai
Ban Xang Hai is famous for its Lao Lao (homemade alcohol) which is available for tasting and purchase. A variety of handicrafts are also for sale here. The village, 29 kilometers north of Luang Prabang, is a common stop on the boat ride to Tham Ting caves, but can also be reached by car in one and half hours.
Source: Tourism Marketing Department, Lao PDR