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What not to be missed in Luang Prabang


  Marica&Sonia   |     20/03/2018

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Luang Prabang, the former capital of the Luang Prabang province in northern Laos, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in a valley where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers flow together and it was the country's royal capital until 1975. It is known for its numerous Buddhist temples, including the golden 16th century Wat Xieng Thong, and the Wat Never once was the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.
 
We arrive at Luang Prabang after a 28-hour bus ride from Hanoi (https://www.marsontheroad.com/it/destinazioni/68/what-to-do-in-hanoi-the-capital-of).
We stay at the LPQ Backpackers hostel for 32,000 kip per night including breakfast (about € 3.2); discreet hostel but you can definitely find better: the room is an 8 bed-dorm and is really narrow, with no space to move.
Here is a list of what we think you should not lose once in Luang Prabang:
 



 
 

  • The night market. It is one of the largest markets in Laos. This market takes place from approximately 17 to 22; it is located along Sisavangvong Road from the height of the museum located in the Royal Palace. Every evening a stretch of the road, almost one kilometre long, is closed to traffic and becomes pedestrian so that the market can come to life. We come here the first evening for dinner and buy some noodles with vegetables for 10,000 kip or € 1. We come back here the next night as well and we have some roasted chicken with salad for 20,000 kip; in short, there is something for all tastes and budgets. In addition to the food, you can find many local handicrafts and various souvenirs.






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  • Temples. Among them, we find the Wat Ho Pha Bang which hosts the Pha Bang, the most revered Buddha statue in Laos. A few meters away is Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham. Near the tip of the peninsula is the Wat Xieng Thong: the most visited and the most faithful to the original local style.






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  • Tak Bat. This is the procession of the alms of the monks held every morning at dawn in the temple area of Luang Prabang. It is a very important ceremony for the monks as they demonstrate their vow to humility and poverty. Unfortunately, during the last few years, it has become an attraction for many tourists. Please note that it is not possible to take flash pictures and it is better to watch this ceremony from the sidewalk. You should avoid taking photos too close and rather use the zoom.






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  • Phu Si. This is the sacred hill overlooking Luang Prabang from its 100 meters! On its top is the That Chomsi, a golden stupa and a small but impressive temple, and the view sweeps 360 ° giving an exciting scenery. It is the ideal place to go and admire the sunset.






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  • Kuang Si Waterfalls. They are probably the main attraction around Luang Prabang. They are truly spectacular as well as being the largest in the area. This multi-level waterfall is located about 30km from the city. We reach them with a rented scooter for € 9. The road is in good condition so it is easy getting here in about 50 minutes. There are also several minivans that organize the tour for € 3.5 or 35,000 kip. The cost of entry to the falls is 20,000 kip plus 2,000 kip to park the scooter. We stay there until early afternoon. We have fun swimming in the cold but beautiful water of these falls.






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  • The Pistoche swimming pool. If you have enough time to spend in Luang Prabang and want a break from the heat from the city, then we highly recommend visiting this pool. It is a 20-minute walk to the centre. Entrance fee is 30,000 kip and you must leave a deposit of 50,000 kip. Ideal for spending a carefree afternoon with music and a good cold drink.






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  • Nightlife. Absolutely not to be missed are the various clubs along the Mekong River and Nam Khan. During the day there are various cafes and restaurants but in the evening you cannot miss the Utopia. This is a riverside bar with a very relaxing atmosphere. It has several chairs/loungers and here you can sip the famous Beerlao but beware, it closes at midnight, the time when most of the tourists move to Bowling, where a game costs 20,000 kip.







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So we can conclude by saying that Luang Prabang is a beautiful town, quiet and pleasant to visit. Its central streets are closed to bus or heavy vehicles so you can visit it on foot or by bike. It is a French colonial city so there are many places that recall a European atmosphere. But at the same time, it is full of attractive places, both historical and naturalistic. We recommend spending at least 2-3 days here.

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Marica&Sonia

Two tireless travellers, with the look and the thoughts wandering beyond the borders of the world.

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