Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

A highlight of Laos

While other Southeast Asian cities have shed the cloak of the past and screamed into the future, Luang Prabang puttered into the 21st century like a leaky slow boat going against the current.

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Located in the middle of northern Laos, for years the town held cult status—those who had been knew they were privy to something very special. Now Luang Prabang has gone from “where is that?” to achieving bucket list status, and its star continues to rise.

Luang Prabang is a highlight of Laos. : Cindy Fan.
Luang Prabang is a highlight of Laos. Photo: Cindy Fan

Situated on a peninsula and surrounded by a fortress of mountains, Luang Prabang’s striking location is formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Mekong and the Nam Khan. Sacred Mount Phou Si rises in the middle and climbing to the top reveals an idyllic town of palm-lined riverbanks, terracotta rooftops, golden stupas and laneways frequented by saffron-robed monks strolling back to temple. It all comes together to form a picture increasingly difficult to find in Southeast Asia and even in Laos. Unlike Vientiane and Pakse, which have turned their backs on the old, the former royal capital is devoted to its heritage.

People add Luang Prabang to their itinerary because of its World Heritage status, the Mekong River or perhaps it’s the waterfalls and jungle clad mountains within easy reach. Days here can be packed with activities and exploration. Once on the ground however, the somnambulant, languid rhythm has a way of seeping in and even the most enthusiastic of travellers find themselves slowing down. Luang Prabang has a reputation for wrecking tightly planned itineraries, be sure to allow at least a few days to really ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 4,200 words.)

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