Photo: The event of the year.

Pi Mai Lao in Luang Prabang: In 1999

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Situated on a hill rising dramatically at the intersection of two rivers, Luang Prabang has for centuries enchanted those who arrive by boat—still probably one of the best ways to first see the former royal capital of Laos. This town dominated by wats of unspeakable beauty is somnambulant, peaceful and languid, masking a fascinating history of conquest and recapture, and only hinting at an intricate culture and complex traditions. And at designated times of year, the town springs to a life that is unique.

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Pi Mai, or New Year, occurs in mid-April and is the most elaborate and vibrant of the festivals dotting the Lao calendar year. It marks the beginning of the new agricultural year, with rain expected any day, and as if throwing back a blanket, the town wakes up and a time-honoured drama unfolds to seduce all who are lucky enough to be there. Extending for three days, the festival begins on the last day of the old year, and ends on the first day of the new. Between these days is a “neutral” day, where the Lao reputedly ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,900 words.)


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Popular attractions in Luang Prabang

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Luang Prabang.



What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Luang Prabang.
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See below for more sights and activities in Luang Prabang that are listed on Travelfish.org.


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Luang Prabang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.


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