Luang Prabang

May 2016

Luang Prabang is a beautiful city with many things to see.

The nice thing about it is that you can find a wide range of culinary experiences from street food, to high end restaurants. There are beautiful temples everywhere. This city also has a small downtown area with lots of shops, restaurants, massage parlours, and hotels.

Every night, there is a night market in the downtown core. I think it starts at 5:00pm and lasts for about 4-5 hours. They have everything! Mostly souvenirs and clothing and stuff but it’s a really nice experience. Always remember to bargain to save money – they will usually double the price on everything.

As for nightlife, we visited 2 beautiful bars. One was very upscale and the drinks were quite expensive (North American prices) : Bar 525. It was very nice to have a change of scenery and to have delicious cocktails though. Well worth it for a nice night out with friends. The next night we went to a secluded bar called “Utopia”. I must admit the walk to get there is a little odd and sort of sketchy but once you’re there it’s worth it. It’s a beautiful outdoor bar with seating areas scattered around trees and plants and cobble stone. It’s so pretty! It’s mostly light with candles and small landscape lights – very cosy place to have some drinks.

About a 45 minute to 1 hour drive away you will find the some of the most beautiful waterfalls you’ll ever see: Kuang Si. Ice blue water and unique rock formation, these are not to be missed. You must visit these falls if you are in Luang Prabang – the drive is worth it plus it’s beautiful scenery on the way. I would recommend spending an entire day here. At first, we thought just a couple of hours would be just enough so we had our tuktuk driver meet us 2 hours later but it was not enough time at all. My friend and I ended up trekking up the waterfall to the very top; just that takes about 30 minutes. You want to spend minimum 4 hours here. There’s a lot to see nearby as well.

While you are at the falls, there is an area while trekking up that has a wooden barrier / barricade that says “keep out/do not pass” (something like that). I highly recommend breaking the rules and passing it. There’s always going to be a place for you to sneak around because people don’t pay attention to the sign. If you walk down the trail for about 2 minutes, you will find yourself in an incredible “bath” of water in the middle of the falls. It’s secluded and it’s a beautiful sight. The falls up there are also so incredible, you can actually go up and let the water fall down on your back.  I learnt this from a fellow Canadian, Christian Leblanc (LostLeblanc). I definitely recommend you to follow him on YouTube for tips on Asia.

One more thing, there is a temple at the top of a mountain called Mont Phousi. It’s one hell of a trek (about 300 steps to be specific) but it’s worth it. It’s a beautiful temple and you get an incredible panoramic view of Luang Prabang. Bring tons of water because once you get to the top you will want to chug about a litre of water (especially if it’s a really hot day).

If you have any questions about Luang Prabang feel free to ask! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Luang Prabang

  1. This sounds and looks absolutely amazing!! My boyfriend and I are going around Thailand for 3 weeks and whilst in chiang mai we have 4 days to spare so we’re hoping to go over to Laos – where would you recommend to stay at a reasonable price in Luang Prabang and do you think we could do Luang Prabang and another area in the 4 days we have? We also have 3 days spare in koh Samui so would like to go to another island – thinking of koh tao so anything you can recommend there too would be great!! X

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    1. Hi Bindiya! You can absolutely visit Luang Prabang and another in 4 days! It depends on whether you like to rush in order to see more or if you would prefer to stick with only 1 town and have more time to enjoy it.
      We stayed at Malida Guesthouse in Luang Prabang and I recommend it. It’s a short walk to the night market, there’s a convenient store across the street and a beautiful cocktail bar just steps away! Please schedule to spend the entire day at Kuang Si falls, they are spectacular! We spent 4 hours and it was not enough because we climbed the falls then relaxed afterwards.
      I recommend spending a couple days in Vang Vieng as well. It’s about 4-5 hours drive away by bus but it’s worth it. Check out my page about Vang Vieng.
      And I absolutely recommend visiting Koh Tao if you will be in Koh Samui. The fery passes 3 times a day and takes about 2 hours to get to Koh Tao. It’s small, beautiful with lots of things to see and do. I recommend going to the view point at Koh Nang Yuan (we didn’t have time but I can imagine it’s beautiful!). Let me know if you have more questions and feel free to send me an e-mail if you would like more info, I’ll be more than happy to help out 🙂 xox

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