Welcome to the Lao PDR, a mountainous landlocked Southeast Asian nation sandwiched between Thailand, China, and Vietnam. Famous for its cheap beer, amazing scenery, adventure travel, friendly people, and rich culture, Laos is slowly beginning to be discovered by world travelers as an up-and-coming top destination.
Being a night owl may not match with the lifestyle in Luang Prabang. The city wakes up early, and things tend to close down when the sky grows dark. While there is some night life in the more touristy bars and clubs, in general, Luang Prabang is a quiet and sleepy city, especially once the sun goes down. Luang Prabang is considered to be one of the most charming and peaceful cities in Southeast Asia.
The Luang Prabang Morning Market comes alive before the sun rises. After spending a cool, fresh morning experiencing a Lao alms-giving ceremony, head to the morning market to buy some of the freshest, healthiest, and most delicious produce in the city. You have to wake up early to experience the Morning Market, but it’s one of the coolest local experiences that you really shouldn’t miss when traveling to the city.
For such a small town, Luang Prabang has a lot to offer. From temple-hopping and silent cinema to sipping snake whisky and shopping at the night market, it’s hard to be bored, even if the town looks a little sleepy from the outside. Here, we share some of the coolest experiences that we recommend you to try when visiting Luang Prabang, Laos.
Recommendations for the best restaurants in Luang Prabang, Laos. When you are traveling, one of the best ways to connect to a local place is through the food. Try out these delicious traditional Laotian dishes at some great restaurants in Luang Prabang.
While exploring Luang Prabang, Laos, don’t overlook the unassuming Luang Prabang Public Library. The library is much more than just a place to borrow books; in fact, it’s a great organization that encourages literacy and education throughout Laos.
Luang Prabang, Laos, has over thirty UNESCO recognized historical temples. Which ones should you visit? Here are the top 10 Buddhist temples in Luang Prabang that you must not miss.
Is Smile Beach Bar the coolest and most beautiful spot in all of Vang Vieng, Laos? Decide for yourself… but the cheap whisky buckets certainly don’t hurt!
Should you take the day bus (VIP Bus) in Laos? This is our honest review of the VIP bus journey between Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Laos via VIP day bus, both the good and the bad.
The morning alms giving ceremony is an amazing way to participate in an ancient local custom, and to get in touch with the spirituality, history, and cultural heritage of Luang Prabang. Unfortunately, bad and disrespectful behavior by tourists has soured the experience somewhat. Help change things by being a responsible tourist. What time is the alms giving ceremony in Luang Prabang? How should you behave? What is the dress code? How do you give alms to monks?
One of the most popular day trips from Luang Prabang, Laos is to visit the legendary Pak Ou Caves. What are the Pak Ou Caves? How much does it cost to visit them? How do you get there? Is it worth it to spend half a day visiting the caves? Read on!
Ban Xang Hai, commonly referred to as the “Whisky Village” sits about 30km north of Luang Prabang. A visit to the village includes free shots of strong Lao whisky, the chance to buy lots of traditional handicrafts, and a short stop to explore the village. Is it worth it to visit the Whisky Village in Luang Prabang? Is the lao-lao rice whisky any good? Read on!
Just down the road from the Royal Palace is Wat Mai, one of the most important royal temples in Luang Prabang, and one that you mustn’t miss when touring the historic city in Laos.
Luang Prabang is Laos’ funky UNESCO World Heritage City, full of temples, palaces, and lots of cool cafes. Here are some of the best cafes in the city, both the ones that are long-time tourist haunts and those that are more local and traditional. Lao coffee is world-famous, and you definitely must not miss enjoying a cafe or ten while you are in the country.
As ubiquitous as the ever-popular Beer Lao, lao-lao, or Laotian rice whisky, is one of the staple drinks of the Lao PDR. This super cheap home-brewed moonshine is found throughout the country, and is today even served in a large range of craft-style options. What is lao-lao? How is it made? Where can you buy it? How much does it cost?
A visit to Luang Prabang is incomplete without a visit to the Natinonal Museum, old Royal Palace, and Haw Phra Bang Temple. The Royal Temple is the home to the legendary Phra Bang Buddha, and sits on the grounds of the old Luang Phrabang Royal Palace. Today, the site is operated and maintained by the Luang Phrabang National Museum, and is one of the best and most interesting sites in the entire city.
Visit Vang Vieng’s two amazing temples! While Vang Vieng may be best known for its wild parties and basically free alcohol, there’s a quieter, more cultural spiritual side to the popular backpacker’s town as well. As Vang Vieng struggles to reclaim its culture and peaceful atmosphere from its bad reputation, more visitors are looking to the lesser-known side of this little town on the Nam Song River.
10 FREE things to do in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao PRD. These top 10 interesting and exciting attractions are some of the best things to do in the city. From museums to markets to temples, don’t miss these amazing free sites in Vientiane, Laos.
Laos, the most heavily bombed country in the history of the world, is still suffering after the Vietnam War. There are more unexploded ordinances (UXO) in Laos than there are people, and the poor infrastructure and rough terrain make it difficult to remove bombs. The COPE Center, an NGO in Vientiane, is a fascinating and heartbreaking museum that does a lot of work on UXO removal and providing prosthetic limbs to those who have been injured in explosions.
Visit Wat Si Mueang and the nearby City Pillar Shrine, two of Vientiane's most historic and important Buddhist landmarks. Both the temple and the city pillar are located in the eastern side of town, just a short walk past the Presidential Palace and Wat Si Saket, and easily reachable by foot. Both the temple and city pillar are free to visit.
Try the world’s cheapest alcohol. Is this 10,000 kip (about $1) bottle of “smooth and mellon” Lao whisky any good? This ubiquitous drink had something of a reputation around Vang Vieng, Laos.