Destination Guide: Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is one of the most relaxing little towns on the planet. I well in love with it more than 15 years ago and rediscovered it recently. Even though a lot has changed, it’s still one of the most beautiful small towns I’ve seen in Asia and worth a trip! Read my mini-guide to Luang Prabang to find out why you should go, where to stay in Luang Prabang, the top things to do and where to eat! All you need to know on one page and in less than 5 minutes!

Why you should go: Luang Prabang is one of these places that draws you in, makes you slow down and relax – and probably makes you stay much longer than you planned. It is situated between the Mekong and the Nham Khan river, with a beautifully restored old town, with French colonial and local touches. It’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and that has helped protect the beauty of the town from over-development, maintaining it’s unique character. One of the most amazing – and most humbling sights is the early morning collecting of alms by the monks and novices from the countless temples in the old town. You can go for a boat ride on the Mekong River, cool down at a local waterfall – or just while away the time looking out over the river with a drink or a book. You’ll probably want to stay longer, too – you have been warned!
Not convinced – read more about why I fell in love with Luang Prabang and why it’s still a lovely city today!

Where to stay: Luang Prabangs charm lies in the old town, nestled between the two rivers, with little streets lined by old colonial style buildings – and that’s where you should stay! There are plenty of new, cheaper hotels in the new parts of the town, but you’ll miss what makes Luang Prabang so special!
You can find some of my favorite hotels in the table below. I do receive a small fee, if you decide to book through the link, at no cost to you – thank you for supporting my blog!

HotelCategoryLocationChain/RewardsGreat for
Sofitel Angkor5*Edge of Old TownAccor LeClubLuxury, Romance, Pool, Service, Style
3Nagas4*Old TownAccor LeClubLuxury, Style, Location
Mekong Riverview4*Old TownViews, Style
Burasari Heritage4*Old TownStyle, Location
Villa Deux Rivieres3*Old TownViews, Style, Service
Villa Oudomlith2*Old TownLocation, Budget

Not ready to book yet? Read reviews of the hotels I reviewed in more detail (from most to least expensive). I recommend all of them, depending on your budget!
Sofitel Luang Prabang
Villa Deux Rivieres
Villa Oudomlith

Where to eat: There are lots of little restaurants all over the old town and you can find your personal favorite by walking around and checking out the atmosphere and the menu. Two of my favorites are Rosella Fusion, a small restaurant by the river, that serves Lao fusion cuisine and wins with it’s peaceful setting. The Blue Lagoon is an upscale restaurant in a beautiful garden setting that serves European food as well as some Lao favorites. 

What to do: Luang Prabang is a great place to do nothing. Or you can watch other people do nothing – it’s contagious. And, should you get done with doing nothing, you can always take a leisurely cruise on the Mekong river to see the Pak Ou Caves, wander through town to visit the impressive Royal Palace or take a trip to the refreshing Tat Kuang Si waterfalls – before coming back to town to watch the sunset over the river…


How to get around: To make it easy, I’d recommend to ask your hotel to pick you up at the airport. Alternatively, you can find taxis or shared transport at the airport. Once in the old town, getting around Luang Prabang is easy –  you can walk anywhere around the old town, so bring some comfortable shoes and go, but Please Don’t Rush – it’s Lao PDR after all!

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