Luang Prabang

We were pretty sad to leave northern Thailand as we had a fantastic time, but we’d heard great things about Luang Prabang. Probably the biggest tourists town in Laos we soon realised why this UNESCO heritage town was so popular. It has amazing temples, a night market, French charm and architecture and is flanked on either side by the Mekong river its tributary, the Nam Khan.

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We spent our first day in town cycling around visiting the towns temple starting off at Wat Xieng Thong (LAK 20k pp).

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From there we went to the old Royal Palace which has now become a museum (LAK 150k pp) containing ancient thrones, ceremonial weapons, incredible murals and buddhas. There’s also a beautiful wat on site, but no photos of the interiors are allowed.

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Opposite the palace is a huge hill, Mount Phu Si (LAK 20k pp), which, after clambering up ~340 stairs provides awesome views over the valley.

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In the evenings we hit up the night market picking up a few gifts and haggling with the locals. They’re pretty tough hagglers in Laos, but there’s still some great value handicrafts to be had.

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The nightlife is a little more low key than in Chiang Mai but theres still some good fun to be had. There’s a great little cocktail bar called Ikon Club and a few fun pubs, the Lao Lao Garden, Reggae bar and Aussie Sports Bar. Katie had a great time beating the locals at table football and helping them DJ behind the bar.

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There are a lot of massage places and spas in Luang Prabang too. We got involved in a fish spa at Sabye Sabaye Grand Spa (LAK 30k for 10mins) which was quite an experience! It felt like pins and needles combined with tickling. The fish loved my scaly feet but the sensation was a little much for Katie.

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We then went over to L’Hibiscus which made great reviews on trip advisor. I went for the traditional Laos and Katie opted for an aromatherapy option (LAK 60-110k). Katie was in heaven, but once again I managed to pick the most painful option on the menu. I’d argue that it was more painful than the Thai massage and was quite intense.

We loved Luang Prabang and we so glad we chose to send six days there. There are a lot of beautiful attractions and things to do there and we’ll cover those in separate posts. Until then…

– M

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