Luang Prabang or Lung Phabang is a city in the north central Laos it is actually made up of lots of surrounding towns and is a UNESCO city due to its beautiful and well preserved architecture as well as its religious and cultural heritage.
When you fly into this beautiful place the world seems to open up as you appear fly between the hills, mountains and soar over the Mekong. Breath taking from the start.
We stay slightly outside of the main part of the town in a beautiful series of cabins around a series of ponds. It is lovely. Most of the hotels and hostels have bikes for rental or that you can use for free, ours is no different and I would recommend this as the best and easiest way to get around Luang Phabang. The main centre of town is set around four main roads and there are lots of little roads that lead off these. But it is very easy to find your way around even I manage with my terrible sense of direction.
The centre of Luang Phabang is dominated by mount Phou Si follow the stairs all the way up to the Wat Chom Si which is a lovely shrine. Its small and delicate. The view is beautiful, the air is full of butterflies and there are green trees stretching out in front of us.
The markets are a great place to eat and you wind yourself into the lanes to a buffet style eating experience. Most of this food is vegetarian and served cold. The colours and smells of these food markets is …wow! Defiantly and experience, not the best food of the trip I have to say, but the experience is much more than just the food. It is wonderful we sit and chat with locals and tourists of all walks of life and it reminds me so acutely why I love to travel.
Luang Phabang is full of life and just brimming with wonder. As I write this I realise there are so many things we need to share.
Another wonderful day was spent cycling around the Wats (temples) which I really recommend. Luang Phabang has over 30 Wats so don’t try to see them all. We set out with a map and a planned route but in the end, we ditched this and had a meandering cycle around the streets of Luang Phabang and stopped in and Wats that we saw when we felt like it. The highlights were Wat Xieng Thong, which is the Golden wat and probably the most famous of the Wats, Wat Visoun Narath with its lovely and unusual roof and Wat That Luang which is home to a very large bronze Buddha. Remember there is a strict etiquette policy, make sure you are dressed appropriately, shoulders and knees covered, take your shoes off before entering.
The people of Laos are lovely, Luang Phabang is a magical place with much to offer and to do.
Look out for our next post on our top things to do in Luang Phabang.