Luang Prabang, Laos (The Jewel of the Mekong)

Luang Prabang is an idyllic town just north of Vientiane and has been accorded as an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The fastest way to get to Luang Prabang is to catch a flight from Vientiane domestic airport. Flight time is just under an hour. Another alternative is to travel by coach and it takes about 10-11 hours to get to Luang Prabang from Vientiane.

Getting from the airport to the city is relatively easy. Just buy the transport coupons from the counter outside the airport and hop onto the tuk-tuk waiting outside. As Luang Prabang is a small town, moving from one point to another is pretty straight forward. One relaxing way to explore the place is to rent a bicycle and cycle around town. If you are only visiting the places of attraction, hire a tuk-tuk. Most drivers understand simple English but always standby your map and write down the address on the map. Like Vientiane, there are several WAT (temple) in Luang Prabang. If you only have time for one, visit Wat Xieng Thong. It is consider one of the most beautiful and historic temples in Luang Prabang.

Another must do activity is to watch sunset at Luang Prabang. Any spot along the Mekong is a good spot. However one of the best locations to view sunset is at the top of Mount Phusi. There are stairs leading to the top but expect to spend an hour climbing. The view at the top is excellent, and at times you can even catch planes landing at the nearby airport. After watching sunset, take the route down to Sisavang Vong Road. The road will close at night for the locals to set up their wares at the night market. Most of the items are inexpensive and are made by the locals. Do give them your generous support.

A trip to Luang Prabang is incomplete without a boat ride on the Mekong. Take a boat trip down the Mekong to visit Pak Ou Cave. Inside you can see thousands of Buddha statues placed in the Cave. Along the way, visit the villages and try the exotic lao whiskey. The trip upstream and downstream will take half a day. Spend the rest of the day unwinding in the café soaking in the tranquil atmosphere.

written by lomopop on 2010-09-21 #places #boat #sunset #sprockets #laos #location #unesco #fuji #mekong-river #travel-destination #luang #prabang #fisheye-bbf

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