Filled with gold-plated Buddhist temples, old colonial homes, and the smell of frangipani, a visit to Luang Prabang is a little like stepping into a time machine back to old Indochina. Set in Laos's northern mountains, at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, the city reflects an intricate blend of French, Chinese and Vietnamese influences, and was in recent years named a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, which called it "the best-preserved city in Asia." Travel to Luang Prabang, and you won't find a city totally lost in time, though: You can even (respectfully) participate in some of the everyday sacred traditions.
Things Not to Miss in Luang Prabang
Our Luang Prabang travel guide will help make the most of your visit to this tranquil city. Some of the most popular activities for tourists include:
• Swimming in the turquoise blue pools of Kuang Si Falls
• Taking in Laos’ Buddhist culture at the Golden City Temple
• Visiting the Luang Prabang Night Market to buy handmade local crafts
• Enjoying a relaxing massage at one of the many spas in the city
When to Visit Luang Prabang
In Luang Prabang, the seasons run counter to typical tourist cycles. The prime time for Luang Prabang travel is during the dry season, from October to April, when the weather is otherwise cool. Don't mind a few daily showers? Then go ahead and visit Luang Prabang during its rainy season, from May to September. You'l likely only see rain for a couple hours a day - and in return, get the benefit of lower hotel rates and smaller crowds.