Saturday, July 7, 2018

Travel Guide: Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a chill and laid back destination in Laos' northern region. I was in the former for a few days (back in June 2017, late post haha) because I wanted to see the old town and Kuang Si Waterfalls.


Luang Prabang is budget-friendly and is along the popular route while traveling around Southeast Asia.

Things to Do

Explore the Old Town






Luang Prabang has a quaint and laid back old town that visitors can explore during their visit. The stretch of old houses and restored hotels have their old colonial charm.

Temple Hopping




The town has many temples of varying significance, some of which are decades or even more than a century old. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most popular.

Pak Ou Caves





Another day trip to add to your itinerary is the Pak Ou Caves; the latter has many Buddhist statue and relics, and is a popular destination for practitioners. The landscapes are also quite beautiful.

Kuang Si Falls






Kuang Si Falls is probably Luang Prabang's most famous attraction. Despite the crowds, I still found the waterfalls complex beautiful. There's plenty of spots to get away from the other tourists.

Watch the Sunset




The best view of the sunset was at Luang Prabang View Hotel (not at Mt. Phousi), just my two cents.

Mt. Phousi




Mt. Phousi is nothing special to me, but it does have a pretty view of the river and the town. People were all thinking the same thing when they went up just before sunset. It's easy to get to the top, it's not very high and you're walking on steps .

Night Market




The night market provides visitors with plenty of shopping opportunities. Despite it's popularity, I'd say it was still chill and not as I expected from similar markets in the region. You'd see all sorts of trinkets, lanterns, knick-knacks, souvenirs and such at affordable prices.

Alms Giving




An important part of local life is Buddhism; this is exemplified by the alms giving early in the morning. Monks and devotees line up along the side walks. I thought it would be touristy, but visitors were respectful of the practice, some even participated. There weren't that many tourists when I went, it may have just been a seasonal thing.

Pig Out





There's a lot of restaurants, both street and fancier ones, in town. You can try the local food; there's a buffet in one of the markets! Really cheap and food was good too.

Where to Stay

If you want to splurge, Luang Prabang View Hotel is the place to do just that. If you're on a budget, you have plenty of options, I stayed at Downtown and LPQ Backpackers, the dorms and private rooms were affordable.

Best Time to Go

Laos is a tropical country that fluctuates between hot, humid and rainy. November to January have pleasant temperatures that are not too hot and humid. It gets really hot in the country once March rolls around. The rains come in a deluge at around August to September. Keep these in mind when planning your trip and activities around the country.

How to Get to Luang Prabang

It is easy to get to Luang Prabang from Vientiane or other countries. There are direct flights that operate regularly from Laos' capital, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi just to name a few. There are also overnight land trips from Vientiane and Hanoi.

Around Town

Luang Prabang is small enough to walk around in; there'll be a lot of motorcycle taxis and tuktuks willing to take you anywhere for a certain price. The prices are higher if you want to make day trips to attractions such as Kuang Si Falls. There are many travel agencies to book tours with, if you don't plan on just renting a motorbike to get to anywhere.

A rental of a motorbike is around US$10 (more or less) for a day; some would include petrol while others don't. Always check the bike before paying and/or giving your passport. Some might be cheap but will cost more because of poor performance.

Expenses

Here's a break down of my expenses during my short stay in Luang Prabang.

*Everything's in Lao Kip

42000 - 1 night in Downtown Backpackers (dorm)
80000 - 1 night private room in LPQ Backpackers
205000 - Food and drinks
50000 - Kuang Si Falls tour
20000 - Ticket for Kuang Si Falls
30000 - Transportation
20000 - Wat Xieng Thong entrance fee
20000 - Phousi Hill entrance fee
20000 - Pak Ou Caves entrance fee
80000 - Pak Ou Caves tour
25000 - Miscellaneous
30000 - Airport taxi                                                             
622000 - Total

*I was able to stay for free in another place, hence the two nights only accommodation in town.




No comments:

Post a Comment