Luang Prabang Journals

The Royal City of Luang Prabang

Best of IgoUgo

A December 1999 trip to Luang Prabang by ASpencer

The Khan River Photo, Luang Prabang, Laos More Photos
Quote: Well worth the lengthy journey through dramatic-looking jungled mountains, this former royal capital in northern Laos is a quiet, walk-able city set amongst a blend of 16th century temples, French colonial residences, and surprisingly good hotels and restaurants.

The Royal City of Luang Prabang

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Main Street Luang Prabang Photo, Luang Prabang, Laos
Quote:
The city is located at the “V” shaped confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers and is overlooked by Wat Phu Si, a temple that sits atop the city’s highest point. Wat Phu Si is a short but strenuous climb up a winding stone staircase among a hillside of gnarled fruit and nut trees that brings visitors’ to a temple complex providing the best views of the city and the Mekong River valley. Many of the teakwood homes and colonial buildings of the city are being restored and walking along the Khan River promenade or in the old quarter with its shade trees, ornate gardens, and many side streets is one of the city’s greatest highlights. The old city stretches roughly two miles from the...Read More

Ban Lao Guesthouse

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
Like many of the small guesthouses and hotels in the city, The Ban Lao Guesthouse is a former villa. This whitewashed two story has comfortable “better than backpacker” level accommodations. An addition was being added in the large backyard, so there may be more than 18 rooms now. There is one room that costs more than others located on the second floor and inside a large bank-like steel vault. The owner told me that the villa belonged to a member of the royal family of Laos hence the safe. It may sound somewhat creepy to sleep in a bank vault but there are large windows in the room, and it is quiet. I don’t know if the vault door locks. There is an open air patio bar and re...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2001

Ban Lao Guesthouse
Thanon Noranaraia Street
Luang Prabang, Laos

Nang Sonchan Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a patio restaurant serving excellent Lao food and some French fusion dishes. Tiled floors and simple wooden tables with real cloth napkins and a large selection of wine make this a bit nicer than most restaurants in the same price range in Thailand. Although the food seems similar to Thai food it has a little less heat and is more gently spiced than Thai food in general. This restaurant’s offerings had a rustic, country-kitchen quality served on thick clayware and set off with locally produced tablecloths and furnishings. Throughout Laos beef can be found more easily than in Thailand too and this restaurant had excellent steaks-frit. The whole grilled fish ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2001

Nang Sonchan Restaurant
Thanon Bunkhong
Luang Prabang, Laos

Kuang Si Falls

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Kuang Si Falls Photo, Luang Prabang, Laos
Quote:
Take a taxi to this site, about an hour’s drive through the mountains to the south of Luang Prabang. The taxis cannot go beyond a gate about a quarter mile down the hillside from the falls. Far from a north face ascent of Everest climb, the easy walk on the road ends at a small park where bamboo walkways and dirt paths cross into the spray at the falls’ base. The pools are deep enough to wade in, although no one seemed to be doing this. The ride to the falls is as good as the falls themselves. Driving through mountainside villages, fields, and the jungle in an open-air pickup was very scenic and my driver, for a few extra dollars, was kind enough to stop for photo taking when I wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2001

Kuang Si Falls
32 Km South of Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang, Laos

Ban Phanom Village

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Ban Phanom Village and buying some weaving"

Quote:
We took a taxi here as part of a larger daytrip. It is a little confusing to reach the town, really just a like jumble of houses on stilts set among the trees, so take a taxi. This town is known for its weaving of silk and cotton cloth, sold in various patterns, clothing styles, and in whole bolts. In fact, all the crafts stores in Luang Prabang have very similar items at higher prices compared to Ban Phanom. The town has a collective store where many weavers display their wares. Walking in, it is assumed you are here to buy and there is a bit of high-pressure treatment in store if you come here. In the store there are about 20 or 30 stalls one for each weaver, an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 3, 2001

Ban Phanom Village
4km Northeast of Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang, Laos