Travel information

Favourite destinations

Favourite destinations

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos, lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. It’s known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.

Many backpackers arrive in Luang Prabang numb-bummed from a two-day slow boat journey on the Mekong River from Chiang Khong in Thailand. The unhurried delights of Luang Prabang (and Laos in general) will soon relax the weary voyager and many end up staying here longer than they had planned!

Grown around the banks of the Mekong like many of the towns and villages in Laos, Luang Prabang is impossibly picturesque; with glittering temples, a mix of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture, colourful markets and quaint streets where you’ll spot strolling monks with matching robes and umbrella. It can be hard to put the camera away.

With the presence of French cafés, bakeries, restaurants and old French Mansions with green shutters, the town is a fascinating throwback to a time when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochina.

Plus, just a short bicycle ride away from the town, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Laotian countryside with lush rice fields, stunning waterfalls and traditional local villages!