Where Time Moves Slowly
In Luang Prabang, time seems to move slower than the rest of the world. The former capital of Lan Xang Kingdom, the city evokes love at first sight for many travellers who fall for the serene nature, lush greenery, clear rivers, traditional culture and colonial architecture. It was recognised as the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia by Unesco and is one of its World Heritage Sites.
Despite its quietness, Luang Prabang is full of a wide range of accommodations, restaurants and cafes, which can accommodate all types of visitors from all around the world.
Must-See Sights and Activities
The more than 40 invaluable and time-honoured temples dotted around Luang Prabang are undoubtedly must-see sites. WatXieng Thong(Temple of the Golden City)is a true highlight in LuangPrabang as it’s one of the temples that wasn't destroyed during the war. The temple is an outstanding architectural representative of LanXang art. It is in such perfect condition that the archeologist praised this temple as the jewel of Laos architecture. Put your determination to test by ascending the 328 steps to That Phousi where Buddha relics are kept, or take a stroll to Wat Mai Suwannaphumaram, Wat Mahathat and Wat Manorom. Pray to the gigantic Buddha image and observe the magnificent mural paintings on the temple's walls.
Kuang Si Falls
While waterfalls are abundant in LuangPrabang, Kuang Si Falls are the most visited spot situated roughly 30 kilometres from the city, thanks to the fresh, clear water that falls 70 meters, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Even in the summer, the alluring emerald-green water is still most refreshing. Be observant on the way to the falls, as traditional ways of life are on display on both sides of the road.
Srisawangwong Road is lively by day but at nightfall the busy street turns into a kilometre-long market full of merchandise. Shoppers can find everything from handicrafts, blankets and pants to bags, paper and silver accessories from 5pm onwards. Don't forget to purchase souvenirs such as the obligatory Luang Prabang T-shirt.The bustling scene of this area is equivalent to the famous Khao San Road in Bangkok for notoriety.
Luang Prabang Royal Palace or National Museum
Built in 1904, the French-Lan Xang structure was once a palace for the royal family of Laos and was later converted into a museum displaying items from the late monarchs and rooms including a living room, hall and Buddha room that hosted the Kingdom's most important Buddha image, Pra Bang. Get to know Laos through the museum’s artefacts and the beautiful palace.
At dawn every morning, throngs of locals and visitors line up to give alms to the Buddhist monks. What is special about the almsgiving in Luang Prabang is the only offerings the monks take during the passage is sticky rice. Once the monks go back to monasteries, each temple will make signals for the laymen to bring other food for the monks. This is one of the most interesting and colourful activities of the area that should not be missed.
Laotian New Year
The biggest celebratory event of Laos, New Year’s sees everyone getting dressed up to go to the temples to make merit, build sandcastles, watch the parades and sprinkle water on a Buddha image that is taken out of the museum for the special occasion. Revellers also splash water at one another as a way to celebrate the New Year in the summer heat of mid-April (13-15).
Every street corner in Luang Prabang features restaurants that sell local food. Most dishes are cooked by either boiling or steaming, making it a healthy option.
For starters, kai pan is dried freshwater weed mixed in herbs such as ginger and galangal. Sun-dried and fried, the snack goes well with jaew bong, a mildly sweet paste. A good side dish is dried water buffalo skin.
For a warm dish, Vietnamese pho is ubiquitous in Luang Prabang, served with either thick or thin noodles. Add any kind of protein you like: pork, chicken or beef. To make it more special, locals add fresh vegetables, chillies, curry paste and pickled papayas on the side.
For those concerned about their diet, Luang Prabang water vegetable salad is a perfect choice, combining the local water vegetable from a clean water source and other veggies such as jicama, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and boiled eggs. For the salad dressing, add stir-fried spring onion and groundnut. Those seeking authentic, spicy Laotian food, som tam Lao is a must-try. The curry paste in the papaya salad makes the taste more flavourful. Top it off with ao lam, which combines sticky rice, nuts, chillies, eggplant, ivy gourd, mushroom and creeping plant. The ingredients are boiled and slow-cooked until they become thick. It’s a staple to every restaurant despite the time-consuming cooking process.
For coffee and Lao-style deep-fried buns, check out Pracha Niyom coffee shop, where you might get to know a new friend or two.
Arriving in a timely fashion with Bangkok Airways
The breathtaking surrounds and endearing charm of Luang Prabang will be imprinted in your hearts only if you experience it yourself. Bangkok Airways is ready to take you to the Lan Xang land within two hours from Bangkok, with its award-winning service. Thus, you can rest assured you will be served warmly both on the plane and at our airport Boutique Lounges. If you feel like travelling further afield, check out other destinations from Luang Prabang including Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Siem Reap, Sukhothai, Phuket, Phnom Penh, Samui, Trat and Lamphang, all via Bangkok.
|Route||One Way (THB)||Round Trip (THB)|
|Bangkok - Luang Prabang||2,090||1,760||3,850*||3,390||3,325||6,715*|
* Valid on PG945 operated by Bangkok Airways only.
* For international routes, please note the due to exchange rate fluctuations, the final tax amount is subject to change.
|Route||One Way (USD)||Round Trip (USD)|
|Luang Prabang - Bangkok||60||47||107||100||99||199|
|Currency : USD|
CurrencyThai Baht (THB)
Electricity/Socket Adaptor220V 50Hz
Time zoneUTC +7
Tel code+66 2
JUN - NOVRainy season - wet and humid
30°C - 35°C
Prepare for rainy days
DEC - FEBCool season - breezy evenings and comfortable weather
26°C - 30°C
Great time for sightseeing
MAR - MAYHot season - sunny and blazing hot
30°C - 40°C
Bring plenty of water when out and about