Luang Prabang

I feel like Luang Prabang is my HOME away from HOME

Thailand and Laos have been good neighbors. We share similar food, language, and culture! So it’s kind an of easy transition for me…

Luang Prabang is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture; reminders of when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochine.
Here are some ideas from our first visit to Luang Prabang in 2010.

(12 Aug): We arrived in Luang Prabang about 1pm, after we checked in the Vila Maly hotel, we just walked to visit the Phratat Phusri where you can see the panoramic view of Luang Prabang city on top of the mountain. Then we finished our first day with shopping at the Night market.

For Buddhist, we believe to visit Phratat Phusi for blessing. But for visitors, they like to go up (350steps up) to see the sun set or view at Phratat Phusi. And when we came down, it’s time for the Night Market (6pm) which is every night. They don’t have many items but it’s always good to have the market to walk at night. At least I can feel the shopping area!

(13 Aug): We started the day very early today about 4.30 in the morning to offer food to monks! Then the morning Market before I ran back to the hotel for a nap and came back to explore the town in the late morning. We also crossed the river to visit an abandoned temple and cave.

We can’t believe we could get up that early but it was a great experience to offer food to monks. It’s different with Thailand that offers rice, NOT sticky rice like in Luang Prabang. As Sticky rice makes sticky fingers!!! The monks come from all over the temples, it looks like an orange parade, I think this is a MUST DO – MUST SEE!!!
Then we walked to the morning market(6am) where you can see the local people selling local food, fruit or vegetable. It’s a real local market!!!
We took a TUK TUK to Xieng Thong Temple, this temple is more than 400 years old. And we crossed the river to visit an abandoned temple where there are NO monks but Lots of Kids! Those kids took us to visit the nice cave (and it was the best visit for us in Luang Prabang!!!). Before we crossed back to visit the National Musuem and end our day at the Night Market!

(14 Aug): From the boat ride on Day 2, we bought a tour package from the boat owner for a day trip to Ting CAVE, Laos Whisky village and Xi Khang Waterfall.

We started the day early again today, we will take the boat to Ting Cave and it took about 2 hours from the city. It’s a nice ride – you will enjoy the daily life along the river. Ting Cave is cute, nice to walk around. The other stop on the way back is Laos Whisky Village which I was expected to see lots of people making the whisky (like putting snake or lizard in the bottle, filling the whisky, etc) But all I see in the village is the same stuff that I saw at the night market in the city, but it was a nice stop. Then we ride the (crazy) van up to the Xi Khang Waterfall, and it’s the best part of our trip today. It’s a MUST GO waterfall!!! On the way back from the waterfall, the van stopped at a village – as it was a poor village they tried to sell us some small handmade items… Mostly made by the village kids… These kids are really poor.

(15 Aug): the last half day – we walked around the town again, dropped our post cards and guess what? The Laos ancient traditional massage! – I loved the Laos massage, they have small fingers but really strong!!!

So grab the map at the airport, you can explore the Luang Prabang City by yourself, it’s a small, but cute town!


We stayed at Villa Maly and thoroughly enjoyed our stay (it was 4,000 baht or $130 per night). The staff was friendly and helpful and we always had everything we needed. The airport shuttle service was a life saver! (200 baht, ~$7) It was lovely to come back to an air conditioned room and a pool to relax away from to heat of Laos. If you are interested in the tradition of almsgiving to the novice monks, they walk right past your hotel making the early start much more bearable. Breakfast was healthy and delicious just not many selection but it has enough! A short 5 min walk to the Night market or take a tuk tuk to the centre of town or a 15 min stroll.