Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang: general information

Luang Prabang - a city in the North Laos, a popular tourist destination. Located on the Mekong River in the northern province of the same name (Luang Prabang on the map of Laos). The population is about 50,000 people.

The first mention of the city on the site of Luang Prabang dates back to 698. Then he had the name Muang Sua (Muang Sua). In 1353 it became the capital of the Kingdom of Lan sang, and renamed Luang Prabang, meaning "City of the Golden Lord Buddha", in 1560. In general, the spelling and pronunciation of Luang Prabang is erroneous, appeared due to a spelling error in the colonial period. And the correct new spelling is Luang Phabang (Luang Phabang, Luang Phrabang and Louang Phrabang). However, the spelling Laos is also incorrect, and is actually pronounced Lao.

Luang Prabang royal palace

Today, Luang Prabang is one of the most attractive cities for tourists in Laos. The city is flooded with attractions, including many historical and cultural monuments, for which it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. These are mainly temples and the Royal Palace. In the vicinity there are also many attractions, but already of a natural nature: these are waterfalls, caves, fascinating mountains and rivers.

The tourist infrastructure of Luang Prabang is perhaps the best developed among all the cities of Laos, and allows you to spend time here comfortably, but there is no point in lingering for a long time. To see everything, 2-3 days will be enough, and after you get acquainted with the sights, there will be nothing more to do.

There are enough hotels here, from the cheapest to quite comfortable and expensive, although, in general, the prices for accommodation are quite high. Restaurants of famous World chains and European fast food, such as Madconalds, you will not find in Luang Prabang, but you will not stay hungry. In the city there are many cafes where you can eat more or less familiar European cuisine, as well as the cuisine of all Southeast Asia. You can easily get tourist services: in hotels and travel agencies on the street there are excursions and tours to other cities of Loas, bicycle and motorcycle rental, bus and plane tickets, currency exchange. Shopping is represented by markets and shops, there are no shopping centers. There are no evening and night entertainment Toja. At most, in the evening you can visit a restaurant, cafe or sit in a quiet bar. In general, with the arrival of darkness (18-19 hours), the city seems to wake up again, all the streets turn into markets, there are a lot of tourists, but it does not last long, and at 22 hours the city already falls asleep.

The main entertainment of the city are its sights and itself. Usually tourists spend time in the city, just slowly strolling along the streets. Speaking of streets. Sometimes you can get completely confused and think that you are not in the heart of Asia, but somewhere in Europe. This is a legacy of the French colonial past, and nothing has changed much since then. Here you can even find rare cars on the roads, imported by Europeans in the middle of the last century.

Weather, seasons in Luang Prabang

The weather in Luang Prabang is very hot all year round. There are two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. It is best to visit Luang Prabang during the dry season.

The dry season (recommended season) lasts from October to February. This is the best time to visit the city. Precipitation is minimal, the temperature is low (about 30 degrees).

The Doge season (not recommended season) runs from March to September. This is not the best time to visit the city. Starting in March, the temperature begins to rise, reaching a maximum in April (average 34.6 degrees). At the same time, the amount and frequency of precipitation increases significantly. The rainiest months are June and July.

Tourist seasons in Luang Prabang by month, when is the best time to go

Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov. Dec
                       

* best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit

Current weather in Luang Prabang and forecast for the near future:

Time in Luang Prabang

Time in Luang Prabang is ahead of Moscow time by +4 hours, Winter-Summer Time is not transferred.

Current time in Luang Prabang*
Разница по времени с городами:
Москва: +4 Самара: +3
Казань: +4 Нижний Новгород: +4
Екатеринбург: +2 Новосибирск: 0
Иркутск: -1 Владивосток: -3
* - если время неверно, обновите страницу Ctrl+F5:

How and how to get there

Laos International Bus

There is no direct way to get from Russia to Luang Prabang, you will have to make a transfer in one of the neighboring countries with Laos: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China. From these countries you can get by plane, bus and train (only to Vientiane, then by bus). But there are also ready-made options for air travel with 2 transfers, although such tickets are very expensive, and in time they last more than a day. Therefore, we would advise you to get to Luang Prabang with a rest stop in one of the mentioned countries, and then continue your journey by land or air.

You can get or leave here by bus to almost all major cities in Laos and neighboring countries, but far to the south or to Cambodia you will have to change trains in Vientiane or Pakse or Savannakhet.

Domestic flights are available from Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Nong Khiaw, Udomsai, Mueang Hua, Phonsavan (scheduled as Xiangkhuang or Xiangkhoang province), Luangnamtha, Phongasli, Bokeu (Bokeo), Sam Neua (Xam Neua), Pakse.

There are direct international buses to Luang Prabang at least from Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai); Vietnam (Hanoi, Hue, Vinh, Sapa, Dien Bienfu); China (Kunming). To get from Bangkok or Pattaya, you need to change trains in Vientiane.

Learn more about how to get to Luang Prabang here...

Transportation, how to get around Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang tuk

There is no public transport in Luang Prabang at all. You will have to move on foot, on tuk-tuks, a rented bicycle or a motorcycle (moped). For trips to attractions in the vicinity of the city, you can also buy excursions or hire a tuk-tuk.

The center of Luang Prabang is very compact, and if you settle in walking distance from The Hill of Phu Si), then transport to move around the center and sightseeing is not needed, everything can be bypassed on foot.

If you are not a fan of hiking, then you can move around the city on tuk-tuks. But one-time trips to them are expensive for tourists: they usually ask for 20,000 Kip for one short trip. It is more profitable to hire a tuk-tuk for the whole day, but you need to negotiate and Bargain about the price, and depending on your route it will be from 100,000 Kip (7.53 USD, see Lao currency and Exchange Rate) and higher for the entire day.

Another great option for moving around the city and commuting around the neighborhood is to rent motorbikes or bicycles. Find a rental is not difficult, now it is almost in every guesthouse, or you can find it right on the street in the center. A bike can be rented for 20,000, a simple Motobike with an automatic transmission from 80,000. To control a moped, theoretically, you need an international driver's license with the appropriate category, in practice, many tourists do without it.

Another way to get around in Luang Prabang is by boat. They can get to the other side of the river, just take a walk along the river, or make a day tour to the Buddha Caves of Pak Ou and related attractions. You can cross the river to the village of Ban Xieng Maen for 5,000 Kip, and hire a boat for a tour to the caves – from 350,000.

Learn more about Luang Prabang transport and what to use here...

Luang Prabang hotels to stay

Luang Prabang city centre hotel

Hotels in Laos are more expensive than in neighboring Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia. And in Luang Prabang, even by Lao standards, accommodation is very expensive, since it is the most important tourist city in the country. For $ 10, you can find only a room with a shared shower and cold water, and a guesthouse with a shower with hot water in the room and air conditioning will cost from $ 20. For a more or less normal hotel will have to pay from $ 40. In Luang Prabang, there are even a few five-star hotels starting at $ 200.

You can find and book accommodation in Luang Prabang on these sites or through the search form from Agoda:

Learn more about hotels in Luang Prabang and where to choose the best accommodation here...

Attractions and entertainment

Wat Sensoukharam Temple

Luang Prabang-the city of golden temples, they are its main attractions. There are a huge number and variety of them here: old and new, wooden and gold, temples and museums, etc. In addition to the temples in the city, you can visit the National Museum in the Royal Palace and the Museum of traditional culture and Ethnology (TAEC). Be sure to go up and meet the dawn or sunset on the hill of Phusi, and see or participate in the ceremony of morning alms to the monks. All these attractions can be easily seen by yourself and even on foot.

There are also some very beautiful and interesting sights in the vicinity, but to visit them you will have to hire a tuk-tuk, rent a motorbike or bicycle, buy a tour. The most famous are the Pak Ou Buddha caves and Quang Si waterfall. There are also Elephant farms, buffalo farm, Nam Dong Eco Park. If you are ready to go on a more serious trip, you can purchase an individual or group trekking tour around the area with a visit to waterfalls, Hills, overnight in ethnic villages. It is fair to say that for such tours in Laos it is better to go further north to Phongsali, Luangnamtha, Muang Ngoi Nua village, etc., but if this is not possible, then why not do such a tour here. By the way, Luang Prabang offers ready-made tours to the northern provinces, including bike tours and motorcycle tours. Sightseeing tours are sold at hotels and travel agencies on the spot, or you can buy tour from Luang Prabang online.

Entertainment in Luang Prabang is not much, or rather, there are almost none. During the day, time can be spent only in hikes to attractions, attend cooking courses, massage courses, weaving or weaving, take a walk along the river by boat or kayak. In the evening, you can dine in a restaurant overlooking the river, chat with other tourists, stroll through the night market. There are no night discos and bars with music until late.

Read more about attractions in Luang Prabang here, but ready route to the temples of Luang Prabang

Shopping in Luang Prabang, what and where to buy

Luang Prabang night market

Modern shopping in Luang Prabang, as in all of Laos, is not yet available. There are no shopping centers in our understanding here at all, and only a few years ago several supermarkets appeared. In the center on the south side of Phusi Hill there is an indoor market with Dara market grids and a D&T Supermarket, there are no other large shops.

But for tourists, more interesting is the trade in small souvenir and antique shops and markets, which abound in the center. And the most important place for tourist shopping and tourist evening pastime is the Luang Prabang Night Market on Sisavangvong road. The main range of goods on it is handicrafts made by the hands of local residents. easily sitoit buy here a flashlight, a picture, a notebook or a photo album of handmade paper SAA (Saa Paper) or Mulberry Paper. It is made from a very fibrous paper mulberry tree, and leaves and flowers are added in the manufacture for decoration. Another unique souvenir from Luang Prabang is key rings and jewelry made from unexploded shells dropped on the country by the Americans during the Vietnam War. It also sells a lot of shirporebny souvenirs made in Chinese factories.

Useful tips for Luang Prabang

  • Currency exchange.Luang Prabang has a very good exchange rate, but it differs between exchanges. It is best to change money at the exchange offices on Sisavangvong Street and the parallel embankment.
  • Exchange USD. On Sisavangvong street there are exchange offices that are ready to change even USD, but the exchange rate is very bad, and you will get half as much as if you first change USD for dollars at home.
  • Hotels. accommodation here is quite expensive, but in hostels and hotels you can bargain.
  • Bus stations. At bus stations you can buy tickets cheaper than in travel agencies and hotels in the city. But then you will have to get to them yourself by tuk-tuk, and when buying in the city, a transfer to the bus station is already included in the price.
  • Bargain. you can try haggling everywhere. For example, we (the authors of the site) even received a discount for entering a paid temple: 20,000 for two instead of 40,000 Kip.
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admin 5 Nov, 2021
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