Luang Prabang: General information
Luang Prabang is a city in the North of Laos, a popular tourist destination. Located on the Mekong river in the Northern province (Luang Prabang on the map of Laos). A population of about 50,000 people.
The first mention of the town on the site of Luang Prabang dates back to the year 698. Then he had the name Muang Sua (Muang Sua). In 1353 became the capital of the Kingdom of LAN sang, and renamed Luang Prabang, which means "city of the Golden Lord Buddha", in 1560. In General, the spelling and pronunciation of Luang Prabang incorrect, appeared because of an error writing in the colonial period. And the correct new spelling – Luang Prabang (Luang Phabang, Luang Phrabang and Louang Phrabang). However, and writing Laos, too, is wrong, and is actually pronounced as Lao.
Today Luang Prabang is one of the most attractive tourist cities of Laos. The city is flooded with attractions, including many historical and cultural monuments, for which he was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1995. It is basically temples and the Royal Palace. The area also has many attractions, but the natural nature: waterfalls, caves, breathtaking mountains and rivers.
The tourist infrastructure of Luang Prabang developed, perhaps the best among all cities of Laos, and allows you to stay comfortable, but to stay for a long time makes no sense. To see it is enough for 2-3 days and after you will get acquainted with sights, to do more nothing.
Enough hotels here, from cheap to quite comfortable and expensive, although, in General, prices for accommodation are quite high. Restaurants are known worldwide networks and European fast food, such as Madonalds you in Luang Prabang you will not find, but do not stay hungry. The city has many cafes where you can eat more or less like European cuisine and cuisine of the whole of South-East Asia. You can easily obtain travel services: hotels and travel agencies on the street are offered excursions and tours to other cities of Loasa, bikes and motorcycles, tickets for buses and planes, currency exchange. Shopping submitted by markets and shops, shopping centres no. Night entertainments Todzha no. High, the evening, visit the restaurant, cafe or sit in the quiet bar. Actually, with the advent of nightfall (18-19 hours) the city seems to be waking up again, all the streets are transformed into markets, tourists very much, but it lasts not long, and in 22 hours the city already asleep.
The main entertainment of the city are its landmarks and himself. Tourists usually spend time in the city, just walking slowly through the streets. By the way, about the streets. Sometimes it can be quite to get confused and think that you are not in the center of Asia, and somewhere in Europe. This is the legacy of the French colonial past, and nothing since then almost has not changed. You can even meet rare cars on the roads, introduced by Europeans in the middle of the last century.
Weather, seasons in Luang Prabang
Weather in Luang Prabang all year round is very hot. There are two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. Best time 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 low, temperature is low (about 30 degrees).
The season of rain (not recommended season) lasts from March to September. It's not the best time to visit the city. Starting in March the temperature begins to rise, peaking in April (average of 34.6 degrees). At the same time significantly increases the amount and frequency of precipitation. The rainiest months are June and July.
Tourist seasons to Luang Prabang by months*
* best time to visit;
appropriate time to visit;
not a recommended time to visit
Current weather in Luang Prabang and the forecast for the near future:
Time in Luang Prabang
Time in Luang Prabang ahead of Moscow is +4 hours in winter and summer is not translated.
|Moscow: +4||Samara: +3|
|Kazan: +4||Nizhny Novgorod: +4|
|Ekaterinburg: +2||Novosibirsk: 0|
|Irkutsk: -1||Vladivostok: -3|
How and what to get
From Russia to Luang Prabang directly not get, I have to change in one of the neighbouring countries Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China. Of these countries can be reached by plane, bus and train (only up to Vientiane, then bus). But there are ready options air travel with 2 changes, however these tickets are very expensive, and last for more than a day. Therefore, we would advise you to get to Luang Prabang, stopping for a rest in one of these countries, and then continue the journey by land or air.
To arrive or leave by bus to almost all the major cities of Laos and neighbouring countries, but far to the South or to Cambodia will transplant in Vientiane or Pakse or Savannakhet.
Internal flights from Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Nong Hao, Oudomxay, Muang khua, Phonsavan (in the schedule as the province of Xiangkhoang or Xiangkhoang), Louang Namtha, Pangali, Bokeo (Bokeo), Sanya (Xam Neua), Pakse.
Direct international buses to Luang Prabang is at least from Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai); Vietnam (Hanoi, Hue, Vinh, Sapa, Dien bien Phu); China (Kunming). To get from Bangkok or Pattaya, you need to transplant in Vientiane.
Read more about how and what to get to Luang Prabang here...
Transport, how to travel around the Luang Prabang
Public transportation in Luang Prabang non-existent. Have to navigate on foot, tuk-tuks, rented Bicycle or motorbike (moped). For trips to attractions around the city you can also buy a tour or hire a tuk-tuk.
The centre of Luang Prabang is very compact, and if you stay within walking distance of the hill Phu si), and the transport to move to the center and the sightseeing is not required, everything can be explored on foot.
If you are a fan of Hiking, then you can use tuk-tuks. But single trips with them to tourists is expensive: usually ask for 20 000 Kip for a single short trip. More profitable to hire a tuk tuk for the whole day, but the price need to negotiate and haggle, and depending on your route it will be from 100 000 Kip (841.69 RUB, see currency of Laos and the exchange rate) and higher for the entire day.
Another excellent option for moving around the city and explore the area – rent a motorbike or Bicycle. Find rentals is not difficult, now he is almost in every box, or can be found on the street in the center. Bike can be rented for 20,000, a simple motorbike with an automatic transmission from the 80 000. For moped theoretically need an international driving permit with the appropriate category, in practice, many tourists have to do without.
Another method of travel in Luang Prabang – boat. They can get to the other side of the river, just take a walk along the river, or to do a day trip to the Buddha caves of Pak OU and associated sites. To cross to the other side of the river in the village of Ban Xieng Maen is possible for 5000 Kip, and to hire a boat for the tour into the caves – from 350 000.
Hotels in Luang Prabang, where to stay
Hotels in Laos are more expensive than neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia. And in Luang Prabang, even by Lao standards, accommodation is very expensive, as it is the main tourist city in the country. For $ 10 you can find is that the room with shared shower and cold water, a Guesthouse with hot water shower in the room and the air conditioner will cost from $ 20. For more or less normal hotel will have to pay from $ 40. In Luang Prabang there are even some five-star hotels cost from $ 200.
Find and book accommodation in Luang Prabang you can on these sites or through a search form from Agoda:
- Search hotels in Luang Prabang on Agoda.com
- Search hotels in Luang Prabang on Booking.com
- Search hotels in Luang Prabang on Hotellook.com
- Looking for accommodation in Luang Prabang on Airbnb and get a bonus of 2100 rubles for first booking
Attractions and entertainment
Luang Prabang – city of the Golden temple, they are its main attractions. Their here a huge amount and variety of old and new, wooden and gold, temples, museums and acting, well, etc. in addition to temples in the city you can visit the national Royal Palace Museum and Museum of traditional culture and Ethnology (TAEC). Be sure to get out and see the sunrise or sunset on Phousi hill and see or participate the most in the ceremony of morning alms to the monks. All these attractions can easily see themselves and even on foot.
The area also has some very beautiful and interesting attractions, but their use will have to hire a tuk-tuk, rent a motorbike or Bicycle, to buy a tour. The most famous caves of Pak Ou Buddha and the waterfall of Kuang si. There is also a farm of elephants, Buffalo farm, an eco-Park We Dong. If you are ready to go in a more serious journey, you can purchase individual or group trekking tour with a visit to the waterfalls, the hills, staying overnight in ethnic villages. Honestly is to say that for such tours in Laos is better to go further North in Phongsali, Louang Namtha, a village of Muang Ngoi LSA, etc., but if this is not possible, why not do a tour here. By the way, Luang Prabang offers ready-made tours and in the Northern province, including Biking and motorcycle tours. Sold travel packages to hotels and travel agencies on the spot, or you can buy a tour from Luang Prabang online.
Entertainment in Luang Prabang a little, or rather, their almost there. Day the time can only be performed in trips to tourist attractions, cooking classes, massage courses, basketry or weaving, to explore the river by boat or kayak. In the evening you can dine in the restaurant overlooking the river, chat with other travelers, walk through the market. Night discos and bars with music till late, not here.
Shopping in Luang Prabang, what and where to buy
Modern shopping in Luang Prabang and throughout Laos, is not yet available. Shopping centres in our understanding here at all, and only a few years ago there were a couple of supermarkets. In the center on the South side of Phousi hill has an indoor market with grids Dara Market and supermarket D&T, more large shops there.
But for tourists is more interested in the trade in small souvenir and antique shops and markets, which in the heart is enough. And the most important place for tourist shopping and tourist evening activities – night market of Luang Prabang, the street Sisavangvong road. The main range of goods on it – crafts made by local residents. be siteit to buy a flashlight, a picture, a notebook or photo album of handmade paper SAA (Saa Paper) or Paper Mulberry. It is made from a very fibrous wood of the Paper mulberry, and added in the manufacture for the decoration of leaves and flowers. One more unique souvenir from Luang Prabang – trinkets and jewelry made from unexploded ordnance dropped on the country by the Americans during the war with Vietnam. Also sold here is a lot sibarani gifts made in Chinese factories.
Useful tips for Luang Prabang to
- Currency exchange. In Luang Prabang a very good exchange rate, but it differs between the exchangers. It is best to change money in exchange offices on the street of Sisavangvong and the parallel promenade.
- The exchange of rubles. On the street Sisavangvong there are foreign exchange offices that are willing to change even rubles, but the exchange rate is very poor, and you will receive twice less, than if the first at home to change rubles for dollars.
- Hotels. The accommodation here is quite expensive, but in the guesthouses and hotels you can bargain.
- Bus. At bus stations you can buy tickets cheaper than targetsto and hotels in the city. But then you will need to reach them by tuk-tuk, and the purchase of the city's Shuttle bus is included in the price.
- Bargain. You can haggle to try everywhere. For example, we (the authors) even for entrance to pay the temple received discount: 20 000 for two people instead of 40 000 Kip.