Luang Prabang by Foot,
Laos, Luang Prabang and The North
Info : Luang Prabang by Foot
Surrounded by thickly forested mountains and situated at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang has a tranquil, old world charm rarely found in Asia today. This fascinating town was the capital of the Lane Xang (Million Elephants) Kingdom until the mid-sixteenth century. The legacy of the European presence here - well preserved French colonial architecture and careful street planning has blended delightfully with more than 30 gilded Buddhist temples to create a town rich in atmosphere and history.
Today visit some of these monuments on a walking tour around the old city, now under UNESCO protection as a World Heritage Site. Your local guide will meet you at around 8.30am in the morning. First head off on foot to visit Wat Xieng Thong - often said to be Luang Prabangs most beautiful. It is characterised by its several roofs sweeping low to the ground and the impressive tree of life mosaic. Follow the banks of the Mekong on foot to the town centre, and visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo. Then walk to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the citys major tutelary shrines.
After lunch at a local restaurant visit Luang Prabangs National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace (not open on Tuesdays). Displayed inside is a collection of personal artifacts of the former Laotian Royal Family. Continue on to visit nearby Wat Mai - the five-tiered roof epitomises the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Phou Sii hill stands right in the center of this small city. Climb its 350 steps to enjoy panoramic views for many miles in each direction. Sunset can be enjoyed with a cool drink at one of the cafes located along the Mekong River.
Luang Prabang is great for exploring on foot and todays walking tour will have given you your bearings.
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The guides and drivers couldn't have been better, 10 out of 10. Dao was outstanding. He made the trip extra special for us. His knowledge of the area and the whole country, history etc. was fantastic. He was brilliant with the children too, he made the trip fun, exciting and safe. If ever he was talking to a local in Lao, he would always involve us in the conversation and explain what was happening. At the end of our 9 days with him we didn't want him to go.