It’s usually unnoted in favor of its saw neighbors Thailand, Vietnam, and Asian countries. however, create no mistake – Laos isn’t to be lost.

If this land-locked country is that the forgotten sib of geographical area, then Luang Prabang is that the failure that may create it rise to the highest. ditch tourist-ridden Vang Vieng and meander up the Mekong to the current easygoing gem of a town. It’s good for you, whether or not you’re a hiker, flashpacker, or something in between. Here’s why:

1. The mouth-watering fusion food

Luang Prabang residents area unit massive fans of sticky rice. And sticky noodles. particularly once unfit in sticky sauce. however, there’s rather more to the native cookery than this! As a former French colony, you’ll notice many golden brown baguettes stuffed with contemporary ingredients. This colonial chapter of the city’s history – together with influences from its neighbors – has resulted during an altogether distinctive combination of French-Indo-Chinese cookery that foodies and philistines alike won’t be ready to get enough of. Oh, and also the occasional is that the best you’ll get anyplace on the continent.

2. The stunning forest hikes

Laos doesn’t have the sprawling, smog-choked metropolises that other Asian countries have. Within half an hour of leaving the center of Luang Prabang, you’ll be surrounded by tree-topped hills, rice fields and the slow flow of the Mekong River. So for the traveler who loves exploring nature and hitting the trails, there’s no better place. Top of the list is the three-ish hour trek to Kuang Si waterfalls (the place you see in all those tourism photos of Laos), which passes indigenous villages, orchards, and rice paddies on the way. Cool off in the falls, then visit a bear rescue center, set up to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of Asiatic bears who have been rescued from trafficking, on the way home.

3. The chilled out night markets

There aren’t several cities within the world wherever, after 5 pm, streets develop into sprawling night markets. however, that’s Luang Prabang for you. The city’s in-depth night market may be a place for locals and tourists alike to buy, eat, drink and meet. devour some authentic handwoven souvenirs (you’ll realize nothing factory-made for tourer bucks here), let down some hair with a number of bottles of Beerlao, snack on some hot-off-the-grill street food, or simply build friends with the locals. no matter what you’re into, the night market are some things you’ll wish to expertise whenever the sunsets.

4. The dazzling temples

Luang Prabang was once the royal and spiritual hub of Laos. As a result, this {little} little town has thirty separate temples to its name. They’re dotted everywhere city, some nestling in facet streets and a few up within the hills with lovely views of the town and therefore the river. to not be lost area unit Haw Pha Bang, the temple within the Royal Palace that was solely completed in 2006; the golden-gilded Wat Xieng Thong at the tip of Luang Prabang’s previous city, simply the city’s most beautiful; and Wat Chom Si. placed on prime of Mount Phousi, this temple isn’t as spectacular because the others however what it lacks in luxuriousness, it makes up for with a stellar read of the town below. keep to look at the sunset for an excellent higher read, however, bring a torch for the 300-step descent.

5. The good clean fun!

If all you would like to try to do is relax with a drink or 2 whereas the sun goes down, Luang Prabang is wherever you would like to be. and that we extremely mean ‘a drink or two’ – the party scene is therefore set back here that almost all places area unit closing up search by hour. Except, that is, for the bowling alley simply outside of the city. You’ll see tuk-tuks heading their en bloc once bars shut, and whereas it’s going to appear a touch random, it’s definitely worth the short trip; this place serves up drinks and tunes well into the little hours. If there’s one factor Luang Prabang will teach you, it’s that bowling is 10 times additional fun once new friends and punk-pop hits area unit concerned.

6. The hidden gem day trips

There’s lots in Luang Prabang to stay any mortal pleased for days. however if you’re craving to urge off the overwhelmed path, there’s an overplus of day journeys to whet your craving too. Most of them involve a slow boat up the Mekong River, that could be a worthy expertise in itself. The Ban Pak Ou caves square measure associate degree intriguing adventure; they’re full of in an elaborate way carved Buddha statues. Nong Kiaw could be a picturesque city north of Luang Prabang with a lot of caves, waterfalls, hikes, and journey sports to stay catecholamine junkies pleased. It’s faraway from each day trip, however, the normal Arts Centre within the heart of Luang Prabang is additionally extremely counseled if you don’t fancy lost too way.

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