Luang Prabang

This ancient capital of the kingdom of Lan Xang stands as a magnificent tribute to the rich history of the country and is filled with a fascinating array of magnificent temples, historic monuments and crumbling French colonial houses.  In recognition of its great historical and cultural significance the city has been named a World Heritage Site. 

Surrounded by lush green hills and lying in the join of the Khan and Mekhong rivers, Luang Prabang stands proudly boastful of its attractions.  The beauty of the many ancient temples radiates throughout the city and the roofs others can be seen nestled in the hills overlooking Luang Prabang.  The top of Phou Si Hill affords astonishing views, especially during the serene sunsets which are so characteristic of Luang Prabang. 

This gentle city offers everyone the chance to change pace, relax and to lose themselves in another time.  It is a place you can happily discover on foot, exploring the streets, shops, markets, and sites at your own pace.  There arte of course taxis and tuk tuks available for those who really want to take it easy.  Take the time to soak in the atmosphere of this tranquil royal capital.  

Visit the interesting Royal Palace Museum which houses artifacts from the days of the past monarchs.  Wander around any of the scores of temples which are sprinkled through the city streets.  Look out for  people from the diverse tribal groups in the area walking around the markets.  Sit and gaze at the comings and goings of people around the river. 

Around the city are several delightful places to visit for a few hours or for the whole day.  The spectacular Kuang Si waterfalls are situated 29 KM south of Luang Prabang deep in the forest. The waters topple over layers of limestone to form cool, turquoise-green pools at the base of the falls.  It is an ideal place for a refreshing swim and a picnic. 

Equally fascinating are the Pak Ou caves which can be reached by  2-hour boat trip upstream from Luang Prabong.  There are located within the steep rock0cliff which rises vertically from the waters of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers.  Teh caves shelter numerous Buddha images of varying styles, ages and sizes, which have been brought to the cave by generations of Buddhists.  On the way to the caves the boatman can stop off at one or dtwo interesting villages on the banks of the Mekong.