The ancient town of Luang Prabang situated in northern Laos, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Considered by many travellers and writers as being the heart of Laotian culture, the tiny town is encircled by mountains and is 700 metres above sea level at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. Here visitors are subjected to an inflamed economic bubble that does not apply to the rest of the country. Being Laos' premier tourist destination and (arguably) Southeast Asia's most beautiful spot, ironically tourists will pay more for the innate pleasures of eating, drinking and sleeping than they would in the country's capital city Vientiane. Luang Prabang was the ancient royal capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom until King Phothisarat moved the administrative seat to Vientiane in 1545. Regardless, it has continued to overlook Vientiane as the destination of choice with its amalgamation of crumbling French architecture, glistening temples and extensive natural beauty. Even the hardest of hearts would have a struggle not to warm to the place. The town's entire historical section is dedicated to tourism, with everything from former royal palaces to over 33 Wats (temples), on the tourist trail. This former Royal capital still remains the main centre for Buddhist learning in Laos and is the perfect location for spiritual contemplation.
- Learn about Laos’ diverse ethnic groups and their customs with a guided visit of the comprehensive exhibits at TAEC museum.
- Spend a day in the pristine natural surroundings of Luang Prabang visiting rural villages, the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls and a rescue centre for Asian Sun Bears.
- Wander through Luang Prabang to discover the architectural wonders and cultural traditions that have earned the city UNESCO heritage status.
- Luang Prabang has a tropical climate typical of Southeast Asia with a dry season and a wet season. Found along the Mekong River, Luang Prabang enjoys warm weather year-round with temperatures ranging between 15°C and 38°C.
- The northeast monsoon brings dry, cooler temperatures to the city from November to May, while the rains come with the southwest monsoon from May to October. Annual rainfall is 1300 millimetres. Even during the rainy season the downpours last for only short periods, making it possible to visit Luang Prabang any time of year. The Mekong River may get flooded during the wettest months of August and September. March to May is the hottest time of year, when high levels of humidity combined with the heat can make for some sticky days indeed.
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The best time to visit Luang Prabang is from November to March when the weather is more comfortably dry and cool. It can also get somewhat crowded, especially in January and during festivals so be sure to book ahead if travelling during this peak season.