Posted by Daisy on

Oh, Luang Prabang. Immersed in French colonial history, this was our first major stop during our two weeks in Laos. We spent four nights here and enjoyed exploring this little town. It’s a beautiful place, completely unlike any other city that we’ve visited in Southeast Asia. There’s a fair bit to do, enough to keep you occupied for a few nights. Here’s what we got up to!

Where we stayed

We split our time in Luang Prabang, booking our first night at Sabaidee guesthouse. This is a quiet, modern and clean place, set a little walk out of town. We actually spent our first and last nights here, returning the second time to spend my birthday night because we enjoyed our first night so much! We really enjoyed the soft bed and modern bathroom. Sometimes it’s the little comforts when travelling that please you. Our other two nights were spent in a slightly scummy guesthouse by the river. We have to admit, the hallway looked nicer than our room! I’d tell you the name but there was no sign and we never managed to figure it out!

Luang Prabang Night Market

A market unto itself, this is well worth a look. It runs the length of the ‘main’ street in Luang Prabang, and sets up every night. There are all manner of things to buy – handmade scarves, ornate paper cards, tons of Beerlao t-shirts. If you’re looking for unique souvenirs, this is your spot! For my birthday I chose a beautiful hand woven scarf, which has been protecting me from the brutal air con throughout our trip. There are no displayed prices, but don’t haggle too hard – these ladies need to make a living! If it’s a ridiculous price then walk away, but we were more than happy to pay a couple of extra quid for a beautiful item. The food market also proved to (mostly) be a winner. The photo of Adam enjoying some chicken says it all, really.

Sunset at Phou Si

Ah, Phou Si Mountain. Probably best described with the word ‘many’. Many steps up (and down), many people, many cameras. All gathering for that perfect sunset shot! We made our way up here one evening, attempting to go just before sunset to beat the crowds. Newsflash: the crowds beat us! It was crazy up there. We got our photographs just as it was golden hour and the view was seriously beautiful! We weren’t bothered about hanging with the crowds just to see the sun go down, so we hot footed it back to ground level.

Good food and a birthday well spent!

It was my birthday whilst we were in Luang Prabang! It felt so special to turn 25 in such a beautiful place. We had a lazy day, checking back into the guesthouse we liked so much, exploring the UXO museum (worth a visit!) and drinking icy lime juice in the shade.

Sabaidee Guesthouse

Luang Prabang Market

Phou Si Mountain

UXO museum

  • Sabaidee Guesthouse
  • Luang Prabang Market
  • Phou Si Mountain
  • UXO museum

In the evening I got a beautiful hand woven scarf from the market, and we went for Laotian hot pot. It was incredibly tasty! Most of the fun in hot pot is being able to cook the food on your own mini hob. We enjoyed playing masterchef and cooking up all the meat, tofu and vegetables that our little hearts desired.

Adam surprised me with a little cake and candles to end the day. It was so lovely! The cake was very dry (don’t buy cake at the night market!) but the candles were the best! Turns out he sneakily purchased them in Chiang Mai and hid them in a sock for two weeks. Dedication!

There’s a lot to see in Luang Prabang, but there’s also beauty in lounging around town and taking in the sights at your own pace. There are day trips to be had, such as to Kuang Si, as well as plenty in town to do too. The place has a laid back atmosphere and you can’t help but be dragged into it. It’s also kind of surreal as it feels very ‘fancy’ and cultivated to look pretty. To us, it didn’t always feel like the rest of Laos. It’s so beautiful though that it can’t be missed! We were sad to leave, but ready to get up to some adventuring in Vang Vieng! After a minibus down the most terrifying mountain, of course…