destinationsSpotlight on Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Phrabang, Laos

Peacefully situated between the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers in North Central Laos lies the enchanting city of Luang Prabang. In 1995, about half of the villages that comprise Luang Prabang were collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Luang Prabang has been described as one of the most deeply relaxing, satisfying places to visit in Southeast Asia. Here's why now is the time to plan a trip there.

A Timeless Destination

Because of its UNESCO designation, Luang Prabang remains immune to the development you're likely to find in neighboring countries like Thailand. For this reason, it retains a timeless quality. Few visitors make it here, especially from North America, so it's still relatively off the beaten path.

Kouang Si Waterfall, Matyas Rehak, Laos
Kouang Si Waterfall, Matyas Rehak, Laos

A Slow Tempo of Life

Zero hustle. Zero bustle. French colonialists nicknamed Luang Prabang La Belle Endormie, or Sleeping Beauty. Monks in saffron robes silently line up every morning to gather alms, moving in a slow procession along the streets. Visitors spend hours relaxing in gorgeous French bistros. The entire city is easily explored on foot or by bike, and no one is in a rush to get anywhere fast. No matter where you choose to spend time in Luang Prabang, you won’t experience the congestion or frenetic energy common to many of the region’s booming cities.

Buddhist monks gathering morning alms
Buddhist monks gathering morning alms

Delightful Local Cuisine

Lao cuisine, rarely found outside of Laos, is reason enough to plan a journey to Luang Prabang. Let a local help you find the best ping (Lao for barbeque), or surprise yourself with some of the best French food you may ever eat outside of France. Lao meals are traditionally served all at once, and run the gamut from herb-scented grilled fish, goat, chicken, pork or duck to vibrant green papaya salads and small bowls of savory dipping sauces, or jaews. Lao seasonings often include combinations of dill, mint and cilantro, along with scallions, garlic, chillies and lemongrass. Sip an ice-cold Beerlao and savor a Lao-style sandwich—closely related to Vietnamese bahn mi. Finish with a cup of coffee or an espresso: Laos produces about 20,000 tons of high-quality mountain-grown coffee a year.

Sticky rice and small bowls of savory dipping sauces, or jaews
Sticky rice and small bowls of savory dipping sauces, or jaews

Explore Luang Prabang Your Way

Our luxury custom travel department can arrange any number of ways for you to explore Luang Prabang. Take privately guided architectural tours with a local UNESCO heritage consultant. Delve into the remote riverside villages outside of Luang Prabang. Shop for market-fresh local ingredients and learn how to use them during informal cooking classes with a resident chef. Discover Luang Prabang’s myriad waterfalls, learn about the lives of local elephants and the conservation efforts underway to preserve their natural habitats. Arrange one-on-one meetings with Luang Prabang’s local artisans, or plan your visit to coincide with the Luang Prabang Film Festival. 

Our travel consultants will create an all-inclusive journey based on your requests and will work with you to refine it to fit your time frame, trip objectives and travel dreams. They will organize special access to events, tours and activities designed just for you and your travel mates. Let our consultants plan every last detail for you, so you can relax and focus on the experience in front of you.

The night market
The night market