Novice Monks, Luang Phrabang, Laos

Luang Prabang

Unesco Heritage listed and former royal capital, the delightful and vibrant town of Luang Prabang sits in a quiet valley on the edge of the Mekong River and is the highlight of most holidays to Laos.

Colour infuses throughout Luang Prabang, from the brightly coloured frangipanis which add a heady perfume, to the burnt orange robes of monks and the resplendent gold and claret shades of the temples or Wats as they are locally known.

The visual mixture of deteriorating French provincial architecture, glistening temple roofs, and multi-ethnic inhabitants captivates even the most seasoned traveller, and the quiet compassion of the city’s residents lulls them into peaceful bliss.

Sleeping Budda, Wat Phou Si Hill, Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos

A little more about Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is also a key link between Thailand and China as its highway provides a relay point for trade between the three countries. It is also in close proximity to the caves at Pak Ou which can be reached by boat; there are literally thousands of Buddha statues which have been placed by the locals over the centuries. In addition, the drive between Luang Prabang and Vientiane via the town of Vang Vieng is spectacular, passing towering shrub-covered limestone cliffs.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Temple Buildings, Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang Experience

Sip coffee overlooking the Mekong before visiting this UNESCO listed town with its provincial French architecture, temples the vibrant night market.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos

Temples of Luang Prabang

Sit quietly in temple grounds after watching monks collect their alms.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Traditional Meal, Laos

Local Cuisine

Sample wonderful, local food, or learn to make some traditional Laotian dishes yourself.

Waterfall surrounded by rainforest.

A Waterfall Dip

Escape from Luang Prabang for a day and trek on foot or by horseback to Tad Sae waterfalls for a refreshing dip.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Amantaka £££££

  • Laos
  • City

Amantaka (taka meaning Tipitaka, the teachings of Buddha and Aman the well-known luxury hotel group), is housed in a series of beautiful French colonial buildings with high ceilings and shady verandas. Aman Resorts took possession of the site in late 2005 and after the painstaking restoration under strict UNESCO guidelines, have successfully provided one of Luang Prabang’s most beautiful properties. It houses 25 suites, some with pools and all beautifully decorated with Aman’s typical flair.

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Belmond La Residence Phou Vao £££££

  • Laos
  • City

The Belmond La Residence Phou Vao sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, nestling on the Hill of Kites, overlooking the majestic Mekong and just a 10-minute walk from the centre of Luang Prabang. The design and decor of the spacious bedrooms and suites, in rosewood and cotton, reflect the style and heritage of Lao architecture. With a large swimming pool, views over the mountains and town and a small spa, the Belmond La Residence Phou Vao is one of the best hotels in the town.

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Satri House £££££

  • Laos
  • City

Located in the heart of the city, the 31-roomed Satri House was built at the turn of the last century as a private residence. The house was completely renovated and is designed with a style inspired by Lao culture and set in a relaxed environment. Watch local everyday life unfold from your balcony, sit by the emerald tiled pool or take a cruise on the Mekong cruise.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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