Indochina Map
Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang

Nestling in a slim valley shaped by lofty, green mountains and cut by the swift Mekong and Khan rivers, Luang Prabang exudes tranquillity and grandeur. A tiny mountain kingdom for more than a thousand years and designated a World Heritage site in 1995, it is endowed with a legacy of ancient, red-roofed temples and French-Indochinese architecture, not to mention some of the country's most refined cuisine, its richest culture and most sacred Buddha image. The very name Louang Phabang conjures up the classic image of Laos – streets of ochre colonial houses and swaying palms, lines of saffron-robed monks gliding through the morning mist, and longtail boats racing down the Mekong.

Louang Phabang is the most Lao city in Laos, the only one where ethnic Lao are in the majority and where the back streets and cobblestoned lanes have a distinctly village-like feel. Conveniently, it is also the transport hub of northern Laos, with road, river and air links – both domestic and international – all leading to the city.

The majority of Louang Phabang's architecture of merit – temple monasteries, Asian shophouses and French-influenced mansions – is found in the old city, concentrated on a finger of land, approximately 1km long by 300m wide. The thicker southern end of the peninsula is dominated by a steep, forested hill, Phou Si, crowned by a Buddhist stupa that can be seen for miles around. As the city grew it expanded outwards from the peninsula to the south and east, and continues to do so to this day.

Copyright © 2010 TTB Travel&Tour