18 March 2015

Luang Prabang: our favorite city in South East Asia

Luang Prabang temple
Our van from Vang Vieng was faster than expected and, tracking our arrival on google maps, we managed to get dropped off almost in front of our hostel. Khammany Inn in Luang Prabang is a real hostel, in the most positive sense of the word. It became our home for the next six days. Most of the staff are travelers who extend their stay by working here (or getting stuck, how others might call it). They organize a lot of common activities like movie&pizza night, wine&cheese, trips to nearby waterfalls and are generally good sources of information about the city and its environment. We got an nice and comfortable double room for 17 USD (14 EUR).


Nam Khan river and the surrounding countryside
Guests are not forced to join in, but if you do you'll quickly become part of the family and there is always someone of the staff or other travelers to talk to. We especially loved their rooftop terrace where we spent a couple of afternoons drinking beerlao and chatting with other travelers.

Among South East Asian cities, Luang Prabang is a big exception. Unlike other cities, it features a beautiful colonial old town. Most of the houses have been converted into guesthouses, boutique hotels, restaurants and shops, but this is ultimately to the benefit of the city as it guarantees its conservation.

Fruit shakes and sandwiches
Luang Prabang has also been blessed with a beautiful environment. Forests, green and blue mountains and two mighty rivers surround the city. There are innumerable day trips you can do to the surrounding countryside and Lisa and I were happy to have a beautiful and relaxing environment for our morning runs.

We didn't feel like filling our days with too many activities. So we blended perfectly in with the laid back Lao lifestyle. We usually got up for breakfast or a run, spent our days drinking coffee, fruit shakes (10-15'000 LAK/1-1.5 EUR), eating delicious baguette sandwiches (10-15'000 LAK/1-1.5 EUR), reading and writing with a view on the Mekong and some beers in the evening. Also, on the market they sold delicious buffet dinners for 35'000 LAK (3.5 EUR) per plate.

Kuang Si waterfalls
Only one day we went with a couple of other guests, now our friends, to the spectacularly blue Kuang Si waterfalls. Blue water again? Yes, and an even more intense blue than the blue lagoon in Vang Vieng! Just check out our gorgeous pictures, if you don't believe it.

It was difficult to leave Luang Prabang in the end, as I could see myself very well settle in this beautiful and relaxing place for a couple of years. But we finally gave in to the ever louder calls of the road and Vietnam and moved on.

More pictures from Luang Prabang

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