I really enjoyed Luang Prabang. It was off the beat track enough to be pretty genuine but built up enough to be pretty relaxing and resort-y. My mum always talks about “Bali twenty years ago” (which today is more like Bali forty years ago but I digress) this is how I imagine Luang Prabang is.
It was a really magical little city, there were neat glittery temples with monks and gongs and alms, beautiful views on the rivers, its UNESCO heritage french-mansion-cum-resorts, and the ultra-instagrammable Kuang Si Waterfall mean there are quite a few visitors and the services that tourists like we attracti – its fun! I would definitely go back.
We stayed at the Luang Prabang Inn Hotel, which was an opportunity to do laundry and relaccc by the pool. In the afternoon we took a bike around the village to get the lay of the lands (aka Paige plans where she will be eating for as many opportunities as possible.. See footnotes below)…. Saffron Coffee for micro-plot raised beans (apparently on a hill we could see from the shop front or were they joking?), Le Banneton because I can’t walk away from a pastry and Dyen Sabi for sunsets on the river and 2-for-1 cocktails.
We watched the sunset and drank too many cocktails (still going off our original $200 we started with at the border crossing). Again there was an 11:30pm curfew so we hit some bars and played pool without getting to wild because we thought that the place would shut down at curfew. No. As we got into the tuk-tuk our driver asked if we were going to the “alley” – we said sure!
There is literally an underground bowling alley about ten minutes out of town where you can bowl/drink/dance and party all night. We did just that. The next morning was uneventful, walking around, laying by the pool and hitting up the markets before heading to Kuang Si Falls.
It was a nice spot for a swim, definitely take water and a towel and shoes you can get wet to climb it. The water was really cold too. On the way to the falls you also drive past a Moon Bear Sanctuary Definitely plan extra time to check it out and even just sit there and watch the babies, they were so sweet!
Back to the hotel to hang out and wander around. Before dinner we were tipped off to watch the sunset at Phu Si. It was our second big climb in as many days – working off my pastries and dimsums but worth it!
This blog post is a part of a series I wrote while on the Contiki Asian Adventure Tour.