THE CITY OF LUANG PRABANG
Luang Prabang is located in northern Laos. Historically, it was the royal capital of the Kingdom of a Million Elephants, known then by the name Lane Xang, from 1353 until 1945, on April 8 to be precise when Laos would gain its independence under King Sisavang Vong.
When you visit Luang Prabang, you'll be able to take a trip to the past, with its ancient buildings dating back to the days of the French colonies. The architecture of the houses and temples, as well as the customs of the time, are still very much in practice here.
The city has just over 55,000 inhabitants and covers an area that is 10 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, with a total surface area of 236,800 km². Luang Prabang lies at an altitude of over 300 meters in the city center, rising to 400 meters at its highest point, Mount Phousi.
Located 385 kilometers from Vientiane (8 hours by minivan, 10 hours by day or night bus, 2 hours by TGV), it is the country's third-largest city, but remains the most authentic to its' past.
High place of Buddhism
This little corner of paradise, where Buddhist culture is still very much alive, boasts some 40 temples. The oldest still in use are Vat Visoun (Vat Visounnarat), built in 1513 and Vat Xieng Thong, built in 1560, which is equally impressive, with its golden façade that illuminates at sunset.
As you'll see, each of Luang Prabang's temples has its own charm and ambience, and you'll never get tired of it. Admission to some temples costs 20,000 kip (around 2 euros). Profits go towards restoring them. Other temples are still free, but you'll have to leave the peninsula to visit them.
On the day of your visit to the temples, don't forget to wear something to protect your legs and shoulders. A long skirt or Sine, the traditional Laotian skirt, for women and long pants for men. Indeed, it's impolite to show up in beachwear (or something similar) in a place that is sacred to the Laotians.
To give you a brief guideline, your knees and shoulders must be covered when entering sacred sites. In addition, don't forget your camera, as Luang Prabang's temples are magnificent! It's not uncommon, while walking around, to witness a local ceremony where monks play drums or recite Buddhist texts typical of Luang Prabang, which may differ from those in Vientiane, for example.
Carte du centre ville de Luang Prabang à imprimer
Official video from the Luang Prabang tourism office developed in partnership with our travel agency and presented by Charly, our co-founder, who takes you on a tour of the town.