Luang Prabang - Laos

Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang, is a city located in north central Laos, on the Mekong River about 425 km north of Vientiane, and the capital of Louangphrabang Province. The current population of the city is about 22,000.The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The city is also notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Discussion on Luang Prabang

eastglam :

I am contemplating a long weekend in Luang Prabang in May I don't want to pay too much for a hotel/guest house room and would like the hotel to be in teh centre of town. Anybody have any suggestions?

Ny :
"Maybe you can try one of these hotels..I don't know which part you are going to,..downtown or province.."
happyboy :

Next month IM planning to drive to Luang Prabang from Vientiane, we will be in a large 4x4 jeep. I was wondering what if there are any safety and crime issues on this route? I have heard horror stories about unmade roads and bandits but wasnt sure if this was still true. Also, what driving documents are needed in Laos? The car is my Thai Girlfriends, I have a UK Driving license, do I need special insurance? All info welcome.

lihanmu :
"I wouldn't know about the documents but I know that the road from Luang Prabang to Vientiane is still beleagured by marroding bandits on some stretches. Your best bet would be driving in a convoy with military assistance, usually they even have an armored vehicle or even a tank with them. Sounds like totally made up but it's true, friends of mine did the same thing. They were only travelling by night because according to the soldiers who were with them this was safer since you could see the muzzle flashes from the bandits' guns."
nowhereman :
"not a smart move on your part. believe they still have land mines."
yanni :
"Well to start with, the answer from "lihanmu" is a total joke. Is that guy on drugs or what. TANKS!!! He obviously hasn't been to Laos. I've been going there every year since 2000 and have travelled that road, in both directions many, many times and have only seen bandits once. There were three of them waiting for the bus i was on and when they saw there was foreigners on the bus they let it go past. The road between Vientiane and L/P is not too bad. There are some terrible one's in other areas. Have quite often seen westerners driving around Laos in jeeps. On the documentation side, you will definately need an international drivers permit and you would probably be better off letting your Thai g/f do the driving through the Friendship Bridge customs/immigration check points. I think if you were driving, the border police on both sides will ask a lot of questions. It would be a very good idea to sort some "special" insurance, just in case. And carry lots of spares, just in case. Good luck with the trip mate and try to get further North if you can, Laos is a beautiful country."
African Farmer :
"There is no need to worry about land mines. Must be mixing Laos up with Cambodia. Bandits are a rarity these days. Last time some tourists got killed was back in 1999. For a Thai vehicle, you need to contact Thailand's Ministry of Transport (office is in Mochit area) to get a "passport" for the vehicle. You also need to bring proof of ownership and take out a special insurance. If the car is leased (not owned), you need to bring written consent from the leasing company. You (and to be on the safe side also your Thai companion) need a Laotian visa as well as an international driver's licence. You can contact the Laotian embassy in BKK for more details. The trip shouldn't take more than six hours. The road is pretty OK and you actually don't need a 4x4. When you go, plan a stop-over in Vang Vien, which is roughly half-way. Make some tours to the countryside from Vang Vien and Luang Prabang; it's beautiful and then you can get to use the 4x4."
Maya :

My travel partner and i intend to spend Laos New Year in Luang Prabang. Please advise if you know about the haze condition in the northern part of Laos. Thanks.

akio00270444400 :
my pen 2630 :


Comments on Luang Prabang

Date: 2008-02-05 15:06:16

When we visited Luang Prabang in 2002, this small town, sitting on the Mekong River and home to at least 34 wats, or Buddhist temples, still felt a little undiscovered. While walking along the main drag, though, I sometimes felt as though I was in a European city with the French colonial buildings lining the [...]

Date: 2008-02-05 15:06:16

Ancient city Luang Prabang officially called "Nakhon Luang Prabang" or "Muang Luang", used to be a capital of former Laos kingdom. It was fundamental for the whole region. Together with King’s palace, there were built many Buddhist temples and most of them are still used nowadays.

Date: 2008-02-05 15:06:16

Villagers ride their cheap Chinese motorcycles, which sell for as little as $440, down a dirt road to the markets of Luang Prabang. Chinese products are transforming the lives of some of the poorest people in Asia, whose worldly possessions a few years ago typically consisted of not much more than one or two sets of clothes, cooking utensils and

Date: 2008-02-05 15:06:16

The central province of Nghe An will cooperate with Xiangkhoang and Luang Prabang provinces of Laos to open tours between the three localities, a local tourism official said.

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