Luang Prabang celebrates their new year for 3 days around mid-April with lots of water and powder splashing, parades, parties, a beauty pageant and of course, drinking Beer Lao! Everyone's in party mode!
Fondest memory: The people, the beer, the whole feeling of the place -- very laid back, chilled out and relax!
This was one of my most confusing, and ultimately, amusing experiences in Luang Prabang. I asked for directions from a few locals to the mailbox, clutching postcards in hand - some for VT mates - and was directed to .....yellow.....up the road....round the corner..... With little confidence, I wandered off looking up the street, then around the corner, for a yellow building. And there is WAS! The yellow mailbox was just tucked in around the corner from Sisavangvong Rd, across from Mt Phusi - surrounded by rubble and litter! This was about the most litter I had ever seen in Luang Prabang.
I was quite reluctant to post the cards, but they actually made it!
These little stands in the street had a lovely range of fresh baguettes, cheeses, chips, sweets and sweet biscuits, and other general dry snacks. If you travel away from Luang Prabang by boat, its a long day, and you are not likely to stop for food or have any more than drinks available on the boat. So - grab a bag full of food, and enjoy these treats while you cruise down with Mekong with a front row view no matter where you sit on these narrow little boats.
Fondest memory: Fresh baguettes and fruit shakes anywhere.
We saw some funny spelling errors in Laos -
arran ements - for arrangements
restaurations - restorations - going on everywhere!
par king - parking - husband looking everywhere for the king thingy!
litter - litre - interesting quantity!
commounicatoin - communication - a bit of a contradiction!
Fondest memory: Husband pausing and looking looking looking - and then realising that there was no par king in the grounds of the Royal Palace!
Here I will update the photo to have a notice before you try of your own.
First (Asian Pavillion Hotel)
It is the hotel with the room which not so nice as you imagined before you have a look.
As it is no window, the air is not so clean. The price is just the average and about 30USD per night. If you really like the room with fresh air and open windows, you just find other one.
(last date visited : Dec. 16, 2004)
Mala Travel Agency
91/4 Sakkalin Rd.
Luang Prabang, Laos
from Southern Bus Terminal, Luang Prabang to
a) Vientiane - 70,000 kip
b) Vang Vieng - 60,000 kip
c) Vientiane to Bangkok, Thailand - 650 ThB
Bought my ticket here for Vientiane - Bangkok.
It has been said very many times on Virtual Tourist that this beer is excellent - now that we have had a very good sampling of this brew, we would like to add our support to the very positive ratings it seems to consistently attract! Why can't you buy it anywhere else?????
Fondest memory: Sitting at the outside tables of our guesthouse restaurant, and enjoyed a cold beer, watching the world slowly go by - and waiting for the markets to start!
L'Etranger is one of the best bookshops in Southeast Asia. It's not the selection that sets this Luang Prabang backpackers institution apart, but the atmosphere of the place. The brick terrace out front or the comfy second floor tearoom are both great places to take a break from walking around town and veg out for a little while. Though L'Etranger does not house a lot of books, it's not difficult to find a good read there with most titles in English or French. Trading in a book usually cuts an already bargain price in half.
L'Etranger is located next to Hive Bar on Thalat Latsavong, on the Nam Khan side of Phu Si. This place is recommended in Lonely Planet and they're on the mark with this one.
Callejear por LP es delicioso, no hay ni semaforos y en cada esquina hay algo que te llama la atencion, templos , gentes, escenas, escuelas,el rio...
Hanging around Luang Prabang is very nice , there are not traffic lights and on each corner there is some thing that pays your attention , temples , people , scenes , schools , the river ....
El centro de Luang Prabang es una calle en la que no hay ni sem?foros
En ambos lados de la calle hay restaurantes , agencias de viajes y algunas tiendas
The Luang Prabang city center is an street where there are not even traffic lights
On both sides of the street there are restaurants , travel agencies and some shops
I saw this post box when I arrived luang Prabang airport and wondered it is the REAL post box or not. And the day I departed from there this post box was moved to the other corner of the building...this time I went to ask the information man that my postcards will be sent or not and when the postman will pick them up...he answered sometimes the postman pick them up everyday but sometimes 2-3 times a week so dont worry if your mail would be delayed for a month.
Finally I got my postcard !!! 10 days later.
Before you come to Laos, you should check with their entrance requirements to see if you can get a visa on arrival. To get a visa on arrival, your passport needs to have 6 months validity, 2 passport photos and $30 USD. You can also bring the equivalent amount in Thai Baht. The tourist visa is good for 15 days. If you want to stay longer in Laos, you should get a longer tourist visa at the Lao embassy-this usually is good for 30 days.
Be aware that there are only a few visa on arrival stations, so if you are coming by bus to Luang Prabang-you proabably should should get your visa before your arrival into the country. According to Laos' tourism website "The Department of Immigration in Vientiane will only extend tourist visas for one day. It is sometimes possible to get an extension for an additional 15 days by submitting an application through a tour agency. Foreigners who overstay in Laos risk arrest, and they will be fined $5 for each day upon departure."
For more information go the Lao Embassy's and lao tourism site website:
I make some observations when I was in Laos and I found that being a monk can be quite enjoyable although the benefit that they enjoyed not as great as mine (a professional bum).
The following are some comparisons between them (the monks) and me (muddybok):
1) early morning (6pm) wake up for gathering food from donations
2) meditation (may be)
3) performing duties
4) around 3pm, taking nap or chill out (see pic @Mt Phousi Viewpoint)
5) around 6pm, get ready for evening prayer
6) after 7pm private time (some reading scriptures, some play with hand phone) Yes! Some monks have cell phones
7) light out after 10pm
8) go to step (1)
1) early morning (6am-10am) still sleeping (skip breakfast)
2) after 10am, prepare for work
3) doing some minor tasks, then lunch
4) around 3pm, beer break
5) around 6pm, pack up & adjourn to drinking hole
6) after 7pm, at drinking hole, make phone calls to call for people to join for drinking
7) knock out at 2am next morning
8) go to step (1), wake up with some hang over
You will need to pay 10.000 Kips to enter to Mt Phousi. If you make this your first attraction for Luang Prabang, it may help you to orientate yourselves for next few days’ visits. Of course, nothing can substitute your maps or guide book (esp Lonely Planet).
The downside of getting up there first thing in your trip is you may need to pay additional 10.000 Kips to see the much talk about sunset at Mt Phuosi.
Favorite thing: Although most of the restoration works will be bear by UNESCO, but new construction or extension of the wats will be still very much on donations and monks may need to do some works instead of just meditation and regular monkhood stuffs.