Luang Prabang is a beautiful old French colony in the country of Laos, whose 50,000 residents live alongside thousands of tourists who roam her streets every day. Deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, The Lonely Planet writes: “Fabled, riverside Luang Prabang, with its lantern-lit streets, Indochinese architecture and heady fusion of Gallic and Asian cuisine, is truly something to experience.” And so it is.
The cobblestone streets of the city boast bakeries, cafes and old French villas that haven’t all stood up well to the test of time, but there has been some restoration going on in the past few years, no doubt with UNESCO’s help.
The city sits at the point where two important rivers meet: the Mekong River and the Nam Khan. The confluence of the two rivers makes for a beautiful sight, and there are many riverside restaurants where you can enjoy a meal and watch the two bodies of water merge and blend and become one.
If a riverside meal isn’t to your liking, you can take a walk down the streets lined with frangipani trees to find another restaurant in town, or visit a souvenir shop, a museum, or the daily night market with both imported and local wares sold by people who are only too happy to help you part with your money.
One of the most popular and alluring attractions of Luang Prabang is Kuang Si Falls, which I personally think should be called The Most Beautiful Waterfall In The World. Located inside a national park, the Kuang Si Falls is a three-tier waterfall that starts in a shallow pool high on a hillside before falling down a 200ft cascade. The water then continues to collect and then fall down a series of small pools and cascades as it flows downstream.
The warm water, the multiple cascades and pools and the stunning aquamarine colour of the water make Kuang Si Falls a must-do on your Laotian travels.