Laos crown jewel the strikingly simple Luang Prabang private tour! Often described as the Jewel in Laos Crown Luang Prabang it has managed somehow to maintain its splendour and preserve its deep-rooted charm while still living a mostly simple life.
From the wonder of its many striking temples and their tranquil gardens to the mind blowing waterfalls and jade coloured pools it is stunningly un-modern.
The kind nature of the locals and their gentle easy going way of dealing with things is bound to rub off on you during your stay. Soak up these serene surroundings and their spiritual atmosphere on a Luang Prabang Private Tour.
Another for your bucket list while here would be the adrenalin and action packed party town guided tour of Vang Vieng. The stunning landscape around Vang Vieng draws you in enticingly.
This action packed town is really little more than a bus station and a few streets and was once just a stop off point on the journey to the Thai border. Read More...
Private Tour of Luang Prabang the Amazing Temples and Cultural of This Spiritual Buddhist City
The Jewel in the Crown of Laos still living in its past but slowly emerging into its full glory. Take imaginative private tours
Stunningly serene waterfalls with emerald coloured pools and thundering falls
Donate and learn with the Library project helping educate those village children in need
Visit the dark Pak Ou Caves climb up and see the many hidden treasures
Get spiritual and see the most amazing sunset at Mount Phousi
Get up close and personal with the majestic elephants at their sanctuary witness first hand their splendour
Watch one of the oldest remaining rituals of the monks receiving their daily alms
take time and visit the stunning Vientiane a big capital city with a small town feel from its striking Temples and their quaint stories and traditions to the mind-blowing beauty of its varied landscape, from traditional massages and treatments to its many icons and Buddhas it truly is a land of many contrasts.
Top 10 Things to Do in
Kuang Si Waterfall
Going early morning to the Kuang Si Waterfall is essential before it gets too busy. This was a must see for our trip and is easy to get to by tuk tuk or on a private tour. Made up of several stages it begins in a plunge pool at the top hidden in the jungle and finishes with the most fantastic pools of pure emerald where you are able to swim. Climb to the top passing the most dramatic waterfalls on the way. Truly breathtaking.
Luang Prabang Library
The Luang Prabang Library was founded as many of the Laotian children in villages do not have any access to pens, pencils, stationery or books and these are a real luxury in many outlying areas. It was so truly humbling to see volunteers sitting with the children teaching them written and spoken language. By making a donation as we did they are able to buy more books and other equipment for other surrounding villages.
Royal Palace Museum
Now a museum the Royal palace is well worth a private tour visit even if the outside is a bit dowdy and unimpressive. For a Royal Family they actually lived rather simply and not what we had expected at all and the display of some of their own original furniture was not very ornate at all. It did however have a large display of family photos and gifts as well as a fabulous collection of vintage cars displayed in another building.
Arts & Ethnology Centre
For a fun few hours we decided to visit the Art and Ethnology Centre just a short walk from town. The exhibits give a superb background of the area and its customs and traditions. The children had found the activity area where they could dress in traditional costumes for photographs and even a scavenger hunt which kept them busy. We could also watch a display of traditional ethnic arts and crafts of the area.
Wat Xiang Thong
This area is known for its exceptional array of Buddhist Temples and Wat Xiang Thong is its most magnificent example of this. A private tour of this architectural wonder constructed in the Luang Prabang style features intricately carved walls and a detailed mosaic of Tree of Life. Originally the place of coronation for the Lao Kings, on the meeting point of 2 rivers, it is still a significant meeting place for annual festivals.
Pak Ou Caves
We visited the caves by boat along the Mekong river which was quite a long but pleasant journey. With a history dating back hundreds of years these caves are one of the most respected holy sites and are packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons left in every available nook and cranny of them. Believed to have been left by locals over thousands of years as a gift to the River Spirit it is well worth the somewhat hard climb to the upper cave.
In need of a little exercise we took the advice of our hotel and made the trip to Mount Phousi to witness the amazing sunset. Quite a hard but steady climb up we all managed it without too much bother. On the way up we passed many half hidden icons and Buddhas and a lot of boy Monks making the journey too. At the top apart from the spectacular views it was hard not to feel spiritual and offer up some small prayers.
Wat Long Khoun
Close to the banks of the great Mekong is Way Long Khoun a Buddhist Temple historically linked to the Royal Family for hundreds of years. Known as the Monastery of the Happy it was long used for meditation and as a retreat for the new Kings prior to Coronation. After falling into a terrible state of repair it has recently been restored using traditional techniques and the Monks quarters and meditation room are particularly striking.
Elephant Village Sanctuary
We couldn’t wait for our once in a lifetime private tour experience at the Elephant Village Sanctuary close to the banks of the river. The project provides a home and future for the many elephants rescued mainly from the cruel logging industry. These majestic loving creatures some now disabled get to live out the rest of their lives in comfort in their new jungle home. We got to see them bathing and playing with their keepers.
Passing by early morning we were lucky to come across this amazing site. We sat quietly across the road from the Temple to watch this unusual spectacle of the Monks receiving their daily alms. This tradition is quite humbling as you watch the monks in their orange robes file out in an orderly fashion past the whitewashed temple walls. We were careful not to use the flashes on our cameras and not to disturb the ritual.
Travel Tips for Luang Prabang
Best Time To Visit
During the hot season January to April is unbearable for some when you only need light clothing and plenty of sunscreen. Due to lack of rain some of the river trips may not be available. November to February is the best time to visit when the weather is colder and you should bring a jacket for these times. Rainy season is June to October although still warm you will definitely need waterproof clothing.
Laos can be travelled very, cheaply, but there is also a more luxurious element too. On a budget, you can eat as cheaply as 1-2$ and bunk down at a guesthouse for 3-10$ ideal for backpackers especially. On the more extravagant side, a Boutique hotel could be 50-500$ and posh nosh 15-50$. Dollars preferred and accepted in most places. Always book any tours or guides before arriving and safe yourself some money !
Know Before Visiting
Always dress conservatively covering shoulders especially when entering temples and wear shoes that are easily removed. In early November is the That Luang Festival when the area becomes inundated with and influx of visitors and pilgrims coming to pay their respects to the Stupa. Always book in advance and be ready for more crowds at major attractions than normal. Plenty of tour guides ready to help and advise at reasonable costs.
Enjoying a tropical climate Laos if humid and hot all yer round. At the beginning of May starts the rainy season and this runs to end of September with temperatures still in the high 30s but feels like more with the humidity. October to end of April is the dry season. Average yearly temperatures however are still around 28º.