Luang Prabang- foodie heaven
Read my last blog on Chiang Rai to see how we got to Luang Prabang. But don’t do as we did, overnight buses are terrible. Just pay more to fly.
We arrived in Luang Prabang from our ‘sleeper’ bus at 6:30am we were exhausted and in desperate need of sleep. Our tuk tuk dropped us in the city centre and we just walked down the street.
We found Lao Blossom Hotel, it was fairly pricey for backpackers at 30 dollars a night, but we were so tired we didn’t care.
The hotel was centrally Located right near the night market. We also had a spacious room and comfy beds, it was so good to finally get some sleep!
Once rested we remembered our budget and booked into a guest house for half the price.
Global guesthouse was slightly further out but for £7 each a night, breakfast and air conditioning we were willing to take a walk.
The hotel stuff were really friendly and although their English was not great they made us feel very welcome. They assisted us with arranging tours and onward transport.
Eating in Luang Prabang
I really hadn’t expected to love the food in Luang Prabang but it was bloody amazing and I did love it! There were so many cute restaurants and the food was just to good.
It was fairly pricey but I don’t mind paying it when the food is delicious and the service is good.
Tangor aka best restaurant ever, is on the main road in Luang Prabang (same road as the night market). It has a rustic blue theme, with an outside and inside seating area.
People who know me know how much I love cheese, it’s my favourite food group and one of the things I have missed the most from home.
Of the cheese food group, Camembert happens to be a high scorer in my books.
So when we were walking down the street looking for places to eat stephen spotted the Camembert on the menu he knew I would love it.
He stopped me, put his hands on my shoulders and told me to breathe before I turned to look inside. I was expecting some terrible scene inside, like puppies being cooked or something. But instead I saw the menu with Camembert on and I could have screamed with excitement.
Obviously I didn’t because that would have caused a scene. Also don’t judge me cheese obsession ok, I’m sure you like random things too!
We managed to get a table in the outside area of the restaurant over looking the street and ordered food (obviously Camembert) and drink.
It was delicious, the Camembert has been cooked in flavoured bread crumbs and the onion chutney was definitely home made.
Stephens said his steak was one of the best he had eaten before to!
He also loved the cocktails and wine, sadly for me I was taking about 12 tankers a day so wasn’t able to drink! Boooooo.
The hostess was also lovely, some of the best service I have had in Asia.
Great spot for breakfast they have lots of pastries, various egg dishes and great coffee.
We had the hash brown stacks and they were yummy!
A cute cafe with a really good vibe at the end of the main road, the decoration is very modern yet rustic and the roof terrace is a great spot.
After wondering along the river (another great thing to do) we stopped here for a yummy iced coffee and a break. The views were really nice too!
Great little spot right on the river, you can sit on bean bags facing the river enjoying the view and a beverage.
Not he best place to eat at night as it’s very dark with only candles on tables creating light. But a definite spot for evening drinks or a lunch time spot.
Luang Prabang bakery and cafe
Great place for breakfast, amazing service and the Spanish omelettes were so good!
Aussie sports bar
If you are into sports or just fancy a drink with bit more of a pub vibe this is a great spot to go.
We went when Chelsea were playing (Stephens a fan) and happened to bump into a couple we met crossing the border from Thailand to Lao.
We ended up watching the football with a big group of travellers and it was a lot of fun.
In Laos, most places have an 11:30pm curfew which means that after this time there are very limited places to go. Luckily in Luang Prabang there is a bowling ally that stays open complete with bar and archery. The archery has no rules and the arrows is being fired by very drunk people so be careful!
Exploring Luang Prabang
Kuang Si waterfall
I have visited A LOT of waterfalls since being in Asia and this is the best so far!
It is a little way out of town, so we arranged through our guest house to be picked up and returned in a mini bus, for 50,000 Kip.
Entrance fees to the waterfall are 20,000 Kip but this also includes the bear sanctuary too. I know, bear sanctuary, what?
There is a sanctuary within the waterfall site for abused, or ill bears. So seeing them is an added bonus!
The waterfall itself is stunning. The water is crystal clear and turquoise and there are so many layers and pools to the waterfall that it was easy to spend 3 hours here.
Annoyingly I wasn’t able to get my elbows wet (read my Chiang Rai blog if you want to know why) so I could only go in to waist height. But Stephen was able to climb up and explore and swim in all the various pools of water.
You are able to go to the top of the waterfall via two options (I later found out). If you are looking at the waterfall to your right is the hard way and to your left is the easy way.
We were not aware of the options so ended up taking the hard route up, it was a bit a scramble and made the old legs burn. But nothing worth doing is easy right?
At the top there are more swimming areas and a swing.
Though I think it’s best to be careful when you go. A couple we met went the following day and sadly due to bad weather the night before the waterfall was not it’s beautiful blue but more a murky brown.
There is a really grand museum on the main road in Luang Prabang and it is really nice to wonder through the grounds admiring the place.
You have to pay to enter the museum and you must be dressed ‘respectfully’. You are also not allowed to take your bags in.
Try to avoid the times at which the bus tours have arrived, when we went a Chinese bus tour had just arrived which causes a massive surge of people in the museum making it less enjoyable.
Phou si mountain
As with most amazing views there is a climb associated. Luckily there are steps making it slightly easier. Nevertheless the steps go on for what feels like forever, every time you think your at the top you turn the corner and there are more stairs!
Be prepared to be super sweaty when you reach the top.
It is definitely worth it though, you get a really special view over the river, town and mountains.
We sat up the top admiring the view and enjoying the sun for a while.
The night market in Luang Prabang isn’t like any other night market I have been to in Asia. They don’t sell knock off designer products or cheap gimmick rubbish. They sell hand crafted items, made with love and affection.
You can get all sorts, fans, pop-up cards, unique clothing, jewellery, woodcarvings, metal trinkets made from unexploded bombs and so much more.
The market starts around 5pm.
Definitely do not get the overnight bus from Thailand to Laos.
Luang Prabang food is amazing, there are so many cute places to eat and drink.
There is a definite travel culture here, you will meet lots of young likeminded people.
Kuang Si Waterfall is the best waterfall I have seen so far.