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Luang Prabang

The ancient, leafy city of Luang Prabang in northern Laos is one of the most beautiful in Asia, with magnificent wats (temples), saffron-robed monks, old royal palaces and French colonial architecture, it epitomises the heart of this peaceful country. 
Luang Prabang is Laos’ premier tourist destination, and considered by many to be the heart of Laotian culture. You could quite easily spend many a day simply walking around the dusty back streets, discovering glorious old French Indochine architecture, chatting to friendly monks and exploring the banks of the Mekong as the sun sets on this lovely, peaceful city.Traditions are integral to the charm and atmosphere of Luang Prabang; if you wake early enough you can witness the Alms Giving Ceremony, the daily ritual of giving food to the saffron robed monks from kneeling devotees. 

The further north you travel in Laos the more you will discover an explorer and photographer's paradise. There are so many tiny hill tribe villages to visit, including gorgeous Luang Nam Tha and Muang Sing. However these areas of Laos are very under-developed and rural, and tourist accommodation is often rustic - but we find that the charm of the people and the beauty of the landscapes make up for its shortcomings.

Things to See and Do:

The Pak Ou Caves are a must see when you are in Luang Prabang; the caves have several thousand Buddha statues inside, which are very interesting, but it’s really just the river trip that makes this a great experience in itself.On the boatride back into town you can stop off at a small riverside village and get a feel of how people live in rural Laos. It’s quite an eye opener. Brave travellers might also sample some homemade Laotian fire water here, called Lao Lao.

Kuang Si Falls are a short distance from Luang Prabang and provide an enjoyable afternoon excursion away from the city. A steady climb out of town is eventually rewarded by the sight of the small but beautiful falls. You can take a dip to freshen up after the climb, but do remember to bring some good shoes, as the climb over the rocks can be slippery.
 
The Royal Palace was the home to the former Royal Family of Laos, who ruled this small landlocked Kingdom up until the 1970’s. Now a museum and filled with many antiques that have been preserved, the Royal Palace gives you an insight into the fascinating old Kingdom of Laos. 
 
The province of Luang NamTha is  famous for its trekking and ecotourism, especially in the Nam Ha National Park. The area has over 30 different ethnic groups mostly living in small villages in these craggy hills. Some are more easily accessible than others! Adventure tourism is growing in this part of the country with some good rafting and kayaking adventures to be had.
 
Muang Sing is located across the border from China and has a real frontier town feeling to it, not so much Wild West more Wild Laos. The lively morning market is a must as you will be able to interact with the local hill tribes who are all dressed in their traditional costumes. There are also many small villages to see around Muang Sing, which you can do on a mountain bike, a rewarding journey, albeit tiring!

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