Luang Prabang deserves its reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s most charming cities. The mixed colonial architecture plus the many picturesque temples add to an ambiance that is unusually romantic and pleasantly laid back. There’s a good reason why it’s now Laos’ most popular tourist city.
By Southeast Asia standards some aspects of Luang Prabang are quite expensive, but by any other standards it’s still cheap and a great bargain. There are even a handful of very cheap hotels suited for a backpacker budget, but don’t expect much quality at the bottom end. Plenty of lovely guesthouses are all over town, at a range of prices, plus a few luxurious larger hotels.
This city has far more fancy and expensive restaurants than Vientiane or anywhere else in the country, but there are plenty of cheaper places as well. Drinks are also quite cheap in most places, especially for those who like fresh fruit juice or Beerlao.
Tours and attractions can add up a bit if you aren’t careful, at least by area standards, particularly with tuk-tuks and boat drivers insisting on much higher prices than elsewhere in the region.