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.
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.
|Airports||Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ)|
|Budget breakfast||If your hotel doesn't include breakfast you'll have no problem finding cafes in the tourist area.||$1.58 - $2.82|
|Budget lunch||Large baguette sandwiches plus local Lao dishes are great bargains here.||$2.26 - $3.95|
|Budget dinner||Restaurants along the western part of the strip will cost less than the posh places down the peninsula.||$3.10 - $5.36|
|Beer (.64l bottle)||Aside from a few bars and fancy restaurants, a large bottle of Beerlao is cheap everywhere.||$1.13 - $1.97|
|Baguette sandwich||Large and delicious stuffed baguettes are a worthwhile highlight for budget travelers, especially for take-away.||$1.02 - $1.58|
|Fresh fruit juice||Many vendors and restaurants make a variety of fresh juices on the spot.||$0.51|
|Crepe||On the main tourist street you'll find French-style filled crepes made freshly and stuffed with sweet or savory toppings.||$0.85|
|Month||High F||Low F||PRECIP (inches)|
The weather in Luang Prabang is typically gorgeous starting around mid October, when the rainy season is winding down, and it stays that way through March, when daytime temperatures begin to soar. The rainy season runs from mid April through early October, though rain tends to come in short bursts rather than all-day downpours, so it’s not really that bad.
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.
Hotels in Luang Prabang have their peak season from mid December through February, but October through March is all considered the high season. From April through September it’s possible to get great deals at some of the fancy places, while the lower-end places often don’t even adjust rates at all.
|8.00 - 20.00|
|13.00 - 45.00|
|20.00 - 70.00|
|54.00 - 135.00|
|218.00 - 250.00|
|Hostel Bed||5.82 - 6.20|
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.
|Taxi from airport to city center||3.13 - 3.38|
|3km tuk-tuk ride||1.35 - 1.75|
|Slow boat to Huay Xai||12.41|
|Bus to Vang Vieng||9.59|
|Bus to Vientiane||8.46|