Luang Prabang, Laos
At the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan river in the northern Laos, where you can slow the pace and awaken your spirit. A breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by Buddhist Temples and charming colonial buildings nestled in jungle covered hills. Rice fields, water falls and butterflies breathe life into this magical atmosphere.
The Small List
L’Elephant - Dine in style in the Royal City at this French restaurant housed in a restored colonial townhouse in the heart of Luang Prabang’s famous peninsula. Quality and flavor are the key notes of the gourmet menu. Sit back and soak in the old-world atmosphere of relaxed luxury. elephant-restau.com
Tamarind - Try the intriguing and fresh new tastes of Lao cuisine while the staff explains what you are eating and how to do so, Lao-style! You can choose from a range of truly authentic dishes: a gentle introduction right through to a deeper exploration into the Lao palate! tamarindlaos.com
Bamboo Tree - Loatian cuisine at its best. Exquisite and unique flavors come from this family run restaurant, which is also a cooking school where students learn how to prepare northern Lao dishes from the sister chefs. Phone: +856 20 22 425 499
Joma Bakery Cafe - A little slice of North American cafe culture transplanted into Southeast Asia, offering high quality food and fantastic coffee. Joma gives 10% to charitable organizations in the communities around their cafes. joma.biz
Viewpoint Café - Located on the tip of peninsula, where Khan and mighty Mekong rivers meet, and considered to be the best location in town with stunning views. Owned by Swede Urban Paulsson, Viewpoint Café is an extension of The Mekong Riverview Hotel and offers freshly muddled fruit cocktails, including mai tai’s, margaritas, and more. mekongriverview.com
Satri House - Satri House is one of the most exquisite places in this ancient city, designed with a style inspired by Lao culture and set in a truly relaxing environment. In this historic destination with a truly unique design, you can enjoy private moments to yourself and really unwind or sit and watch the everyday life of local people from your balcony. satrihouse.com
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao - Positioned on top of a hill, gazing across the sacred mountains, Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is an unforgettable place to stay. This intimate gem of a hotel is well appointed with teak, silk and fresh cotton accents. With a reputation as one of the most serene Luang Prabang hotels, Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is a haven of peace. Relax, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy stepping back into a more gracious era. belmond.com
Mount Phousi - Also called The Sacred Hill, Mount Phousi is the geographical as well as the spiritual center of the city and is striking from a distance. The peak offers a good climb and affords a stunning panorama of the city it crowns, with shimmering rivers and jungle-clad mountains beyond. There are hundreds of steps to negotiate with several stops to see the temples, rest under the shady trees and admire the magical views. visit-laos.com
Kuang Si (Xi) Falls - Kuang Si (Xi) Waterfall is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers of breathtaking cascades leading to a 50 meter drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools make great swimming holes and the weather at the waterfalls is noticeably cooler, making it a really good place to escape the heat. visit-laos.com
Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park - The forests around Kuang Si Waterfall have always attracted a large number of butterflies. Now the Kuang Si Butterfly Park gives both local and foreign visitors an opportunity to view them up close and provides another attraction to see while you’re already visiting the falls and the bear sanctuary. tripadvisor.com
Night Market - Luang Prabang night market is something not to be missed when visiting this charming city. It's an amazing sight and offers the most extensive collection of handicrafts in the country. Every evening a kilometer-long stretch of road is closed to vehicle traffic and turned into a walking and shopping street while the market takes place with more than 300 handicraft vendors selling their handicrafts. Simply wandering around chatting with the vendors will enrich your Lao cultural experience.
Carpe Diem Restaurant - Fine food and wine on and around the magnificent Kuang Si waterfalls. Enjoy this magical place surrounded by trees, flowers and butterflies while contemplating the falls. carpediem.la