Now to get back to Luang Prabang (after a New York time out), one of my new favorite places on Earth. If you are interested in, or planning on, traveling to Southeast Asia, you MUST put Luang Prabang on your destination list (and plan on spending at least three days there, if not a week)!
1,Spend a day visiting some of Luang Prabang’s 32 shimmering temples, most notably Vat Vixoun, Vat Xieng Thong (pictured below), and Vat Sene.
2,Climb Mount Phousi for sweeping panoramic views of this World Heritage City. Mount Phousi is located in the center of town. Climb the 300 steps to the summit, where golden-spired Wat Chomsi sits, in the late afternoon to watch the sunset over Luang Prabang and the Mekong.
3,Visit the stunning Kuang Sii Waterfalls and Bear Rescue Center.
4,Eat by candlelight with friends, exploring some of LP’s many cafes and bars with lovely outdoor spaces. Some of our favorites include: JoMa Bakery Cafe, Lao Lao Garden, Tangor, and Hive Bar.
5,Channel the Hmong and other mountain tribes at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center. As you exit through the gift shop, be sure to pick up some really cool hand-made gifts. The proceeds go to the hill-tribe people who crafted them.
6,Spend the day (or half a day) washing, riding and learning to train elephants at the Elephant Village.
7,Shop till you drop at the local markets while cruising the streets of LP. Markets include the Phousy Market and the Hmong Night Market.
8,For the actively inclined: Cycle, Kayak or Trek. Some local outfitters include: Green Discovery Laos, White Elephant Adventures, or Action Max Laos.
9,Get your grub on at the night street food market. This food is no-joke. Fill your plate up, all-you-can eat for $1.00 USD!!!
10,Wake up before dawn to pay homage to the monks, young and old alike.
11,Tour the Royal Palace Museum to see an impressive collection of Buddhist art and royal Lao artifacts.
12,Visit the famous Pak Ou Caves.