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Luang Prabang- Eat and Stay. Flying into Laos…

Flow into sticky rice time, explore Lao food and linger over coffee and almond croissants! 

The best season to travel is between October and February- however from December onward, be prepared for peak season crowds and prices- especially around Chinese New Year in February.
By March and end of the dry season, the air quality can become very unpleasant from the burning of fields in he region. April during Lao New Year and May are the hottest months.  Cooling rains usually start to fall in June with heaviest rain in August.
Full Moon of September is when the boat races can be seen along the Mekong and Full moon of October marking the end of Awk Pansa, Buddhist Lent- is a lovely time with lanterns and floats on the Mekong.

Luang Prabang salad and sticky rice

Along the Mekong and Nam Khan are numerous local restaurants to enjoy food with a view.  So many places!  has a great intro and write-up on food and places to eat:

Below are a few personal recommendations in town:

For  a culinary Lao experience:

Tamarind  on the Nam Khan river also offers Cooking Classes in their gardens outside of town.
More on:

Bamboo Tree Lao Cooking School

Rosella Fusion:   started by a young Lao enterpreneur, lovely food and reasonable price along Nam Khan river a few steps from Tamarind.  Check out Rosella Fusion Restaurant on Facebook.

Blue Lagoon:
owned by a Lao chef raised in Switzerland offering Lao and European cuisine.

Cafe Toui
just off the main road and a few steps from the Nam Khan.

Le Banneton Cafe and French Bakery:
on the main road down by Wat Khili, fresh morning breads and croissants along with salads and sandwiches.

Saffron–   for the best organic coffee on the Mekong!
Read their story:

Joma Bakery and Cafe–  two locations serving western sandwiches and other treats and where you can catch up with news in the Vientiane Times.

Places to stay in Luang Prabang:
As Luang Prabang becomes a discovered destination, accomodations are going more upscale.  New smaller guesthouses keep opening in beautifully restored buildings where reasonable prices can still be found- especially in low season! 
Check out latest listings on or Agoda.

Staying down at the quiet end of the old town by the tip of the peninsula allows you to roll out of bed and sit in the park by the meeting of the rivers.

A few recommendations:
Boutique Hotels and Guesthouses:

Villa Deux Rivieres along the Nam Khan:

Chaleunxay Villa–  main road around the corner from Wat Xieng Thong.  
Friendly guesthouse with new annex in back. Request upstairs rooms. Email:

Peninsula Villa:   just a few steps up from the Nam Khan.
6 comfy rooms.   Room 4 upstairs has a lovely balcony.
See  or  email:

Senesouk Guesthouse and Villa – along the main road directly opposite Wat Sene with the beautiful standing Buddha image The newer wing in their quieter courtyard just a few steps up from the Nam Khan river.

Mekong River View:

View Point Cafe: run by Mekong River View Hotel.
a most magical spot right at the tip of the peninsula where the Nam Khan meets the Mekong.  Enjoy tea or a meal overlooking the peaceful view.  Right next to the lovely little public park.

Xieng Thong Palace: now a Victoria Hotel
Located just behind beautiful Wat Xieng Thong along the Mekong:

Luxury on the Hill:
La Residence Phou Vao

Mekong Estate–  along the river:

Flying into Laos:

Lao Airlines ATR with Lao Skyway domestic MA60

Visa on arrival available at all airports and most overland crossings. USD 35 and a passport photo.
Visa Cost is more for some nationalities.

Air options:
Lao Airlines flies Luang Prabang to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi and Siem Reap (via Pakse in southern Laos) and other destinations via Vientiane. Operating ATR aircraft and a few Airbus 320s with their Frangipani National Flower Logo. Check SCHEDULE UPDATES POST COVID!

Bangkok Airways – the boutique airline daily flights to Bangkok:

Air Asia:
Bangkok Don Muang Airport direct to Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

Vietnam Airlines between Hanoi and Siem Reap to/from Luang Prabang. Also Hanoi/Vientiane/Phnom Penh/Ho Chi Minh City.

Singapore to Vientiane on SCOOT- budget branch of Singapore Airlines

Boats down the Mekong to Luang Prabang:

A beautiful 2-day  journey down this river where you can unplug and re-charge!

Public Slow Boat can be very basic and crowded and best AVOID the Speedboats which can be very dangerous travel.

Wonderful Join-in Cruise operation; 

or Arrange Private local boat charter via local agent.

Clear Immigration in early morning by 0800am if you wish to continue directly by boat harbour.  If a private boat has been arranged, confirm timings with your local agent or guide. Important to also check the Mekong water levels during the drier season.

You need to break up the trip half way at the market town of Pakbeng where lots of accomodations from budget backpacker places to more upscale are available.

Upscale  Pakbeng Lodge:

Budget: lots of local guesthouses can be found on arrival just up from the boat landing.

Private boat charter down the Mekong and arrangements for northern Laos can be arranged by a great local guide in Luang Prabang, Mr. Khamsouk of Meuang Lao Tours.  Email:

For More on Laos: click here

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