Luang Prabang Guide
Knockout beauty, stunning crumbling architecture, pristine cafe's galore and the mighty Mekong.
Truly a rare gem. Luang Prabang takes you off the tourist trail and deposits you into another world. This sleepy village feels like home, plenty of International jet-set families are found enjoying the laid-back atmosphere here.
Magical, mystical little river town....
A Former Royal capital, French colonial beauty: A world heritage site no less.For such a sleepy little Mekong river town, there really is an abundance of things to do... OK so getting here might be for the more adventurous among you. The little twin-engine planes that fly in here fly an exhilarating route through the ravine that cuts through the Luang Prabang Range of mountains (these have begun as the Eastern most range of the Thai Highlands). An immediate taster of daily life in this town... fast fast, slow...Morning MekongAs the sun comes up, foreign families head off for an early morning breakfast beside the misty Mekong, in preparation for the day ahead. All activities start early here the town empties around 7am, when the families with older kids rush off for a day of adrenalin fuelled activity. A Laos speciality.Kayaking Mighty Mekong rapids, trekking, rafting, cycling, touring the jungles, tiger trails, walking and climbing waterfalls, the list is endless...But for those with babes and toddlers, this makes for a very sleepy Luang Prabang to be explored in the mornings, wander, poke around at your leisure.
Which Family Pod? Squidgy baby; Toddling around ; Energetic explorers
Tiny Tip: The majority of the daily activities and tours bookable in the town, whilst might look pleasant enough, are not for the faint-hearted. Most certainly not for pre-schoolers or babies! .
Go for a wander, the streets are quiet,
the architecture stunning..
Plenty of French style cafe's & coffee shops, in the town or at the side of the Mekong. There is no point in listing those that are family friendly, the whole town is set up for families and most establishments have squishy sofa's, kids menu's, books and toys.You can take a boat trip out onto the Mekong - for 5 minutes or 5 hours... its lovely sitting and watching locals who live on the riverside, come to life (although at sunset this is spectacular)Meander through the streets, stopping at shimmery Wat's (in abundance) visit the Old French Quarter, have a chat to a gap toothed local lady sat in a doorway, you could watch the early morning tranquil alms ceremony as monk's in orange robes wander through the town. You could meet a novice monk in the Luang Prabang library. Try out the lovely wooden playground (see reviews here) the opportunities are endless...
Which Family Pod? Squidgy baby; Toddling around; Energetic explorers
Tiny Tip: This place comes alive as sun comes up and sun sets, food is not served late here. Most people are in bed early, making it a perfect place for those with littlies.
The fabled night market...
As pretty as a picture, low tents with coloured lanterns, bolts of brightly coloured cloths and all sorts of handicrafts and toys.Wander down side streets and find food night-markets setting up, lovely large dishes full of so many different types of curries or satay's on lemongrass sticks, whole fish in bamboo skewers, herbs and spices or simply a cold Beer-Lao or fruit-shake.
As the sun starts to set: The town starts to buzz, families are back and have exhilarating stories to recall, the fabled night-market starts to set-up and the stylish restaurants come alive (the food here is astonishingly good) Plenty of Asian-Fusian set in stunning courtyards, tropical gardens full of twinkly lights or cool colourful bars, with squishy cushions so you can watch life go by, side by side, two storey lovely little shuttered, balconied buildings open up and ALL sell or do something, its really a feast for the senses. (All establishments welcome kids)
Tiny Tip: A baby carrier would be better here as its hard to navigate a buggy through the teeny tiny lanes of stalls. Its safe here, best if mum goes for a rummage whilst dad and squidgy baby enjoy a loll on a squishy sofa in a bar next to the market (or visa versa!)