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21 In Culture/ Food Envy/ Laos/ Religion + Spirituality/ Travel

Loving Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang was the only city I visited that I thought, I could live here. I loved the atmosphere, the culture, the Buddhism, the food and so much more about this city. I wish I could have spent even more time here, but I truly cannot wait to bring Matt here and explore this city even more!  IMG_6204

While on a walk one day, I loved seeing these monks and their brightly colored robes against the white wall they were painting. It’s such a beautiful culture!

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This was the beautiful alter inside of our Guest House. I loved seeing these beautiful murals on the wall every time I walked up to my room.

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How can you not love this stunning view of the river and the mountains? Stacey and I got to pass by here multiple times each day. It was so stunning!

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One of the many, many Buddhist temples in Luang Prabang silhouetted by a Laos sunset. Evening-time strolls were one of my very favorite things to do in this city. It’s so walkable and there is beauty on every corner.

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On our first night in Luang Prabang we discovered the little food market that popped up at night and we got loads and loads of food for very, very cheap! I got 5 spring rolls for about 50 cents (above).

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This beautiful display was one of my favorite parts of eating at the night food market! They gave me a bowl and I filled it up with as much as I could, for less than two dollars! It was so incredible and such a great option for our budget!

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Wat Siphoutthabath: This temple complex was never open when we went by, but we still greatly enjoyed the grounds, I talked to a small monk and I loved taking in this stunning Eastern architecture.

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The Royal Palace’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha: Photos aren’t allowed inside the temple of the Emerald Buddha, but I loved the green and gold facade.

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Inside the Royal Palace: I thought that the Royal Palace wasn’t anything to get especially excited about because this room is the only one in the palace that was truly beautiful. Plus, there isn’t a ton of information about the history of the palace itself, just clothing and decorations from past residents. If I had limited time in Luang Prabang, I would pick other things over this.

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Mount Phou Si: Mount Phou Si was a Luang Prabang highlight for me, which is saying something because I absolutely loved Luang Prabang! There are steps leading up to the top of the mountain. There are portions where it levels off with statues of the Buddha and fountains. Not to mention, views of the Mekong River. Then you follow the steps up to the top where you see this massive gold stupa, a spectacular view of Luang Prabang & the mountains, and you can go inside the tiny temple Wat Chom Si. IMG_6327

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Seriously… This view is one that sticks with you.

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The Stupa of Wat Chom Si

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Wat Chom Si: This teeny temple at the top of Mount Phou Si was such a beautiful, spiritual temple. There was something about being up on top of there and being so moved by the view that this temple felt incredibly spiritual to me. This temple had such a presence and was a perfect place to take a few moments and be grateful to be exactly where I was.

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Laos Garden: Stacey and I had dinner here and it was one of the coziest outdoor spaces I have ever seen. I loved the way these vines draped down over the trees and the lights shined through them. Plus, they gave us each a free shot of Laos whiskey with our dinner, not that we were especially in the mood for it! Ha

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Luang Prabang has some of the prettiest neighborhoods with quaint cafes, with beautiful homes, bright pink flowers all down the streets and palm trees. It was so fun to walk around taking photos and ducking into temples along the way. It was truly beautiful!

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Wat Sop Sickharam: I loved this small neighborhood temple. It was very quiet and peaceful and there weren’t any tourists here. In fact, the only other person there was a young monk sitting at a table outside. Inside, the red walls were painted with figures of the Buddha and the alter had multiple statues and mats on the floor for meditation and worship.

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Plus, the outside of this temple is simply stunning with all the brightly colored and gold paint. The turquoise and gold stupa is gorgeous as well. It is just tucked right into this neighborhood and surrounded by all kinds of trees and plants.

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Wat Sensoukharam: The last neighborhood temple that we popped into had its own charms. Again, there were no tourists, but there was a handful of devotees bowing and praying inside the temple and bowing at the figures outside of the actual temple.

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Some of the offerings left by devotees

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The doors and walls of the temple were unreal. The intricate details of this place were absolutely stunning and one of my favorite temples on this whole trip. The purples, oranges, reds, greens and golds just really caught my attention. Outside of the main temple there was a smaller temple area and it housed this 10-foot-ish figure of the Buddha and of course the building was just as detailed and striking.

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Utopia: This is the epitome of bohemian coziness. I made this place my office-of-the-day twice because I loved it so much. Their drinks (other than beer) were high, but they had appetizers that were entree-sized, delicious and totally affordable. Be sure to check their yoga schedule for river-front yoga sessions.

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Saffron Caffe: This is one of the greatest cafes I’ve ever been to. My friend Blake moved to Laos to work for this cafe and Stacey and I loved it so much that we ate here twice! It’s not the most backpacker-budget-friendly place, but it is some of the greatest food I’ve ever had. For lunch, the first time we visited, we had the veggie sandwich and it. was. delicious. For our last breakfast we went back and ordered their Saffron Breakfast which included a bacon / egg / cheese bagel, a fit salad, and a cinnamon roll. Oh my goodness. Greatest breakfast EVER! Plus, I ordered the delicious caramel frappuccino pictured above. I wish I had been able to bring home loads of coffee because I loved it so very much! If I lived in Luang Prabang I would eat here all the time.

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Stacey was always up for trying local delicacies… That is, if they were sweets! Stacey LOVES her sweets so her dessert-love allowed me to try new things. These were little cakes made of sticky rice and coconut milk. They were chewy, airy and just the right amount of sweet!

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NIGHT MARKET: Stacey and I did some damage on this little night market. I love seeing all of the artwork, the beautiful brightly colored bohemian prints, the purses & pillows and the pants & dresses. Plus, everything is really affordable so I bought a little handful of things here to take home… What to do? Ha

There are so many amazing things to see in Luang Prabang, and this only scratches the surface. Plus, check back next week for two half-day trips Stacey and I took from Luang Prabang: Pac Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls.

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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21 Comments

  • Reply
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    July 24, 2015 at 9:56 am

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    Meghan
    July 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Really stunning photos! The shot of the river and the mountains is incredible.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      July 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you! This city is one of THE MOST photogenic places I’ve ever been. I could truly live here. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    October 1, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Great post and photos! Luang Prabang was my favourite place in Laos. I went seven years ago and often wonder if it’s changed much. I remember climbing the steps at Mount Phou Si very well – think it scarred me for life! So unfit! 🙂

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      October 26, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      It’s deceptively steep isn’t it?! I had done a 12 mile trek in Cambodia a couple weeks before that and climbing those steps seemed harder! Whew. Luang Prabang is one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited; there’s just something about it.

      • Reply
        whereisnoodles
        October 27, 2015 at 2:14 am

        It’s a very special place. Id love to return one day 🙂

  • Reply
    Vonnie
    November 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Those rolls look amazing. I have a friend currently in Laos. Have to share. Thanks for stopping by

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      November 7, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      It’s a really great place – my husband and I are headed back there in October! Thanks for sending this along and checking out my blog! Cheers!

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    Megan Indoe
    June 20, 2017 at 10:52 am

    We absolutely loved Luang Prabang too! From the views out Phou Si, waterfalls at Kuang Si, shopping in the markets, AND that night food market is so amazing! Incredible photos, it seriously took me back!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      June 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      It’s such a photogenic city, isn’t it? I’m finally getting to take my husband there this fall, we’re going to stay in the area for about a month, and I think he’s totally going to fall in love. I’m definitely excited to chow down in some cheap delicious eats again!

  • Reply
    Candy
    June 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Omg, that Utopia place looks amazing. I secretly want a room like that in my home some day 🙂 I love street food/market food and it’s something I look forward to when traveling. Those spring rolls looks delicious and 5 for 50 cents is such a steal! 🙂

  • Reply
    Vibeke Johannessen
    June 21, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Would love to visit Luang Prabang in Laos. Breakfast at Saffron Cafe looks amazing ;D I would probably eat breakfast there everyday I stayed there. Utopia looks lovely too, would love to chill there. Luang Prabang sounds like the perfect place for cultural experiences 😀

  • Reply
    nycgingeronthego
    June 22, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Between the temples and the food I could stay here for days. I’ve heard such great things about Laos. I just did my first ever SEAsia trip, but definitely adding Laos to the bucket list. I also love a good hike and a view when I am traveling. it really helps with the number one priority of FOOD!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    June 23, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Luang Prabang looks very authentic. Was the street food clean and safe?

  • Reply
    Laura
    June 23, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I absolutely loved Luang Prabang! Reading this post and seeing your photos brought forth so many lovely memories from my time there last year. I was a huge fan of that cheap food market. Did you ever check out the alms ceremony early in the morning? It was pretty incredible and made me fall a little bit more in love with Laos. Thanks for sharing!

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