Luang Prabang experiences a wet and dry season, with peak tourism numbers occurring during the dry season. Dry season lasts from October to April, and temperatures can reach as high as 35°C. There are many religious festivals and celebrations throughout the year, so there are plenty of things to see and do all year round. Typical festivals and events which take place during peak season include the Wat Phou Festival, and fireworks displays can be seen during the Hongsa Elephant Festival and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Day. Be sure to book hotels and flights to Luang Prabang well ahead of time.
Wet season lasts from May to October, and the humid tropical storms keep tourism numbers low. There are fewer flights this season, however hotel rooms will be at a yearly low.
The shoulder season is typically from December to March, and temperatures are a more pleasant 17°C. Plenty of hotel rooms will stay empty, so it may be possible to barter either a room upgrade or a rate reduction. There is typically at least one festival every month, and the shoulder season is no exception. Visitors can enjoy the Buddhist Boun Khoun Khao and Boun Makha Bousa festivals in January and February.
Luang Prabang, which translates to “Royal Buddha Image”, is a city in north central Laos where the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers meet. Prior to 1975, the city was known as Chiang Thong, and was the capital of the Kingdom of Laos. The city can trace its history as far back as 698 A.D., with many historical and cultural landmarks around the area. Modern tourists will also have plenty to see and do, also.
Travellers with an appreciation for history, culture, and nature will be delighted with this city. Surrounding the city are many naturally formed landmarks, such as the Kuang Si Falls, which is idyllic for hikes. The Golden City Temple was built nearly 500 years ago, and features many art works and mosaics that will be a unique experience for any visitor.
Luang Prabang is regarded as the gastronomic capital of Laos, and is a centre for table arts. Experience local and international cuisine at one of dozens of restaurants throughout the city centre, are visit one of the local market stalls.
Many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other, however to reach one of the historical or cultural landmarks outside of the city, a tour bus or taxi will be required. Taxis should be avoided if possible, as they may attempt to take advantage or a tourist’s unfamiliarity with Laos. Failing that, try to agree on a price upfront.
The closest airport to city is Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ), a mere 3 miles (5 km) away. Car rentals, shuttle buses, and an airport provided taxi service are all available throughout the terminals.