Setting location on a peninsula, The Old Quarter of Luang Prabang is a part of UNESCO Heritage Site in a bustling UNESCO-protected city area combined with history and culture.
The old quarter is endowed with picturesque scenery nestled among impressive verdant mountains surrounded by the Nam Khan and the Mekong River.
Awkwardly restful life of Luang Prabang Old Town
If you are an antique addict, it is worth exploring the uniquely diverse culture of this old quarter beside the familiar Ubud, Bali and Hoi An ancient town, Vietnam. Immersing yourself in the tranquility of the quarter, you will be impressed by the charming innocence of the local and their peaceful life. Without any loudness, all you could hear is the song of the birds tweeting from the lush gardens and a bountiful of bicycles around the streets. It seems that any little whispering sound could disturb the morning serenity.
Explore the laid-back town of Luang Prabang
Plenteous cultures to explore in Luang Prabang Old Town
Luang Prabang Old Quarter is home to the highest concentration of well-preserved historic buildings and spectacular Buddhist temples in the former capital of Laos. Aside from the traditional art shades of Laos, the architecture in the Old Quarter was profoundly influenced by the integration of Western and Eastern cultural exchanges.
This wonderland has attracted multitude brilliant artisans in field of carpentry, masonry and pottery all over Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Lao, etc. It contributed to the imprint of diverse multinational culture on each artwork over centuries. In addition to architecture, the customs, ceremonies, beliefs and traditional cuisines still remain and last for generations in the Old Quarter.
The featured architecture of French colonial style in the old quarter of Luang Prabang
Awe-inspiring wander in Luang Prabang Old Quarter
Thanks to the healthy natural environment filled with fresh air and atmospheric streets, it’s perfect to spend a couple of peaceful hours taking a stroll around picturesque vintage houses and French colonial-style villas then soaking in the charm of this pretty little old town. Following tourists’ footsteps, time elapses slowly with pleasant street vendors and hospitality Lao people in every corner of the streets. When you want to say Hello or Thank you, don’t forget to say “Sabaidee” or “Khop chai” respectively to feel the real essence of Laos.
Wandering along the narrow and curved streets, you will easily recognize most the buildings still remain traditional materials of brick, wood and no more than two floors. All feature beautiful ruby walls, red brick sidewalks and construction dating back to the 18th century. The traces of time are represented in the architectural styles of every building where tiled roof is covered with moss and vegetation; gray mold walls are carved with a strange animal or an odd tale.
Best time to visit
The ideal time to visit ranges between 8am to 10am if you desire to take a step back in time and get away from your hustle and bustle life. The Old Quarter offers a gateway to a plenty of city’s temples including Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Sensoukharam, the two most striking tourist attractions in Luang Prabang. There are multitude of captivating sights to marvel at every corner. Whether it’s the gold trims from a temple reflecting the sunlight, a well-tented ally, awe-inspiring handicraft stores or a group of friendly monks.
Night streets of the Old Town in Luang Prabang
The twilight is also a great time to get lost in the walking streets full of shops, restaurants and night markets. The Old Quarter trip will be incomplete if you miss the moment of engrossing dusky sunset over regional mountains. Sipping a well-brewed cup of coffee or a well-mixed cocktail at a coffee shop, one’s absolutely amazed by picturesque views of both Mekong and Khan Rivers surrounded by abundant frangipani trees.
How to get there
Situated on the Northern of Phu Si Mountain that dominates the centre of town, cycling through the slow traffic roads is one of the most pleasant ways to discovering Luang Prabang Old Quarter. You can find a variety of guesthouses, restaurants and tour companies to rent a bicycle. These places scatter from the main street Th sisavangvong to its parallels Th Khem Kong along the Mekong River and Th Kingkitsarat along the Nam Khan River.
Despite the awkward tranquility of the city of Luang Prabang, you can hire a motorcycle to get to the Old Quarter site as long as it doesn’t make any deafening noise.