Luang Prabang is the most visited city in Laos. Travelers love it for the abundance of Temples, Markets, and friendly locals. The old city of Luang Prabang is part of the Unesco World Heritage since 1995 and it has been the capital of Lan Xang – the Kingdom of a Millon Elephants up until 1946!
Despite the city opening for tourism in the early 90s, there are only around 700 000 people visiting this place every year. Comparing to other popular tourist destinations, this is nothing. That is probably why Luang Prabang is still very charming, authentic and the people that live there are very friendly, open and kind.
Even though it’s not as popular as some cities in neighboring Thailand, Luang Prabang has a lot to offer and the food game is strong. Whether you are looking for local treats or western food, you won’t be disappointed. I spent 10 days in LP exploring different options and here are my recommendations:
Tamarind Tree Restaurant Mekong
This place was our food Mecca. Along with other travelers that I met in LP we would come here almost every day! We would order something different each time but it’s almost impossible to try all of the amazing dishes Tamarind Tree has to offer. I know what you’re thinking: big menu, poor quality. Nope, not here. Everything is fresh and absolutely delicious. Our favorites were the curries and soups. Dishes are priced between 15 000 and 22 000 Kip (1,5€ – 2,2€) so it’s a steal!
Address: On the Mekong River if front of the Phousi Guesthouse. Map
The Night Market is a great place to try local specialities for a very affordable price. Everything you buy here has been prepared on that day by the locals ot os being grilled right in front of you. I definitely recommend the grilled chicken breasts, springrolls and the famous coconut pancakes.
All around the city you will find little stalls where the locals sell freshly made sandwiches with pork, beef, chicken, or simply vegetables. There is a lot of them, but I can recommend this place for their fresh and soft baguette, good meat and toppings. If you are missing the famous Vietnamese Banh Mi, this is a place to go. Plus, it was recommended by a local, it’s always a safe bet.
Address: In front of the Dara Market. Map
SaSa bar is a fantastic place on the Mekong. It’s super cozy and you can admire the sunset over the Mekong River from their terrace. They have the longest happy hour I have ever seen (from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.), the cocktails are great and the food delicious. Try the fried chicken, it’s to die for. Alicia, who runs the place is very friendly and was super helpful with our research for a place to rent. They also offer sunset cruises on the most beautiful boats in LP.
Address: On the Mekong River. Map
Khmu 2 Restaurant
Recently opened, this place was recommended by the owner of my Guesthouse (We House, definitely recommended for the spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and service.). The food here is very tasty, the service is good and you have a wide choice of meats that will melt in your mouth.
Address: In front of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Map