Luang Prabang was without doubt a nice surprise! After spending 2 months travelling around South East Asia, this (very famous and) lovely town in Laos was a new breath of fresh air to us. It was great to unwind in a different atmosphere that really didn’t feel like South East Asia at all.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can feel a bit like the city stopped a few decades ago. Nonetheless, there are plenty of delicious restaurants, cafés and bars to enjoy the chilled vibes of the town.
The Mekong River also plays a big part in the livelihood of the city. Cutting through the hills and right in the middle of Luang Prabang, it sits quietly offering a beautiful view for all to appreciate.
In the 10 days I’ve spent walking the streets of Luang Prabang, I found several different, delicious and chilled places to eat, work & drink.
Food Guide: Luang Prabang
Eating in Luang Prabang is a easy like a Sunday morning. You have so many options, Western & Asian to try that it’s difficult to go wrong. Here are a few of my favourite:
A typical and well rated Laotian restaurant which besides serving delicious, haute cuisine food also trains local youngsters learn English and basic hospitality skills to help them get out of poverty.
The whole menu offers only local delicacies and pretty good options for vegetarians, although portion size is always a problem for me..you know, the fancier the restaurant, the smaller the portion (yes, I eat way too much for my own good).
Getting there: 100 Sisavang Vatana Road, Ban Wat Nong (Between the French Institute and the Mekong River)
Sa Bai Dee
If you are vegetarian and secretly miss that McDonald’s taste every now and then, then you have to come to Sa Bai Dee and try their Vegetarian Burger! Although not vegan, as it uses an egg-omelet sort of patty, the sauce just make the burger come alive in your mouth. Too good not to try (seriously)!
Getting there: Kingkitsarath Rd, just a few blocks away from the entrance to Utopia
If you ever go to Luang Prabang know that the city is no place to mischievous behaviour. The town has a curfew (11pm) which forces all businesses to close early and kick patrons out. However, there are still a few places to enjoy a couple of drinks and relax in the city’s chilled vibe.
Lao Lao Garden
Although we’ve eaten there and had a great first impression, the place disappoints when it comes to food service. We had a couple of orders delayed but the place itself is just too good for a drink to ignore. Really. Go around the fire to warm up or go upstairs to play some pool. Otherwise, just find yourself a seat and relax with reggae music on the background.
Getting there: Phousi Road Ban Aphay, same road as Sabaidee Restaurant
You cannot go to Luang Prabang without checking out Utopia. The most famous bar for backpackers is indeed a must-stop. During the day, the bar is chilled and perfect to work (on the days they have internet…it’s Asia guys!), relax or even do yoga. At night, the beats go up and the places fills up with cool travellers sharing their latest enlightening spiritual experiences while sipping on some spirit. Truly cool place though, specially if you can get a sit facing the Mekong.
Getting there: Ban Aphay follow the signs on the UNESCO brick paths to the river.
Working is not exactly on the minds of many while they travel, but if you are travelling long term or are a digital nomad, you need to find good spots with decent internet to keep up with all the work you have to do. So, while I was in Luang Prabang I found some really sweet spots:
While also an amazing place to eat as they have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, the rooftop with views over the city plus a quiet room to work where a great find. Peace and quiet and a good coffee kept us going for quite a while (more like 6 hours really).
Getting there: Sisavangvong Road, Pakham Village (same road as the night markets)
Don’t let the small facade deceive you. When you get inside you’ll be pleasantly surprised with plenty of space to sit back and relax or even work. The food there is also plentiful (like, really plenty) and delicious. Plus, fast internet and 2 home cats that make this restaurant the perfect workspace.
Getting there: Chao Fa Ngum Road, Wat That (again, same road as Lao Lao Garden and Sa Bai Dee Restaurant, just different names I guess!)
Luang Prabang has definitely made into out top picks in South East Asia and we loved spending so much time there.
Have you been there yet? Or are planning to go soon? Let me know, I’d love to hear more about what I’ve missed there or maybe I can recommend you somewhere to go?
Peace & Love,