Backpacking Laos – Majestic Luang Prabang

  • Awakening to Luang Prabang
  • Breakfast on the banks of the mighty Mekong River
  • Sights and sounds of Luang Prabang
  • Traditional Laotian massage
  • Internet and a good book
  • Dinner and street night markets

Awakening to Luang Prabang

I came to from my sleep induced coma around 10am and really didn’t get my act together until about 11am – I guess I was somewhat bus lagged and in a bit of a zombie like state.

I showered and realised that my stomach was screaming at me for some food, since I had not eaten anything substantial to eat in about 24 hours. Unless you call Oreos substantial that is?

Breakfast on the banks of the mighty Mekong River

I went next door to the Mekong Fish Café and ordered a ham, cheese, tomato and sausage pizza with a large lemon juice. Yummo – it was heavenly as I sat back on the bank of the Mekong River taking in my first real up close and personal sights of the beautiful Mekong in all its glory. The water was extremely muddy with a huge sweeping currents dragging the odd green foliage of water bush along with it. I was literally sitting 20 meters away from the water – I was so amazed and impressed by this river, probably due to the fact that I had no expectations for it or what it would look like, boy was I pleasantly surprised. The might Mekong is mesmerizing!!

Sights and sounds of Luang Prabang

I went for my usual wander around town just to take in the sights, sounds and general feel for the place. I often like to do this for a few hours when I arrive somewhere new, it’s almost like a traveling ritual that I have become a custom to. I saw a group of guys along the way constructing a building with some Asian style scaffolding made out of extremely large bamboo sticks instead of sturdy metal poles which I am used to seeing back home. I thought this looked quite inferior and unstable however I guess this is just the way they do things in Asia and it seems to works.

As the day went on I began to realize what a magnificent and special place Luang Prabang really is. It is without a doubt the most beautiful place that I have visited on my south-east Asian backpacking journey thus far. It just seems so rich in culture predominantly due to its fusions of old French colonial buildings, friendly Buddhist locals, clean streets and public areas and the slow pace in which life seems to tick tock.

I wandered around the town a while longer where I was able to check out some of the local Buddhist temples and monuments, some of which I was greeted by ever so friendly local monks.

Traditional Laotian massage

After the horrendous bus trip last night and this morning I felt like I deserved a traditional Lao massage. Just a few doors down from my guesthouse there was a massage parlor where I paid 40,000 kip ($4.50 USD) for an hour-long massage.

Wow this was amazing – the Laotian girl had the hands of an angel. This has been the best massage I have ever had before. After becoming a lot less relaxed and loosened up I continued to wandered around town a little bit more where I came across some locals in the street selling some of their local art works. I bought a few small pieces since they were really beautiful but in the same vein I didn’t want to lug huge paintings around with me for the rest of my trip. I did this on my travels to Cuba and learnt my lesson there in 2005.

Internet and a good book

I found myself a little internet café and I thought that I should update everyone back home on what a magnificent little part of the world I had discovered. At the internet café there were a number of popular books for sale amongst western travelers – I was stuck between buying “Mr Nice Guy” by Howard Marks and “The Beach” by Alex Garland.

I decided to go for “The Beach” especially since it is about a young man’s journey backpacking throughout south-east Asia all by himself – I could very well relate to this and considering the movie is in my top 5 favourites the book was hard to go past.

Dinner and street night markets

I made my way back to the guesthouse where I read for a couple more hours and decided to get up and go for some dinner at the Coconut House Restaurant – again I had one of my favourites chicken stir fry with noodles and of course the awesome Beer Lao.

After dinner I ended up meandering along the street where there were night markets being held. I ended up falling in love with and buying a traditional Laotian chess set completely carved out of stone and wood. It was slightly expensive at 310,000 kip ($35 USD) but I love it so much that I had to have it – it will make for a memorable souvenir that will look fantastic on a table at home somewhere.

Ok so maybe I didn’t learn my lesson in 2005 on my travels to Cuba – it appears as though I still get caught out buying souvenirs and lugging them around with me for the rest of the trip. However, in defense of this what if I pass this opportunity up to purchase this souvenir and never see one like it again. I know I will be kicking myself that I should have picked it up along the way. It not everyday that I am hanging around the local Luang Prabang night markets.

Three tall bottles of Beer Lao and I was feeling pretty drunk so I decided to head back to the Sokdee Guesthouse. On the way I was tempted by a few local marijuana and cocaine pushers trying to sell me some stuff – but I am not that keen to get mixed up into the drugs scene in Asia – heard their jails aren’t the best.

All in all I reckon Luang Prabang is ACES in my books!!

Josh Boorman


Backpacking Addictz

Twitter: @backpackaddictz

Backpacking Addictz is a website set up by backpackers for the use of backpackers. On this site you will find a lot of very valuable information surrounding different destinations around the world and tips and advice on budget travel and backpacking. You will also find an enthusiastic and insightful backpacking blog which is regularly updated with new posts and article.

Backpacking Addictz – Backpacking Guides are a fantastic, cheap and easy way to get hold of a vast amount of backpacking information prior to setting off on your backpacking adventure.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Joshua Boorman

Joshua Boorman

Founder & Editor in Chief at Backpacking Addictz
Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.
Joshua Boorman
About The Author

Joshua Boorman

Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.


  • Abbey Bridgeford

    April 2, 2010

    Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

  • Josh


    April 3, 2010

    Thanks Abbey I really appreciate your kind comments and support.

    Stay in touch and in the mean time jump on our Free Newsletter list and become a Facebook fan 😉

    Travel safe

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field