My image galleries will show, what makes Luang Prabang a paradise for photography and why you should go there. Because your camera loves what your eyes love and vice versa.
Luang Prabang Night Market
Asian markets are mostly colorful, but not all of them have a beautiful atmosphere. The big ones are often too busy and are all about fake designer bags. But Luang Prabang Night Market has that certain something: A friendly feel and lots of beauty. Even from a close perspective the stalls are appealing. Many vendors sell real handicraft. What’s more, there are people from different ethnic groups.
Scenic River Landscapes
Luang Prabang is located at the confluence of the rivers Nam Khan and the much more famous Mekong. Both riverfronts offer atmospheric photo spots. The Mekong has an interesting river life, because many people in Laos spend much day time there. The long boats are often used by families. From time to time you see people wearing conical hats.. From the river you can see authentic villages with bamboo houses and beautiful karst mountains. The river landscape around Luang Prabang will give you a peaceful feeling. In town you can book Mekong daytrips.
Golden monasteries and Colonial Style
Once the royal residence was in Luang Prabang. The royal family lived there until the communist revolution in den 1970s. The town is full of outstanding golden monasteries. Luang Prabang has been listed as UNESCO World heritage since more than 20 years. This is because of the unique mix of buddhist and colonial architecture of the 19th and 20th century. Unsurprisingly, there are many boutique hotels. In comparison to other places they are not that expensive.
In the colonial shophouses there are hip cafes with great foods today. The splendid interior design is thoroughly renovated. Foodies will fall in love with Luang Prabang. You will find the French heritage predominantly in the restaurants. There is international high quality food available from fresh croissants to Middle East cuisine .But also traditional laotian cooking is cultivated. As a vegetarian (mostly vegan) I found a good variety of choices. I found for example food of ethnic minorities in a veganized version. Although we really liked the pretty cafes and restaurants, we mostly decided to have dinner at the fabulous nightmarket. It offers delicious little meals and there is nothing better than to have a cold Beer Lao with them.
When in Luang Prabang you can visit different waterfalls with a Tuk Tuk. It’s worth the trip as you can have a glimpse into rural Laos. It’s also possible to visit villages of ethnic minorities even if in a touristy version. South East Asia offers lots of beautiful waterfall with tropical plants and local people having picknick there. But the Tat Kuang Si waterfall was special because of his ultra tuquoise color. People enjoy bathing in the lower pools. When I saw the waterfall in its full size, I was just speechless. “Not of this world” was my first thought.
Hundreds of Monchs
Every morning monchs collect alms in Luang Prabang. I imagined seeing hundreds of them at sunrise, which was the reason I had put this town on my bucketlist. I found this exotic and wonderful. Many of the monchs in Luang Prabang are still children or teenagers. During the day heat they often carry umbrellas. The Nam Khan Riverside makes a good spot to watch them. We did this many hours sitting at a nice cafe instead of rushing from one tour to another. Slow Life with a good cafe and lots of beauty.
If you like to learn about travelphotography of Luang Prabang in depth, I recommend you this Field Guide.
If you liked my blog post, you might also be interested in my article on Ecotourism in Nepal: Community Trekking.
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23 thoughts on “My Camera Loves: Luang Prabang / Laos”
Your pictures are beautiful. I love the colors of Asia – markets, temples, green nature… and I love the fact that there’s vegetarian food! Thanks for a lovely discovery
Thanks very much! Yes, Luang Prabang is a great place for veggies. You will find a great choice there.
I’ve heard of this place but never really had the desire to go as it seems to have been a bit destroyed by tourism. Anthony Bourdain did a bit on the town a while back. I’d be curious to know if the monks have a different/bigger diet now that a lot of tourists come here to hand out rice. Not saying that is good or bad, just curious about it. Looks like you had a good time.
Thanks very much for commenting, Meg. Luang Prabang is of course a touristy place, but I feel that it preserved a lot of its charms. It was one of the most authentic Asian areas I’ve seen so far. We had a great time indeed.
Beautiful pictures! I already knew I wanted to visit Laos, particularly Luang Prabang and you have definitely solidified that!!
Thank you so much, Cali. Happy you enjoyed my content and got more motivation to visit this wonderful place.
Wow, what a beautiful post! Your photos are amazing!! its seems you had an awesome experience :-0 Thanks for sharing with us!! i hope to see the Hundreds of Monchs in real
Thanks a lot, Hra! I’m keeping my fingers crossed you will make it to Luang Prabang soon. You will spot a lot of monchs for sure.
I was in Vietnam and Cambodia in March, and Laos is on my list for my return to the Mekong. I can only agree that Southeast Asia is incredibly photographic. Lovely photos, thank you for sharing! 🙂
It makes me so happy that you like my photos. Thank you so much. Yes, Southeast Asia is very phtogenic and Luang Prabang even more 😉
i love waterfalls. where’s the pic. otherwise great read about Laos. Might add to countries to explore in Asia 🙂
Dear Rosi, Thanks for commenting :-). Find some waterfall pictures in my Flickr album. https://flic.kr/s/aHskNFDoHq
Your camera really does love Luang Prabang / Laos! I must admit, I couldn’t really picture the area before reading your blog. Now I want to see the landscapes and the night markets. I want to visit and try the local foods and spend some time exploring the golden monasteries. So fascinating!
This is such a nice feedback, Patricia! Thanks a lot for your lovely comment. I am really happy that I managed to inspire.
Wow! Looks like a cool place. I didn’t realize there was so much nature. Love the pictures of the monks – Nice captures.
Thank you, Danielle! Yes, Laos is very green and calm. The Mekong has a very peaceful atmosphere and the lush jungles with its waterfall are brilliant, too. You will find everything very close to Luang Prabang.
Never really thought about visiting Laos but it’s moved rapidly up my list of countries to go this year. Love the vibrant photos and guide 🙂 especially the ones of the young monks, thanks for the inspiration Xx
Thank you so much for your nice comment. Laos had also not been my top choice before. But in the end it was one of the most rewarding destinations in South East Asia.
I’ll be going there in January and your photos are making me more excited to go there, especially the colorful night market!
Hi Dan, It makes me very happy to read this. I’m sure you will have a wonderful time in Luang Prabang. Cheers, Ricarda