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Luang Prabang is over rated

Travel Forums Asia Luang Prabang is over rated

1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

I've heard Europeans describing it as Europe and that its so French...
And that it such a paradise and that time stood still...

I spend a total of 4 weeks in Laos, but one day and night in LP, it had nothing that made me want to stay longer.

I spent 3 weeks in CHIANG MAI, and that place is not a UNESCO heritage site, but it was more charming. If I wanted monks walking in the streets, BANGKOK has no shortage of that sight. Temples? I spent too much time in Bangkok.

But the capital is nice... I guess I expected it to be so poor, that I was just so charmed by its glorious landmarks. People say there nothing much to see in Vientien and the go rave about LP, like its ANCIENT wonderland... China has ancient places every corner and they are not UNESCO heritage sites, but they are better than LP, which is the TOURISM DESTINATION of 2008.

I AM NOT SAYING ITS NOT WORTH VISITING, I just think its way too over rated. I mean calling it European, come on!
The French bread doesn't even taste a bit of French.

2. Posted by tham (Budding Member 10 posts) 7y

Haha, I agree with you. Visited LP in 2004 and disappointed by it. May be too much stars given and expectation set too high. I like Vientiane more than LP, and most ppl said there is nothing in Vientiane. Too bad..

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

That's why I have to laugh when people ask you to plan their itinerary for them, or ask you for the "best" place/hotel/airline - everyone is turned on by different strokes!

4. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 7y

Quoting Swept Away

I spent 3 weeks in CHIANG MAI, and that place is not a UNESCO heritage site, but it was more charming. If I wanted monks walking in the streets, BANGKOK has no shortage of that sight. Temples? I spent too much time in Bangkok.

Luckily, everyone has a different taste and I for example really liked Luang Prabang and prefered it way more than Vang Vieng or Vientienne. I thought it was a nice little town (33.000 people living there approx.) with a great atmosphere and sorry, but I think there's no way you can compare it to big cities such as Chang Mai or a metropolis like Bangkok .

I stayed for 4 days and found it a very interesting place, enjoyed the night market and a day trip to the pretty waterfalls nearby. In addition, I thought people were very friendly and helpful there (I needed to sort out my plane ticket to Vietnam). That was something I did not experienced to the same extend in other towns. So, all in all I'd recommend it to go to other people but as mentioned that's based on my personal experience.

5. Posted by Beggsy (Budding Member 30 posts) 7y

That's funny - I really liked LP. Thought it had a lovely atmosphere, loved the markets, the bowling alley (comedy!) and especially the little narrow alley of food stalls just off the main road - there's a lady down there who sells the most amazing pork broth - chuck in some herbs, chillies, lime and fish sauce and it's the best thing i ate in Laos!

Of course, I was there with a gf, which definitely changes the dynamic. Maybe it wouldnt have been so fun on my own.

On the other hand, I thought Chang M. was hugely overrated! People had led me to expect a paradise - I thought it was sleazy and boring. Sure, the cooking courses are fun, but otherwise the best time I had was seeing the city on a motorbike - but that's great most places.

But if everyone was the same we'd not even bother going these places huh.

6. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 7y

I just loved Luang Prabang when I was there 2 years ago-

I thought the temples were great, a nice museum, the night market was cool- I was there at the end of my trip and that was definitely a great place to buy all kinds of gifts and souvenirs. Lots of good places to eat, and tons of backpacker accomodations and the like- easy for banking and arranging flights and travel elsewhere etc...
Seeing the monks for their morning rounds was something I had never seen before and was quite memorable.
I did the waterfall and the caves trips- to be honest those were nothing special, but did a really reat biking excursion leaving from LP. And my highlight was a day long cooking class- I learnt a lot and still use the recipes I picked up even a couple years later.

In fact, if there was 1 place in SE Asia where I would want to live, seriously I would consider Luang Prabang...
But that's just me...

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 7y

I loved it too - we ended up hanging around for a few days longer than initially planned as we liked it so much. It was a lovely place to chill out; lots to see, beautiful buildings and good food too.

8. Posted by joey22 (Travel Guru 561 posts) 7y

I loved LP too

I've been using Travellerspoint for nearly 5 years and have to agree with an earlier post that it is almost worthless people asking the question 'what is such and such a place like?'.

Ask me what Oxford is like and I will give you a much different answer to someone who is visiting the city for 2-3 days on a tour of Europe.

We all love to travel and all have different opinions on places. For the main part we all also visit a place for a few days and then move on. In that time we might eat at 2 restaurants and stay in one guesthouse/hotel/flophouse/5 star luxury resort. We have our own views based on what we have seen.

I would personally go back to Luang Prabang tomorrow. I would also go back to Chaing Mai and Bkk. They are, however, 3 very different places.

Luang Prabang might very well be over-rated but it is still pretty cool pitching up there after 2 days on a slow boat from northern Thailand. I can clearly remember a steep set of steps with the golden tower of a wat rising above and a strong sense of excitement as yet another new place loomed.

Anywhere could be described as over-rated. Just go and have a look for yourselves and make your own minds up.

Rant over.

Joey