Laos: Northern Loop
Luang Prabang is a stunningly beautiful city. The architecture a is combination of ancient traditional Lao monasteries dating back over 500 hundred years and French Colonial style from the 19th and 20th centuries. Nestled in mountains at the confluence of the Nam Khan and the mighty Mekong rivers the setting could not be more perfect. Luang Prabang was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, in order to preserve the temples and ensure that new development is limited and in keeping with this magical city. There are over 32 ancient temples within easy walking distance.
Wat Xieng Thong is unmissable and undoubtedly one of Luang Prabang's finest temples. Constructed in 1559 by King Say Setthathirath it is a beautiful monastery displaying typical Lao style. The old Royal Palace, now a National Museum houses many religious and royal treasures, not to mention the King's collection of old American 50's and 60's automobiles.
With its many fine restaurants, stunning views, great markets and shops and chilled out atmosphere Luang Prabang is definitely Lao's hidden treasure.