Nestled in the landlocked country of Laos, the city of Luang Prabang offers a calming respite in the midst of the summer heat. Dotted with abundant greenery, lithe palm trees, and majestic mountains, this Laotian capital of old combines such distinct scenery with a long historical legacy and cultural merit. The area is also a UNESCO Heritage Site—in no small part thanks to its iconic architecture, which combines facets of traditional design and European colonial style. If you’re headed to the town, then, checking out these sites would be the perfect way to go about your tour of the city:

  • Wat Xieng Thong. Known as the “Golden City Temple” or the “Golden Tree Monastery,” it is located near the meeting of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. Legend states that the temple was founded by two hermits, who decided to make a monastery near the flame tree that resided there. Since then, the temple has served as many a Lao king’s coronation site. With beautifully sweeping roofs and golden accents, it’s both a sight to behold and a beautiful testament to the country’s history and culture.
  • Royal Palace. The palace is one of the structures that integrate both Lao and French beaux-arts styles, according to Lonely Planet. As to who resided in it, the Royal Palace dates all the way to 1904 during the rule of King Sisang Vong. Nowadays, it serves as a museum for essential Laotian historical items.

If after all that walking you feel a bit tired, worry not—Luang Prabang also has an array of good haunts that you can indulge in, such as the Pizza Phan Luang and the L’Elephant.You can’t leave the place without trying out khao nom kok—it’s an experience you’ll take back with you all the way home.

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