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Good Side trips from Luang Prabang?

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Hi-
My husband and I will be travelling in Thailand and Laos the first 3 weeks of July. We are in our 50's, in good shape and definitely do our best to have "authentic" experiences of the non-touristy sort (though we do like a bit of luxury when it comes to hotels).

We plan to spend 6 days based in Luang Prabang--decided not to do the drive to Vientiane. We'd love to hear suggestions on day and/or overnight trips that would be good out of LP. We know about the basics: the caves, the city itself, boat trip up Mekong; but if we want to go a bit further afield, what do you suggest? Also, for outside the city, any suggestions for guides?

We'd so like to hear from you--this is such an amazing forum with such knowledgeable and helpful travelers! Thank you for your thoughts in advance.

sp

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