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Is Luang Prabang becoming too touristy??

Is Luang Prabang becoming too touristy??

Jul 12th, 2005, 06:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 29
Is Luang Prabang becoming too touristy??


I just wanted to ask the opinions of all those out there who have been to Luang Prabang. I have a trip planned and tickets booked to LP. We will be flying in on Nov 1 for 3 nights. I am travelling with my two senior parents so having the plans finalized in advance is key. Now that I have the tix, I can not find rooms there. I am on the waiting lists at the Pansea, the 3 nagas, and the Villa Santi Resort. The Villa Santi Hotel and the Grand Hotel appear to also be booked.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Since I will have my parents with me, I would prefer a hotel to a guesthouse. Also, if all of these hotels are fully booked, do we really want to go there? I really wanted to go off the beaten track, but perhaps there is a better way to spend these three days if the town is going to be so busy.

Anyone out there care to comment?

Thanks so much!
samins is offline  
Jul 12th, 2005, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Keep in mind that these are not huge hotels and there aren't many others in town so the fact that they're fully booked isn't that surprising -- have heard the same thing from others in the past year. But all of them being fully booked amounts to only a few hundred people -- not thousands. There's also the possibility that the rooms are held for tour groups like AQ & K, Absolute Asia and other tours and will be released if the tours don't fill up. I'd keep checking but I'd also have a plan B in case something doesn't open up -- I've traveled with senior parents and winging it doesn't work.

However, since you are trave;loj bit d emjh
glorialf is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
This hotel is recoed in Conde Nast's 2005 hot list

"Maison Souvannaphoum
Luang Prabang, Laos
Tradition meets the twenty-first century at Maison Souvannaphoum, once the palace of Prince Souvannaphouma. Two giant naga heads welcome guests into the airy lobby, where splashes of color enliven the haute-Thai decor. The 22 rooms are mostly white, with Laotian wall textiles the focal point. The hotel's Angsana spa offers wonderful massages using oils infused with frangipani, jasmine, lavender, and rosemary, and its in-house restaurant, Elephant Blanc, serves good French, Indo-Chinese, and Laotian fare. Staff are eager and exuberant—alas, more from the heart than from the head.
Which room to book: The Maison Suite, in the original structure, or a Verandah room overlooking the pool and gardens, in the annex (doubles, $200–$300; wheelchair-accessible).
Contact: 856-71-254-609; www.coloursofangsana.com/souvannaphou"

Seems great - do tell us if you get it how it is.
hobbes is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 06:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,073
I am booked in Maison Souvannaphoum for three nights in mid October (right after Siem Reap). We are also on the wait list for Pansea, as they only had 2 nights available. Maison was my second choice because it seemed to have more modern amenities than some of the others, but still charming. I also wanted a balcony and their Verandah rooms all have one.
FromDC is online now  
Jul 13th, 2005, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
the fact that you have some choices of 5 star hotels kind of answered your post. that LP has become touristy.. some of the town is lined with coffe shops internet joints and a bunch of guest houses... sure the towns tourist industry is matureing but it's still la nice litle town too check out...

I don't think it's a prime destination but can fit nicely in a comba "MEKONG" trip.
Im getting the feeling that many people after reading RHKNK report are now want too add LP in their trip.. but I think some will be disapointed. heck he was too..

I went 3 years ago as part of a visa run. it was Lao new years so there was lots going on, had fun, but I don't think I'd take another 21 hour bus trip up there again..
orgy7 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 07:03 AM
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it is not tooooo touristy as of yet but it is working on it....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 187
see today's NYTIMES Dining section. "To eat in Laos" big article....so now the foodies will descend!
Jim0884 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,675
Yup - read this: http://travel2.nytimes.com/2005/07/1...ng/13laos.html

By the way, I really don't think LP is too touristy yet. It's very small, all the hotels are small, and not everyone wants the slow pace and prevalence of wats that LP has. I love it, but if you read Bob's trip report, he wasn't as charmed and it clearly isn't for everyone.
Kathie is online now  
Jul 13th, 2005, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,892
What a great article, Kathie - complete with slide show showing photos of some of the dishes plus recipes. I was wondering though whether water buffalo skin and kaipen (river sea weed) are acquired tastes.
Craig is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
I loved LP too - tho we went in July, 2003 when it was clearly off season plus more off the beaten path. I agree with Kathie - depends on what you are interested in. We loved the laid back feel of the town, the various wats, the relaxed pace. the trips to the waterfalls and the Pak Ou caves. I agree with Orgy that it is not high on my destinations to be visited again but I thoroughly enjoyed the 1 visit.
hobbes is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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don't read me wrong...i did like LP ok, but i was just expecting so much more....our hotel was fine, the town was fine, the food was only ok, the shopping was ok, the sights were decent...it just was not the colonial place i thought i was going to...it was not williamsburg...nor should it be...i should have known better...

i would encourage everyone to go but don't expect angkor wat or phuket...its a laid back place with some shopping and some attractive sites, all of which move at a very slow pace....imo

rhkkmk is offline  

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