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Janak626 Jan 26th, 2005 02:46 PM

lodging in luang prabang
many good recommendations. we do not want to stay at the Pansea, so which of the many guesthouses are recommended by those of you who have been? 3nagas??? salaprabang??? or...??? thank you

rhkkmk Jan 26th, 2005 07:51 PM

i am looking at LP there a special reason why not the pansea?? that is what i am thinking about

IsisMnroe Jan 27th, 2005 01:27 PM

Sala Prabang is right across the road from the River. Breakfast at Sala Prabang is across the road at riverside.
It's a gorgeous view to see first thing in the morning. Also, it's centrally located. Near the night market. At night the restaurant where we had breakfast also serves dinner and they have a band there that plays at night. It was nice to listen to from our room. I would recommend 2nd floor, riverview room at Sala Prabang. But if you can't get that room, then it would depend on what room is available at the 3 Nagas. 3 Nagas is not on the river. But on the 2nd street from the river and further away from the night market than Sala Prabang. But 3 Nagas is a beautiful hotel with beautful rooms on their website. I tried to book the 3 Nagas but the rooms were not available for the time period I wanted. So cannot comment on 3 Nagas too much as I have not stayed there. So it would depend on hotel and what type of room is available for your time period. How soon are you going? Have you made airline trip dates yet? Book way ahead of time.

divediva Jan 27th, 2005 03:20 PM

thanks for the great recommendations.
we are also going for 3 nites to luang
prabang...bob...when are you going to be there???
what are the must see thing to do??

rhkkmk Jan 27th, 2005 05:31 PM

dive---i know very little...mostly what i have read here, expecially from kathie....i ordered a book on amazon last nite to help me...

currently our dates are may 25-29...i do not have my in-asia flights as of yet so not totally sure....i'm looking at the air passes from bangkok air as probably the cheapest at $80 per segment for international...

when will you be there??

what else are you doing this time...??


i have le delat indochine on my list based on your review

Janak626 Jan 27th, 2005 05:47 PM

rhkkmk: the Pansea is too expensive that's all. also, after looking at all of the travel books, "let's go asia" is the only one that is current with a 2005 pub. date. Its my kinda travel book and while I have read Fodor's & the others (pib. 2002), Let;s Go is a little more in-depth and interesting. we'll be there in mid-April coincidentally when it is the Lao lunar new year. Like you, rhkkmk, I am waiting to hear back abt. inter-asia flights before booking hotels. By the way, do the hotels/guesthouses in LPB take plastic or cash only? (I fear that I will be carrying around wads and wads of dollars between Laos & Cambodia.)

rhkkmk Jan 27th, 2005 05:53 PM

i'm guessing, but kathie will probably tell us....i think the normal hotels only take cash, but some more upscale like pansea may take plastic...

you are right about wads....when we went to cambodai and myanmar on the same trip i started from home with maybe $600 in us dollars, mostly small bills (1's and 5's),,,, it was a huge wad....i kept it in a safe at the front desk instead of in my room....its sort of a pain... i only used about 1/2 of it as i remember...some 50's for guides and drivers and 1 and 5's for purchases...some shops did take plastic...i'm planning to use dollars again in laos as the kip is crazy...

i just bought the footpring laos handbook (2003??) on amazon for about $13...rough guide is available for about $9....

Kathie Jan 27th, 2005 07:47 PM

Upper range hotels do take credit cards. Some of the small guesthouses take cards, some do not. If at all possible, book ahead on a site that will allow you to use credit cards.

When you talk about wads of cash, just wait until you change some dollars into kip. US$20 will give you a stack of kip the size of a brick. Don't change more than $20 at a time or you'll need a wheelbarrow! You'll use kip for small purchases. In the markets some times you'll use kip, and some people will ask for dollars. I tend to use whichever currency the seller would like. (Some people have reported using Thai baht in Laos, but I was never asked for baht, and had at least one merchant refuse baht).

rhkkmk Jan 27th, 2005 08:27 PM

kathie---what about the people that you buy fabrics or credit or both??

MaryW Jan 27th, 2005 08:43 PM

Hi all,
I can strongly recommend the 3 Nagas - we were there last August and loved it - intend going back again this August. Its not on the river but still very lovely - excellent service and food - they have two restaurants including one lao one which is very good (both run by the owner of L'Elephant restaurant which is the best known in town) A bit dearer than Sala Prabang at around US$72per night (with a 5% discount for booking through their website). The do take plastic and there is no surcharge for doing so which there often is in Asia. Check the pictures on the site as the rooms are always slightly different. We booked fairly early last year - when we got there it was constantly full with most people only staying a couple of nights - we had longer and are going back for even longer this time - probably about 10 days. Its a really laid back lovely town.

Each morning the monks pass by the front door on their collections of alms. (at 6.00am)

Kathie Jan 27th, 2005 08:48 PM

Craftspeople and the people in the markets take cash only. At the weaving co-op we used mostly US$ (as per the request of the individual weavers), though I remember one woman who wanted kip.

There was one high-end store I remember that took plastic, though I think they added a service charge for using a credit card. Ther may be more places that take credit cards now.

IsisMnroe Jan 27th, 2005 10:31 PM

The Sala Prabang accepted our mastercard credit card.

In Hoi An, Vietnam, although they took credit card, they asked for a Visa card instead of Mastercard.

Please check with the hotel if they accept credit cards and the type of card.

IsisMnroe Jan 27th, 2005 10:53 PM

One more item, the Monks walk by the Sala Prabang Hotel in the early morning around 6:30 a.m.

The 3 Nagas is a great choice, too!

Janak626 Jan 28th, 2005 03:02 AM

Kathie; Bob & Isis: thank you for all your suggestions both for LPB & BKK. when I checked out asiaholiday24. com it was indeed less than planetholiday as the tax was already included. again, thanks, Kathie. ONE further question, more... we have out Discovery Pass res. but before I buy, what is your opinion? We are going from BKK-REP-BKK (one night at Rama Garden prob.) then BKK-LPB then ext morning. Silk Air has one flight a day from LPB to Singapore (our last destination to see friends). Is this a good & reliable bet or should we fly back to BKK and then on to SIN 3 hours later? The cost is a bit more from LPB to SIN without going back to BKK, but not enough to rule it out in terms of flying, airports, hassles, etc. My concern is that the flight might be cancelled as manyhere write about the unreliable inter-asia air services. Also, if we fly into BKK and then are leaving the next morning (2nd time into BKK this trip), do we pay an airport departure tax again ( I imagine we will when we fly from BKK - REP? IS there a de[arture tax from Laos as well? thank you all so much. we plan to be in LPB around the lunar new year? any else?

Janak626 Jan 28th, 2005 05:45 AM

Isis: how did you book with Sala P? There is no booking that I can find on the web site? Did you call? fax? find a booking site? and how did you give them you cc to reserve a room? thanks

Kathie Jan 28th, 2005 07:16 AM

Silk Air is a subsidiary of SIngapore Air and is a very relaible airline. I wouldn't hesitate to book that flight. I often use Silk Air and have never had a problem. By the way, I've never had a problem with inter-asia air services. I am choosy about which airlines I fly - no Lao Aviation or any of the new budget cariers. I've had great experiences with Bangkok Air in the past, but I noted that a couple of people had recent problems with delayed or cancelled flights. Whether that is a trend or an abberation, I don't know.

You are correct, you'll pay a departure tax from BKK if you have left airside security (that is, if you pass through passport control in BKK into Thailand). International departure tax from BKK is 500 baht. There is an international deaprture tax from Siem Reap - sorry, I don't remember the amount, and from Luang Prabang (I only remember that LP was less than REP).

SuY Jan 28th, 2005 10:11 AM

Sorry to ask a dumb question Janak626 but did you say that SilkAir flies from Luang Prabang to Singapore? I can't seem to find that route on their website.

IsisMnroe Jan 28th, 2005 11:07 AM

I e-mailed Sala Prabang Hotel asking for hotel room for certain dates.
Room was available but they wanted confirmation by credit card.
Their fax machine did not work.
I sent a letter to them with my credit card number and e-mailed them what I did. They e-mailed me back and said the room was confirmed.

Thank you to Lyndie who recommended the Sala Prabang Hotel.

It makes me so happy that I can give back to the board and thank you to the board members who have provided so many good recommendations to help us on our trips.

Janak626 Jan 28th, 2005 02:34 PM

SuY: yes, Silk Air flies from LPB to SIN. I just foind that out after surfing the web for weeks and then only through a BKK travel agent whose name I found somewhere in here. Go to the Singapore Air web site and you'll find it if your a persistent. ISIS: I've emailed sala prabang hotel...twice in the past 48 hours. no response. let's see what happens.KATHIE: you have been so helpful. do you live in SEA? Based on what you wrote I am now going to re-configure my routes with Bangkok Air and fly directly from LPB to SIN (if we can get seats.) thank you.

Kathie Jan 28th, 2005 02:40 PM

Wouldn't I love to live in SEA! Perhaps I'll retire there. No, I live in Seattle. I've been traveling to SEA for 20+ years.

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