phnom penh vs luang prabang

Old May 9th, 2004, 08:26 PM
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phnom penh vs luang prabang

If anyone has been to both ,please give me a brief summation. Which would you prefer and why?Thank you in advance for all replys....
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Old May 10th, 2004, 07:48 AM
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I haven't been to both. After doing my research I chose to go only to Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is a World Heritage site located at the confleunce of two rivers. It was the old cultural capital of Laos, so has the old palace, a large number of "working" wats, and some lovely old French Colonial architecture. The pace in Luang Prabang is slow. We spent an idyllic week there, and would recommend that you stay as long as you can so you can really get the flavor of the town. The old palace is now a museum, well worth visiting. There are many wats to visit, and you should climb the hill in the center of town to the wat atop the hill (sorry, the name escapes me now). In addition to enjoying the town with its charming shops and markets, I would recommend visiting the Pak Ou caves, a Buddhist pilgrimage site a couple of hour away by river. I loved the river trip. For under US$15 we were able to rent a boat for the day for just the two of us. There are also two waterfalls outside of town that many people visit, plus a silk weaving village not far from town and several Hmong villages.

There are a wide range of accommodations. I stayed at the Pansea Phou Vao which was beautiful with an esquisite swimming pool, huge rooms, wonderful, attentive service and some of the best food around. There are inexpensive guest houses in town, as well as the esteemed (but very overpriced at over US$200 a night) Villa Santi. I do recommend the Villa Santi for long, leisurely lunches.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I have been to both. Kathi has described Luang Prabang very well which I enjoyed much more. Phenom Phen is the larger city with the museum where the people were held by the Pol Pot regime. Very sobering where you see the pictures painted on the wall by an artist who was one of the few to get out alive. Also the Killing Fields Memorial can be visited outside the city. A much more depressing place than Luang Prabang where there is more joy.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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Thank you both for the information. It was very helpful. Im sure ill have more questions soon.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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Im planning on going to Hanoi and to Sapa. I will be traveling in late December. I checked the weather and the average is about 60 in Hanoi and 55 in Sapa.Now i dont know wether to go to Luang Prabang where it will be cooler or head to Phnom Penh where i can go maybe to Sihanoukville and spend a relaxing nite by the water in a much warmer climate. Any suggestions on travel maybe outside Phnom Penh or still do you highly recommend Laos?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 07:48 PM
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Luang Prabang would be a much more "special" stop than Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville. I was in LP in December and it was still quite warm (70+). Likewise, when I was in Hanoi in late November it was 70 during the days.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 08:02 PM
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i was in hanoi in december of 2002...it was much warmer than you suggest...i should think the days were between 70 and 80 F....
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Old May 11th, 2004, 05:43 PM
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Phnom Penh is not a place I would like to return to, for what that's worth. It has some of the most depressing poverty I've ever seen and I did not feel particularly safe there. Quite a contrast with Siem Reap.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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OK well it looks like Loas is a wiser choice. I thank you all for helping me with this decision. Another question.I was at Hoi An in the dark and didnt see much. If you had three days would you go to Hoi An or Loas?That world heritage site info does excite me.
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