Luxury Travel Blog

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October 12, 2010

Just Back: Luang Prabang & Vientiane in Laos

We recently returned from an incredible private tour of Laos, including visiting the best of Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Read more about our trip and our private Laos tours.

Buddhism plays an important role in Lao culture. We toured the most interesting wats (Buddhist temples) in Laos, including Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Hundreds of Buddha statues with saffron sashes line its walls.

Marigold offerings are a common sight at Buddhist temples in Laos.

The Buddha Park in Vientiane is an eccentric collection of Buddhist and Hindu statues.

private Laos tours

Mount Phousi offers a panoramic view of Luang Prabang, the cultural capital of Laos and one of the most charming towns in Southeast Asia. It’s one of the highlights of our private Laos tours.

The unique blend of traditional Lao and French colonial architecture gives Luang Prabang a special character.

Markets line the backstreets of the town.

These tiny bananas are a delicious treat any time of day.

Purple sticky rice is one of the most distinctive Lao dishes.

We can arrange a private Lao cooking class at a pavilion in the rural outskirts of Luang Prabang.

Lao snacks are the perfect accompaniment to a private cruise on the legendary Mekong River.

The private vessel is an upscale version of the typical longboat Lao people use to ply the Mekong.

One stop on the cruise is a village famous for lao lao, traditional Lao rice whisky, and its temple compound.

We also arrange visits to weaving villages where you can meet local artisans, watch the process of making traditional textiles and browse the handicrafts.

Lao textiles—made primarily from silk and cotton—make great souvenirs and gifts.

The swimming pool at Amantaka resort, one of our preferred properties in Luang Prabang, is a great place to relax.

Amantaka was converted from a compound built during the French colonial period.

The lobby of Amantaka is an inviting place to relax after a busy day of private touring.

Bedrooms at Amantaka offer a romantic style of yesteryear.

We recommend the pool suites at Amantaka.

La Residence Phou Vao, another of our preferred properties in Luang Prabang, has a dramatic entrance.

The pool at La Residence overlooks a typical Luang Prabang landscape of palm trees and hills.

Perhaps the most famous of Luang Prabang’s many beautiful Buddhist temples is Wat Xieng Thong, or “Temple of the Golden City,” built around 1560.

Sparkling glass, mirrored tiles, gold stencil and paintings decorate the temple.

A close-up of the stenciled gold designs at Wat Xieng Thong.

Buddhist statues inside the temple.

The exterior of a small chapel at Wat Xieng Thong is covered in an elaborate design of colored glass.

Many Lao boys are sent to Buddhist temples for education. We can arrange for our travelers to take part in a morning ceremony to give alms to monks.

Contact Artisans of Leisure to begin planning a private Laos tour that features the highlights of Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

Destinations:  Asia, Laos, Southeast Asia

Tags:  Amantaka, artisans, Buddhism, buddhist temples, cooking class, culinary tours, Lao tours, Laos, Luang Prabang, luxury Laos tours, luxury Southeast Asia tours, markets, Mekong River, Mount Phousi, Southeast Asia culinary tours, textiles, Vientiane, Wat Xieng Thong, wats