Set at the confluence of two rivers that almost surround the town, and beneath a temple-topped hill, Luang Prabang in Laos, is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture; reminders of when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochine. Golden-roofed wats, decorated with mosaics and murals of the life of Buddha, sit under the gaze of wrap-around teak balconies and 19th century shuttered windows. All of this is set against a backdrop of verdant greenery and rugged mountains.
As a visitor, you cannot help but be amazed by the tidiness and cleanliness of perhaps the most charming city in all of Southeast Asia. With UNESCO so closely involved and a largely responsible group of local business owners, the pressures of mass tourism development have been held at bay, but for how much longer remains to be seen. Restaurants along the main street tend to be expensive and aimed at luxury tourists, whilst lower cost venues are along the banks of the Mekong.
In general Laos is a cheap country so you can find cheap accomodation and retaurants if you know where to look. You have to walk away a little bit from the city centre (or the market area) and as far as you get, the cheaper accomodation you will find.
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