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Bowling in Luang Prabang

We finally arrived to Luang Prabang, the UNESCO world heritage city, 24 hours late because of the landslide at the mountains. The first order of business after our ordeal was a hot shower, fresh clothes, a dinner in a nice restaurant and a good night sleep in a luxurious bed.

Finally in Luang Prabang Finally in Luang Prabang

The next day after we had sufficiently recovered from our experience and were feeling like human beings again, it was time to get a little more organized, so we moved to a much cheaper guesthouse from the luxurious one; and set off to explore the town. And of course almost immediately we again ran into the two German girls from Vang Vieng. Here is a top tip, if you want to find someone in Luang Prabang, just keep walking on the main street, you will pump into them sooner rather than later.

Now, I can’t quite explain what it is about Luang Prabang that I so much like, so I figured I’ll just explain a typical day we had in Luang Prabang.

After waking up, the first order of business is of course breakfast. For this you have a choice of sandwich stalls and noodles. And on this morning we headed to our favourite noodle place on the main road. The place is owned by a nice lady, which we affectionately called our noodle lady. When you go there, the only choice you could have is whether you want thin, medium or thick noodles. I love menus that don’t offer you choice.

Our noodle lady; this is where we usually came for breakfast or lunch Our noodle lady; this is where we usually came for breakfast or lunch

Best noodle soup in Luang Prabang, and cheap too Best noodle soup in Luang Prabang, and cheap too

After noodles, there isn’t really that much to do in Luang Prabang, but to walk around the pretty town. The town centre is on a small peninsula, which means is completely surrounded by a river. So you can walk around the on the river front, or you can go see one of the many Vats (Buddhist temple) the town has to offer. There are a lot of them!

The biggest Vat in Luang Prabang The biggest Vat in Luang Prabang

But there are many more of the smaller ones But there are many more of the smaller ones

Inside a temple Inside a temple

On this day, we decided to hike up the Mount Phousi, that is a big hill in the middle of the town with a temple on top. From here you can get a nice 360 degree view of Luang Prabang.

View from the hill in the middle of the town View from the hill in the middle of the town

Enjoying the views Mount Phousi Enjoying the views Mount Phousi

As the sun starts to set, you can hire a boat to see the sunset from the river, but we were too lazy (read: cheap) for that, so we just opted to walk to the river front and enjoy the sunset from there.

Sunset by the river in Luang Prabang Sunset by the river in Luang Prabang

After sunset, the night market begins to come alive, as they close the main road with fences, and the markets stalls start to pop up like mushrooms in a rain. I mean that quite literally, on the rainy season it will rain, so all the market stalls have a marquis covering them.  We walked around the market for a while, people buying random things. I got an excellent deal on some local alcohol.

Paintings for sale at the night market Paintings for sale at the night market

Lanterns at the night market Lanterns at the night market

I bought some local alchohol I bought some local alchohol

After that we headed to the Night Market Food alley, which is a small side alley from the main road. And the cheapest place to eat in the evening. Here you have plenty of places selling buffet  dinners for 10.000 Kips (about dollar and a half), for which you can choose from various noodles, vegetable dishes, spring rolls, and such; and you can take as much as you can fit on your plate. You can also buy various barbeques that are on offer.

The Lunch buffet we usually ate at The Lunch buffet we usually ate at

You can also get plenty of different barbecues at the food alley You can also get plenty of different barbecues at the food alley

For dessert you can pick from various small stalls on the alley.

Some kind of fried rice pudding, really good Some kind of fried rice pudding, really good

After dinner it was time to hit the bars on the other side of Mount Phousi . However you shouldn’t except a raving nightlife here. It’s chilled out and all the places close at 11pm; no seriously they do! After this we got a tuk-tuk to the famous bowling alley, we had already heard so much about. By this time our group had grown to eight people, so we managed to negotiate a good deal with the tuk-tuk driver.

As we drove away from the town, we were getting a little suspicious as the town changed into a jungle and the road changed to bumpy dirt road. But in the end we pulled up on a huge industrial building, which we then entered and were shocked to find ourselves standing in a properly lit, huge western bowling alley. It didn’t feel like we were in a Laos anymore. It was like we had transported to Europe or somewhere.

Bowling, the only thing that's open after 11pm Bowling, the only thing that's open after 11pm

So we opted to have a lane for ourselves with some beers. I hadn’t bowled for a while, but thankfully so hadn’t nobody else either, so we had a blast.

After the bowling alley closed at 2 am in the morning we finally headed back to the town. Still insistent on continuing the night, we set up on table on a terrace of a closed restaurant. We managed to buy some beers from a nearby house that had some lights on and an open door. This is what you will have to do if you want to drink late in Luang Prabang.

Monk shading himself from the sun Monk shading himself from the sun

And that is a fairly typical day in Luang Prabang.

9 Comments

  1. Hi fellow Finn! Nice photos. Happy travels!

    • Thanks, always nice to meet other Finns traveling :)

  2. Oh the photos of the food, make me hungry. Noodle soup, lunch buffet… I want to go to Laos now.
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    • That’s often the problem reading travel blogs, lots of photos of food :)

  3. I am leaving in 12 days for Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos – came across your site when doing research today. Looks like you had a great time, and i love all your photos (I agree with previous comments re photos of food, I always take so many photos of food when I travel, esp in markets!). We will have to try out the bowling in Luang Prabang, didn’t know they even had that!

    • Oh nice! Indonesia is still the one country I missed, but you always have to leave something for the next time ;) I really liked Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, such nice countries and so much to do and see! I’m glad that you’ve found the posts helpful. And If you have any further questions, just ask :)

      P.S: yes, I definitely recommend bowling in Luang Prabang, it’s such a bizarre experience ;)

  4. Oh those night food markets alleys with no space to move and eat and yet so exciting.

    • Yeah, they are quite busy usually, but so worth the visit!

  5. Am heading to Laos next week, and I have to say I am finding your ability to capture the ‘feel’ of a place – LP and Vientiane – very helpful. I had been wondering if I really wanted to go.
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