The most popular place to visit in Laos, Luang Prabang is an historic city that once served as the capital of the Kingdom of Laos. Located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, the city has numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries, with monks walking through the city collecting alms in the morning.
There are several waterfalls nearby, some of which offer elephant rides to visitors. A night market at the end of the town’s main street is a good place to buy souvenirs. Adventuresome eaters might want to try fried Mekong River moss, which is a local delicacy.
The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. It had also been known by the ancient name of Chiang Thong. It was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, until the Pathet Lao takeover in 1975.
The city is part of Luang Prabang District of Luang Prabang Province and is the capital and administrative centre of the province. It lies approximately 300 km (190 mi) north of the capital Vientiane. Currently, the population of the city as a whole is roughly 56,000 inhabitants with the UNESCO protected site being inhabited by around 24,000.