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Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

WBL
MN
Level Contributor
37 posts
45 reviews
Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

Hello, we are planning a 3 week trip to SE Asia and Luang Prabang is on our itinerary. Planning on 4 full days in Luang Prabang. We have scratched Hoi An from our trip because feel it sounds like it is now somewhat of a "fake" place and we can spend our time in other places that are more authentic. I am sure Hoi An is nice but we have to make choices. Have a friend who goes to SE asia frequently and has stopped going to Hoi An because of the changes.Removing 3 nights in Hoi An gives us more time to spend in Hanoi, a 2 night boat stay on Halong Bay and a few more nights in Luang Prabang. So........ wondering if the 5 nights and 4 full days in Luang Prabang is a good choice. I have been doing some research and I see very mixed reviews on Luang Prabang, some feel the quaintness is being taken over, has become fake, overpriced and just catering to tourists. Thoughts? I would appreciate opinions on this.. Thanks

32 replies to this topic
Pecatonica, Illinois
Level Contributor
494 posts
370 reviews
1. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

It's been a couple years since we have been there, but it was the best few days of our trip. It is a great place to slow down a bit, very walkable, and just beautiful. I would recommend a few days there. Walk along the Mekong, take that boat to the falls, try a cooking class, and just enjoy the slower pace.

Edited: 04 July 2018, 18:58
WBL
MN
Level Contributor
37 posts
45 reviews
2. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

Thank you for your comment. It does sound like a good place to slow down a bit. This is the last stop on our itinerary before flying back to Bangkok to catch a flight home so having a slower and more relaxing pace is probably a good plan.

Thanks

Cairns
Level Contributor
1,962 posts
46 reviews
3. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

For us, the 11 day stay we have planned is not just Luang Prabang that attracts but also going further by minibus to Nong Khiaw, then by boat up the Mekong to Muang Ngoi and Ban Sop Jam, also an overnight trip to Sayaboury to stay at the Elephant Conservation Centre.

Ciao

Vientiane
Level Contributor
6,537 posts
95 reviews
4. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

" I have been doing some research and I see very mixed reviews on Luang Prabang,"

Have you? I am curious where you have done this research. Would you mind elaborating? I have been to LP many times now and no longer feel the need, though I did take my family there last year. If I did not live in Lao or had never been there, I would certainly visit LP. It is a beautiful little town. Yes, it can be a bit crowded and yes, the food is not really good, but there is just so much to see. The temples are beautiful and you must do a trip o the Mekong. I must admit 3 days is enough for me though.

By the way, I was in Hoi An last week and I loved it. I guess, "De gustibus non est disputandum."

Edited: 05 July 2018, 02:46
WBL
MN
Level Contributor
37 posts
45 reviews
5. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

Based upon some people I know and some reviews is why I asked the question.. We have decided on Luang Prabang for 5 nights. Again, we need to make choices and if I hear mixed reviews I just want to follow up on the validity. Everyone has opinions but if I see a trend I will keep digging and then I will make a choice. Here are a few reviews not in favor. overwhelmingly though, most seem to agree, that is Luang Prabang is a wonderful place and so we are going there for 5 nights.Again, everyone has opinions and different travel expectations.

Here are the reviews: https:/…

WBL
MN
Level Contributor
37 posts
45 reviews
6. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

Here is another of the articles, https:/…

Edited: 05 July 2018, 03:42
WBL
MN
Level Contributor
37 posts
45 reviews
7. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29541…

Cairns
Level Contributor
1,962 posts
46 reviews
8. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

Hi

We've been travelling since the 70's and believe me "everywhere" has changed - some places much more than others. Even so there are still places even in the most touristed areas where we can find peace and quiet - even Bali our nearest "tourist hotspot".

When we first went to Ubud it was q quiet village and the only food was Padang chicken, rice and a boiled egg - now a tourist mega-tropolis where you can get almost any western food. Even so there are quiet spots to be enjoyed outside of town.

Just one example of thousands of places around the world that have become popular destinations.

So if you go to Luang Prabang you will see for yourself - we went to Hoi An in 95 - it has changed a lot since then but one day we will go back and enjoy it for what it is and has become.

For us its the people that make a place and in all places they are the same.

Enjoy

Ciao

Sunshine Coast...
Level Contributor
1,954 posts
24 reviews
9. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

I totally understand your feelings and feel this way about Bali, we won't go back there as it has changed so much.

We were in Luang Prabang last year and loved it. We found it a great place to relax and chill whilst enjoying this enchanting little city. I recommend at least 4 days, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
2,070 posts
41 reviews
10. Re: Is Luang Prabang just an Overpriced Tourist Trap?

Been to Laos three times, all over the country, and would say that Luang Prabang is definitely not 'overpriced' at all.

Also, what exactly is a 'tourist trap'?? Both LP and Hoi An are very popular, so attract plenty of visitors, but 'fake'? or 'traps'?

Such comments by some TA members are very cynical.

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