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Pakbeng

Pakbeng is in Bakeo Province, Northern Laos.

64km

19.85101.55

Muang Xay

city

86km

20.7101.9833

Vang Vieng

town in Laos

105km

18.9333102.45

Luang Namtha

city

137km

20.95101.4

Houay Xai

city

195km

20.28333333100.41666667

Vientiane

capital of Laos

208km

17.9628102.614

Hanoi

capital of Vietnam

430km

21.0333105.85
Sights

Phou Si

The hill that dominates the city from which you have a good view of the whole area. It's not a very steep climb from the bottom. Sunrise and sunset are the most sensible and rewarding times to go. There is a near-panoramic view from the top. The ticket office closes at 18:30, so climbing to the top is virtually free afterwards, which gives you about 30 minutes before it gets dark. This is not the place to go however if you are looking for a romantic sunset with not so many other people around. In this case go to a remote section of the shoreline or book a sunset tour on a small boat.

843m

19.8904102.1369

Royal Palace, Luang Prabang

955m

19.8921102.1356

Pak Ou Caves

The famous "Buddha caves" are north of the city on the Mekong and can be reached by road (approximately 1 hr) or river boat (around 1.5 hr). Alternatively, you can hire canoes and a guide for the day, which would allow you to view the beautiful scenery and visit the caves without throngs of other tourists. It's also possible to finish the trip at the "whisky village" where the local Lao lao (rice spirit) is made. There are two caves, one on the entry level and another, the upper caves, on top of the hill. A very steep climb, but worth the effort. A torch is needed to see the upper cave. Simply cross the river at Pak Ou village for 13,000 kip per person (25,000 kip if you're the only one on the boat), walk up the hill and turn right, crossing the school grounds, to find your way to the caves. Motorcycle parking at Pak Ou village 5,000 kip.

19km

20.0487102.2105

Kuang Si Falls

A large multi-tiered waterfall, accessible by boat or truck hire. You can also rent a motorbike to transport yourself there. There are food and tourist stalls outside the waterfalls. It is worth putting a whole day aside (or more) for seeing these because they are a great place to relax and meet other travellers. There are multiple pools at different levels, all of which are reportedly safe to bathe in, and are extremely picturesque. Shared tuk-tuks charge about 30,000-50,000 kip (cheapest seems to be near slow boat pier, though you can get them for 40,000 kip near Joma Bakery). You may have to wait until the tuk-tuk fills up. Tuk-tuks are legally only allowed to take six people, and there is a checkpoint at the falls, so some drivers may try to get a 7th person in the front seat. Private tuk-tuk will cost you at least 150,000 kip, but you will need to bargain for some time; don't hesitate to start from 100,000 kip if the driver tells you 150,000 kip. Drivers may try to show you documents that quote 200,000 kip or more depending on driver. Just ignore this and insist. Try to go with 5 people and insist on 30,000 kip each. The driver should wait for 3-4 hours at the waterfall gate area. Make sure your 150,000 kip includes there and back. Bargain, bargain, bargain. Just remember that there are dozens of tuk-tuks around, so you have the advantage. If you lack companions, offer 30,000 kip and wait until he finds more passengers. A seat in a minibus costs 40,000 kip, more if booked through a travel agent.

21km

19.74916667101.99166667

Oudomxay Province

province of Laos

92km

20.7101.816667

Plain of Jars

Iron Age cemetery sites near Phonsavan; also one of the main locations to learn about the "Secret War".

124km

19.46103.18

Phonsavan

town

124km

19.46103.18

we will see

Luang Prabang

Laos
Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang is the former capital of Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage city.

Personal note

My memory of LP was going to a shop in the middle of nowhere and buying a lamp, and the lady shopkeeper refusing to let me leave without taking her umbrella as she was concerned I would get wet.

I kept that umbrella for many years, hanging in my room reminding me of how those with so little can still give so much. It finally fell apart in the sand of Black Rock City, 7 years later during a trip to Burning Man.

Go talk to the shopkeepers and artists and make a new friend.

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Climate

Average temperatures

Jan

27.4°C14.2
Precipitation: 15.2 mm

Feb

30.8°C15.4
Precipitation: 18.6 mm

Mar

33.1°C18
Precipitation: 29.8 mm

Apr

34.4°C21.4
Precipitation: 107.9 mm

May

33.8°C23.5
Precipitation: 147.2 mm

Jun

32.4°C24.5
Precipitation: 258.2 mm

Jul

31.8°C24
Precipitation: 228.4 mm

Aug

31.5°C23.5
Precipitation: 288.6 mm

Sep

31.9°C22.9
Precipitation: 172.6 mm

Oct

30.8°C21.1
Precipitation: 126.2 mm

Nov

28.5°C18
Precipitation: 40.1 mm

Dec

26.3°C14.4
Precipitation: 10.1 mm