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Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

Jakarta, Indonesia
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Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

I'm just starting research for a possible trip to Laos in Dec 2012 with husband our 2 young boys (7 and 4).

I've heard such great things about Luang Prabang. But I am also anxious if it's another Hoi An. We were in Hoi An Dec 2011 and it was such a surrreal experience with all the tailor shops. We did go during bad weather so we didnt get to bike around the villages. Perhaps with better weather, we would have enjoyed Hoi An more. Still the tailorshops were just too much!

On the other hand, we enjoyed Hanoi.

So, honest opinion please on Luang Prabang. Thanks.

Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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1. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

They are nothing alike so you can relax on that one. LP is quiet, laid-back and charming (not that we didn't find Hoi An charming) Your kids would enjoy a day trip out to the Kwang Si waterfalls & the nearby Bear Rescue Centre. With 4 & 7 yr olds I probably wouldn't do the trip to the Pak Ou cave - 2hrs on the Mekong in a small boat might not be their idea of a fun time -particularly since you only need half an hour to see the caves.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

I agree with helen, Luang Prabang is extremely charming and we recently spent over a week there in April. There is so much to see and do. We road bikes every day and ventured out into the villages and the outlying parts of town as well as the tourist attractions. You will need a tuk tuk to get to the waterfalls though. Bear rescue is a great place and your kids will love just watching the bears.

Hoi An on the other hand is one of my personal favourite places that we visited and whilst it is now nearly 4 years since we went i am sure that it has lost none of it's charm. I am not a great shopper so I spent little time in the tailors but there is so much else to do.

Like comparing apples to oranges in my mind. Agree with your comments about Hanoi, we found it a vibrant and exciting city and relatively easy to get around. Must go back!!

Luang Prabang, Laos
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3. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

Travelers don't come to Luang Prabang to get clothes made, though there some tailros and seamstresses (more of the latter) so no need to worry about tailors chasing after you.

The similarity is that both are fairly laid back destinations where travelers like to linger becuase of the laid back atmosphere, but if you come for the holidays, LP will be busy since each year, more and more visitors come for the holidays culminating with fire lanterns released into the night skies on new year's eve.

LP is also a gateway for ecotourism in northern Laos.

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4. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

Don't miss a boat trip on the Mekong and they have phantastic sunsets. You can clim on some montain and it looks great.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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5. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

They are very different, but do share some things. Both are very heavily touristed areas, both have excellent food and accommodation, and both are worth the trouble. The main difference in my opinion are the people. The Lao are more laid back and less aggressive than the Vietnamese. Now is the time to visit - before the onslaught of Chinese discover this town. Already larger planes and more direct international service is beginning to change this destination.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

Daawgon summed it up perfectly.

7. Re: Is Luang Prabang like Hoi An?

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