Living in a city presents wonderful opportunities to keep your children busy and stimulated but sometimes we all need a break. If you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten track and are tired of the usual Thai beach holiday, Luang Prabang in Laos is definitely a contender. Easy to get to by a short, direct, and moderately priced flight, Luang Prabang has the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. Here are a range of activity options for families.
- Walk around! The city is a peninsula surrounded by a river; being only about three blocks wide makes it easier to explore the city by foot. There are wonderful shops, cafes, and temples to peruse. Sit by the water and watch Laotian life in action. Indulge in a tasty treat or creamy gelato at one of the many French bakeries.
- Go for a boat ride. You can hire a boat at any number of piers along the riverfront to take you for cruise if your desired length. Go at sunset for a spectacular scene… and bring your own beverages!
- Cool off in the waterfalls. Kuang Si Falls are about an hour away from downtown. Once you enter, there is a bear sanctuary; your kids will love to watch the giant creatures sleep and play. The walk to the top of the falls is not arduous, at a very gradual incline that even toddlers can handle. If you go at a very leisurely pace, it might take about thirty minutes to reach the top. There are several pools along the way to stop and take a dip. Bring snacks and drinks to sit and enjoy your natural surroundings.
- Visit the butterflies. On the road to the falls, you can make a stop at the butterfly park to enjoy a gorgeous menagerie of flora, fauna, and of course, butterflies. There’s even a little pond that you can dip your feet into for a “foot massage” by little fish who will nibble at your toes. The walk concludes at a cafe with with some refreshing juices and smoothies.
- Venture out to the Pak Ou Caves. This one is definitely recommended for older children as the walk up to the caves has hundreds of stairs and can be challenging- especially if you’re carrying a child. The cave is filled with buddha statues and religious relics that you will need a flashlight to see. You can get there by a two hour longtail boat ride or one hour drive. Your children will love the novelty and mystery of it all.
So whether you opt for boat excursion, hiking, swimming, or just a laid-back stroll around the town, you’re sure to enjoy the complete contrast that Luang Prbang offers to Bangkok residents.