The highlight of any holiday to Laos, and one of the highlights of Indochina, is the beautiful old city of Luang Prabang. An ancient royal capital, Luang Prabang's cultural importance was recognised by UNESCO in 1995 and it now holds World Heritage status. The small city lies surrounded by mountains at the junction of the Mekong and its tributary, the Khan River. Luang Prabang has dozens of temples and religious sites,
both large and small, with the biggest concentration in the old quarter. Wat Sen and Wat Xieng Thong, the latter built in 1560 and richly decorated with coloured glass and gold, are the most spectacular of the temples. The Royal Palace is now the National Museum, and is well worth a visit. In the centre of the city is Mount Phousi. Climb the steps to the top for stunning views over the city and the surrounding countryside.

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