The monks of Luang Prabang lining up for their pre...
Luang Prabang and its UNESCO world heritage badge draws a much more mature crowd than rowdy Vang Vieng
to the south and as expected youíll find the prices substantially higher. Ridiculously high for Laos in this writers opinion, though the smart traveler can find reasonable guesthouses tucked in the cracks between fancy hotels and the night market always offers cheap street food.
Unfortunately the climbing here is a shadow of that in the south as well. The landscape holds the potential but as of yet there are only two areas that are developed. The adventure outfit Green Discovery bolted up a small rock a 30 minute boat ride down the Nam Mekong, but itís mostly ladder climbs for toprope groups. Up north at the confluence of Nam Mekong and Nam Ou is Pak Ou and the Eagle Wall, where youíll find a handful of routes, mostly in the 5.12+ range.
Luang Prabang is a long 9 hour bus ride from the border in Vientiane. It's much more tollerable as a 5-6 hour ride from Vang Vieng, then just swing through for a rest night on your way back down. Buses leave either city almost hourly, it shouldn't be difficult to track one down.
Accomodation and Supplies
The Lao here are still getting used to the finer details of the supply vs demand curve, and it's not being helped by the hordes of resort travelers that don't mind coughing up the dough. The hotels here can be absolutely ridiculous. I had one hotel quote me $80 US per night. I also stayed in a guest house just across the street for $5. Besides the obvious loss of money, supporting this gouging only makes it worse. They need to find their balance.
Likewise many of the restaurants on the main strip are charging standard US fare. Going a street or two in either direction and you can find some normal priced and very tasty Lao food (think $2 a plate). There's a couple of locals joints dotting the river on either side. You should also check out the night market that is done daily for some super cheap eats straight off the grill.
The only climbing shop here are the schmucks at Green Discovery. They wouldn't even tell me how to get to the climbing walls unless I paid them.
9 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',1]
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