Luang Prabang has been included in the New York Times annual 52 Places To Go edition of its travel section.
Appearing among the likes of the Swiss Alps and the Caribbean islands, Laos’s own heritage city was listed at number 52, cementing its place as one of the world’s most appealing tourism cities.
The 52 Places To Go edition begins with Louisiana as the top destination amid the city’s 300th anniversary, with Colombia coming second, and Italy taking third place. The list continues ranking cities and countries around the world, with Luang Prabang finalizing the list at number 52, following Bristol, England.
“Being listed by the New York Times demonstrates how much tourism potential exists in Luang Prabang. The city is now clearly recognized as one of the world’s top travel destinations,” says Jason Rolan, General Manager of EXO Travel Laos.
The New York Times produces its travel list each year, and this is the first time that Laos has been included in the list for over ten years.
Travel writer Daniel Scheffler describes Laos as “a Unesco site without the crowds,” in his brief about the country:
The charms of this peninsula city, set in the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, are best enjoyed by bicycle. Give alms to saffron-robed Buddhist monks in the early morning, then uncover countless gold-roofed wats (temples), or hike to nearby waterfalls. Why now? Get there before the crowds do. There are new resorts — Rosewood and Sofitel — as well as the more affordable luxury brand Azerai (the hotel will become an Avani in March), plus new air connections from most major Asian cities, along with a planned Chinese rail link, making it all easier to get to.
The listing comes only days after Laos topped the Asia section of a travel hotlist published by The Guardian last week.
The two travel listings come at an opportune time, as 2018 is Visit Laos Year, a Lao government initiative to attract more tourists to the country. The initiative was officially launched last October, and includes a range of special attractions and festivals across Laos, including traditional festivals held by various ethnic minorities.
Photo Credit: Phoonsab Thevongsa