Luang Prabang named among top 5 Asian cities for tourists

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Mekong Riverboat in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang named among top 5 Asian cities for tourists

World heritage-listed Luang Prabang has once again shone on the global tourism stage after being voted among the 15 best cities to visit in Asia by readers of a US-based travel magazine.

The Lao former royal capital came in fifth, scoring 88.17 in Travel + Leisure magazine’s top 15 cities in Asia for 2020 that was released last week.

Hoi An city of Vietnam came first scoring 90.52, followed by Chiang Mai of Thailand, and Kyoto of Japan.

For its annual World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more.

Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value, it said on its website.

This year’s survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.

“The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic,” it said.

Some popular destinations returning included Chiang Mai, Kyoto and Ubud of Indonesia that came in sixth while Laos’ Luang Prabang made a return this year after not making the list in 2019.

The 15 best cities are as follows:
1. Hoi An, Vietnam
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
3. Kyoto, Japan
4. Udaipur, India
5. Luang Prabang, Laos
6. Ubud, Indonesia
7. Bangkok, Thailand
8. Jaipur, India
9. Tokyo, Japan
10. Siem Reap, Cambodia
11. Singapore
12. Kolkata, India
13. Seoul, Republic of Korea
14. Taipei
15. Hong Kong

Travellers to Asia want to immerse themselves in the bustle of daily life, walking down avenues and side alleys, visiting ancient temples and ornate palaces, staying in houses on stilts and in modern skyscrapers, according to the magazine.

Lao officials said visitors to Luang Prabang enjoy diverse attractions from well-preserved cultures, ancient cultural sites and temples. There are awesome waterfalls and adventurous treks in forests and caves for visitors to enjoy.

Luang Prabang has been in the Travel + Leisure’s Asian 15 best cities several times.

Readers of Wanderlust, a leading British travel magazine, voted Luang Prabang as the world’s best city to visit in 2015, and from 2006-2008 as well as from 2010-2012.

In 2015, Qantas Travel Insider — an Australian travel website — listed Laos’ Unesco-listed world heritage site among 11 of the world’s most romantic wedding destinations