The setting for this former royal capital (a title it held until 1975) could hardly be more idyllic – it lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. Travellers come to visit the grand Buddhist temples, such as 16th-century Wat Xieng Thong, and to take trips into the hills for hiking, swimming in waterfalls and nature-spotting. The town has also built up a robust wellness scene, with a predictable but pleasant roster of yoga centres, juice cafés and meditation retreats, making it a dreamy destination for a solo soul-seeker. But another major draw is its food scene, in which flavoursome Laotian cooking melds with colonial French flair to produce a truly unique cuisine. And because the accommodation on offer spans everything from £10 guesthouse dorms to suites at the Rosewood, Luang Prabang draws every type of traveller, making it easy to find company or seek seclusion, whichever you prefer.