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The best city in the world 2010 goes to Luang Prabang in Laos

Wanderlust Travel Awards 2010 Top City
By Wanderlust team
Discover which city scooped top prize in this year's awards

Top city: Luang Prabang, Laos

Ranking %

1 Luang Prabang, Laos 94.74

2 Siena, Italy 94.67

3 Berlin, Germany 94.15

4 Seville, Spain 94.00

5 Kyoto, Japan 93.33

6 Melbourne, Australia 92.22

7 Boston, USA 91.85

8 Krakow, Poland 90.91

9 San Francisco, USA 90.53

10 Tallinn, Estonia 90.40

Right at home:

“Luang Prabang is one of those rare traveller towns where as soon as you arrive you feel right at home,” wrote reader Lucy Palmer of your perennial favourite city.

“Maybe it’s the languid pace of life instilled by the monks, maybe it’s just being in the shadow of those majestic temples; maybe it’s the presence of the mighty Mekong – but the whole place makes you slow down, forget any stress and just appreciate the environment around you. Yes, there are things to see and do, but that’s not the point. Luang Prabang is simply a great place to be.”

Despite its growing popularity, you told us the town retains those things that make it special: its colourful markets, French cuisine, outbreaks of drumming by the resident monks. And you recalled great local excursions – learning to be a mahout at an elephant centre (www.laos-adventures.com), gold-panning at a jungle ecolodge (www.kamulodge.com) and taking a boat trip to the Kuang Si waterfalls.

Even the frequent power cuts and lack of ATMs, concluded reader Charlotte West, “just seem to add to the charm of this one-of-a-kind place.”

Get there fast – then slow right down.

>>See the rest of Wanderlust Travel Awards 2010 winners here

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