Top 10 things to do in Luang Prabang | Tours laos, Laos travel

Top 10 things to do in Luang Prabang

Royal Palace Museum and Wat Ho Pha Bang

Luang Prabang in northern Laos is one of the prettiest little cities you can visit in the world. Situated along the Mekong River, this romantic, laid-back destination full of beautiful Buddhist temples is sprinkled with French colonial architecture and offers delicious food, great outdoor markets, small boutique shops and plenty of great hotels for all budgets. Travel to Laos

If you are lucky enough to go, here are the Top 10 things I recommend experiencing there:

1. Wat Xieng Thong

There is actually a large number of beautiful and interesting wats very worthy of a visit in Luang Prabang, but Wat Xieng Thong is probably the most famous. This wat is a must-see—but try to get there early in the morning to have the place practically to yourself.

2. Handicraft Night Market

Every evening, a significant part of the main street that goes right by the Royal Palace is closed off to traffic so that a slew of local vendors can set up their little shops under quickly put-up canopies for the handicraft night market, a perfect place to pick up an inexpensive souvenir or two.

3. Tak Bat – The Monks’ Alms Procession

The daily procession of hundreds of saffron-clad monks, during which they walk through the streets and gather tiny balls of sticky rice in their begging bowls from the locals, is one of the things that makes Luang Prabang so special. If you go, please keep a proper distance and be respectful.

4. Restaurants and Cafés

Due to Laos’ French colonial past, Luang Prabang has a plethora of restaurants and cafés that would likely intrigue just about any foodie out there. Much like Hanoi in Vietnam, there is a café culture that permeates the surroundings as you walk along the main streets, inviting you to relax and have a cup of delicious Lao coffee. Mekong river cruise

5. Boat Ride on the Mekong to the Pak Ou Caves

No trip to Luang Prabang would be complete without spending at least a little time on the Mekong, which flows right beside the city, and a visit to Pak Ou Caves provides the perfect excuse to do so. The two-hour upstream ride and the one-and-a-quarter-hour ride back give you a good taste of the raw beauty of the northern Laos countryside.

6. Royal Palace Museum and Wat Ho Pha Bang

The former royal palace is a tasteful and well-executed blending of traditional Lao and French beaux-arts styles. Visitors are allowed to wander throughout the majority of the building, where they can see all sorts of traditional Lao art pieces, images of Bhudda and gifts from various overseas dignitaries.

Royal Palace Museum and Wat Ho Pha Bang

Royal Palace Museum and Wat Ho Pha Bang

7. Phu Si

Located right in the middle of the old city centre and topped off by a gilded stupa named That Chomsi, the 100-metre hill of Phu Si is the best place to get a good view of the entire city. You’ll see the Mekong on one side and the Nam Khan River on the other with everything else in between and beyond.

8. Sunset Viewed from the Banks of the Mekong

For a great sunset view, head to one of the cafés along the Mekong and have an ice-cold beer or freshly made fruit shake after a long day of walking around seeing the sights. During the dry season you can walk across the Nam Khan River via a temporary bamboo bridge, and from the banks near the Mekong you can get the best views of all.

9. Tat Kuang Si Jungle Park and Waterfalls

About a 45-minute drive outside the city of Luang Prabang lies the intriguing and beautiful Tat Kuang Si. This jungle park is full of virgin growth forest that surrounds a very impressive, multi-tiered waterfall with opal-blue pools of water scattered all about that you can swim in.

Tat Kuang Si Jungle Park and Waterfalls

Tat Kuang Si Jungle Park and Waterfalls

10. Morning Market

Unlike the handicraft night market that caters to tourists, the morning market is there for the locals to shop for their everyday dietary needs. Try to get there early in the morning when things are really bustling. You’re guaranteed to see some pretty interesting foods – some cooked, most in the raw.


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