Luang Prabang is a small town as well as a province located in north-central Laos. Luang Prabang as a tourist destination is a popular destination in Laos for a variety of reasons. Mainly because of its well-preserved architectural, and cultural heritage significance that made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.
Luang Prabang built an international airport in 2011, which has made the town more accessible. Luang Prabang is blessed with Buddhist temples, monasteries, major landmarks like Mount Phou Si, sunset over the Mekong River, and more.
In this post, we will go through the things to do in Luang Prabang Laos. Let’s get started!
Learn More About Laos
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- Can You Drink Tap Water in Laos?
- Is Laos Worth Visiting?
- How Much Does Beer Cost in Laos?
- What Adapter Do I Need For Laos?
Is Luang Prabang Worth Visiting?
Luang Prabang is definitely still worth visiting especially if you are interested in exploring temples and learning about the local culture, and waterfalls. As well as seeing why Luang Prabang is a world heritage site by UNESCO. It can feel a bit touristy but it is never felt too busy.
Things To Do In Luang Prabang Laos
Luang Prabang is a small town with a population of just over 56,000 people. The town has been listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO since 1995 because of the heritage significance of well preserved architectural, religious, and cultural heritage.
There is a range of things to do in Luang Prabang town and the Province that will keep you busy for a while.
See The Stunning Kuang Si Waterfall
Bearing in mind that this is a landlocked country, one surprising fact is that one of its stunning features revolves around water. The Kuang Si waterfall is not your usual waterfall. The waterfall has a cascading drop that stands at 50 meters.
It is rare to find a waterfall that drops into a three-tiered azure swimming hole. The water is cool and on a hot day, you can dip. There are lots of places to eat before you enter the park and lots of stalls where you can buy drinks.
You should bring a change of clothes and a towel in case you take a dip in the water. There are changing rooms and toilets provided with a seating area. There is an entrance fee to the falls that costs around 20,000 Kip ($2.20 US).
Visit The Temples
One thing the Luang Prabang does not lack is temples. There is a good range of temples that look fantastic as well as give that general feeling that comes with spiritual mysticism. As you will learn, there are over 30 temples in Luang Prabang. There are even walking tours that visit the best ones.
Here is a list of the main temples in Luang Prabang, that you should try and see.
- Wat Phon Phao.
- Wat Chom Si.
- Haw Pha Bang.
- Wat Sensoukaram.
- Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham.
- Wat Aham.
- Wat Wisunarat.
- Wat Mai.
- Wat Nong Sikhounmuang.
You should consider using one of the walking tours as this will make it easier to see the best temples in the area. You can also consider scheduling an evening walk so that you can witness the chanting monks at Wat Mai.
Visit The Night Market
Southeast Asia is famous for the local markets and especially the night markets and in this regard, Luang Prabang is not an exception. And offers one of the most colorful and lively evening markets that run late into the night.
The market is a merging point of the Hill-tribe traders and local vendors, which gives you a chance to sample some of the traditional as well as Western products. Be on the lookout for locally produced handcrafted products alongside jewelry and souvenirs of all shapes and sizes.
Join The Luang Prabang Alms Giving Ceremony
The alms-giving ceremony is a longstanding tradition in Laos Buddhist culture. This ceremony brings together monks and Zen as they burn incense and offer alms to the iconic image of Luang Prabang. Where they walk around barefooted and dressed pristinely.
The parade starts in the main streets of Luang Prabang and goes into the side streets. If you would like to be part of the procession, it is advised to ensure that you cover your shoulders, chest, and legs. It is a religious thing so you do need to cover up to take part.
Visit The Pak Ou Caves
The Pak Ou Caves have 2 caves called Pak Ou and Tham Theung overlooking the Mekong River. They are about 25 km to the north of Luang Prabang. It is over thousands of years old, and you will see over 4000 Buddhist statues around the caves.
It will take around 2 hours each way in a boat along the Mekong River to reach the caves. This offers a good chance to see the scenery along the Mekong Bank. Or you could take a tuk-tuk ride which will take around 40 mins and is not too expensive.
The Tuk-tuk will take you to a town across the river and you then take a quick boat to the other side. The caves are interesting, you will need around 40 mins to see the 2 caves. The caves are as black as night, you’ll need a flashlight if you want to take any pictures.
Try Visiting Buffet Street
If you have never sampled rich street buffets, then this is a good opportunity to try. Buffet Street is home to an array of tasty local dishes ranging from meat dishes to fish. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, then you do not have to worry.
With a communal seating set out, you will get a chance to share and exchange stories with other visitors as you enjoy your tasty meal.
See The Amazing Sunset
In Luang Prabang, there are a number of places where you can enjoy the fantastic sunset. You can enjoy the sunset over either the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers or Mount Phou Si. There are cruises that cruise along the Mekong River where you can enjoy drinks and watch the sunset.
If you want to enjoy the sunset from Mount Phou Si make sure to give yourself at least 40 minutes to get to the top of the mountain. There are a lot of steps to get to the top as well as to avoid tourists jostling to capture the top shot.
Stroll Around The City
There is a lot to see as you walk around Luang Prabang. By walking around the town you never know what you might discover and you get a chance to interact with the locals. If you are not so much into walking, then you can consider getting a bike.
We can honestly say that you’ll be surprised to be part of this warm and laid-back culture, which is contrary to the hassles of the western world.
USEFUL TRAVEL RESOURCES
Booking.com has a large range of properties from hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and resorts where you will find the best deals. Airbnb and Hostelworld also have a good range of places to stay at good prices.
Skyscanner is a flight search comparison website that searches millions of flights all at once. Ultimately it is the best flight comparison website online at the moment.
Booking Transportation & Things To Do
Rome2rio and 12Go are useful to plan how to get anywhere by searching train, bus, car, and ferry routes. Especially useful in countries like Vietnam or Thailand. While Klook is great to explore things to do in each place.
Travel insurance is cheap and more than likely you will never need to use it but you will have peace of mind if something does happen, you are covered in case of an emergency. World Nomads have great customer service and competitive prices.
Check out our resource page for the best companies to use when you travel.
Finally, Luang Prabang is a welcoming place with friendly locals. There is a nice bit to do in Luang Prabang from visiting the local temples, enjoying the sunset on the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers or Mount Phou Si, world-famous waterfalls, and more.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the things to do in Luang Prabang Laos has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.