10 interesting things to do in Luang Prabang

Known as a mesmerizing city with famous temples, wonderful nature and vibrant life, Luang Prabang is a destination that attracts many visitors every year. Coming to the first UNESCO World Heritage city in the country, there are plenty of activities for you to explore.

Here are our recommendations for the interesting things to do in Luang Prabang that no traveler wants to skip.

1. Explore the majestic temples

It can be said that the temples, called Wats by Lao people, are the most special highlight in Luang Prabang for any visitor. In the city, there are 34 active temples and all sparkle solemnly by beautiful gilded layers. Visiting here, you will feel the atmosphere at the temples not only solemn but also gentle and relaxing.

Most trips to Luang Prabang include the most famous temple named Wat Xieng Thong, built in 1500. You will not regret visiting this place because of its realistic beauty in history, architecture and space. around the temple. In addition, there are other famous temples you can visit such as: Wat Phon Phao, Wat Aham, Wat Mahathat, Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham,...

However, if you do visit temples, take a closer look at local customs and rituals. Dressing properly is one of the most important guidelines for temples.

2. Relax at Kuang Si Waterfall

Kuang Si Falls in Laos is one of the worthwhile destinations to visit when you come to Luang Prabang because it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area. It is a picture that blends the color of blue watercolor, the color of the clouds and the color of the surrounding lush trees. It is interesting because around this picture is the extremely exciting sound when the water falls on the rocks and the sounds of animals chirping and birds singing.

The special thing is that you can take the trail to the top of the waterfall to explore. Please note that appropriate footwear and utensils should be prepared to comfortably take part in outdoor activities when you traveling in Kuang Si Waterfall.

Relax at the fall

3. Enjoy the night markets

The night market in Laos is one of the most colorful and lovely places for visitors to explore. This is also the place where you can easily find the spirit of Laos gathered at one point as many people from many different regions will gather at these markets.

You can find a wide variety of seasonal items, from food to clothing and accessories, from simple items to more upscale items or from simple wood carvings to ornate jewellery and trinkets. Although the atmosphere in Luang Prabang city is always vibrant, at the night market you can feel more alive. Even if you don't have any shopping intentions, just taking a walk, taking photos of the place can feel exciting and great.

One interesting thing about exploring the night market is to enjoy local cuisine in the buffet streets. This place has a lot of tourists, so you can easily make friends with those around you.

4. Watch the alms-giving ceremony

In Laos, spiritual and religious beliefs are very important. Therefore, a visit to the big city like Luang Prabang will provide you with many traditional activities of Laos people, typically the almsgiving ceremony.

Since the 14th century, the activities of donation and giving to help the poor have been carried out by local monks. This activity usually takes place at sunrise, attracting a large number of people and visitors to participate. Fundraising ceremony will take place from the main streets of the city, then move to the side streets. Offerings include food such as rice, traditional sweets or fresh fruit, and they are to be presented respectfully with a bow. It is a tradition that shows greatness about Lao culture and the ceremony will have an unforgettable peaceful atmosphere.

If you want to participate, please note that you will come before the ceremony starts and should dress locally as a show of respect.

5. Hike up to Mount Phousi

Mount Phousi is one of the beautiful scenes that tourists should not miss in Luang Prabang. Phousi itself means sacred hill with a height of about 100 meters.

Located in the heart of the Luang Prabang city, adjacent to the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, Mount Phousi is a great spot to see the Luang Prabang skyline and the golden temples of the city. To reach the top of the mountain, you will have to climb 300 stairs, but once you are there, you will never regret it. Especially, if you come here at sunset, you will feel the truly magical hill, surrounded by the sparkling lights of the city, a new space that is really unforgettable. However, please note that this moutain is quite crowded, you should plan to reach the top before the sun is about to set.

Overview of Luang Prabang

6. Explore the city and its spirituality

The historic old town in the city is just one of the many things to explore in Luang Prabang. This place will offer you a peaceful landscape with streets, small beautiful little houses with old French architecture.

The area of Luang Prabang old town is not very large, so you can walk or cycle for half a day. When tired legs, you can choose for yourself a certain corner of the cafe, sit on the side of the road and see the streets, people to feel the peace here. Walking in the morning may be more comfortable, because there is a night market in the evening so the street is very busy. However, each time will offer a separately interesting for tourists.

7. Learn history at the Royal Palace Museum

Palace museums are often included in most tours to Luang Prabang. Initially, the museum was built as a palace for King Sisavang Vong in 1904 with unique architecture blending Laos and France. But after the king's death, Prince Savang Vatthana kept the palace as a residence until 1975. In 1995, it was opened to visit as a museum.

Currently, the museum is divided into three parts, including the main palace and a few other buildings. This place preserves artifacts and objects from the past with historical significance of Laos. The highlight of the museum is the standing Buddha statue called Prabang, which the city is named after. There is a car collection in the compound that includes American cars from the 1950s to 1970s.

Royal Palace Museum

8. Take part in one of the cooking classes

One of the best things to explore in Luang Prabang is taking part in the cooking classes. Lao cuisine is very unique and exquisite, so you will see the unique culture in each dish most clearly demonstrated in the cooking class. There are many famous classes in Luang Prabang and each class has its own interesting things.

In general, each lesson will consist of 3 parts. The first part of each class is mostly going to the local markets and choosing ingredients because only when you know how each ingredient feels like, you know how to properly cook the authentic Lao food. In the next part, you and other students will be taught how to cook traditional dishes. And in the end, the most special thing is that all enjoy their results after they are completed. It's a worthwhile experience that will completely solidify your journey in Laos.

9. Cruise along the Mekong

If you are a nature lover, one of the most unique ways to experience the surroundings when traveling in Luang Prabang is taking a cruise down the Mekong River. The trip will offer you with a lot of highlights and interesting things in the area.

The best time to cruise the Mekong River is during the day, you will see the wonderful beauty of nature and explore the daily life of the local people. You can choose for yourself the boats depending on the requirements, from basic to luxurious type. Cruise time can also be 1 hour or even longer, or you can reach some locations far from the center like the Pak Ou Caves.

10. See the Buddha Statues over at Pak Ou Caves

Coming to Luang Prabang, you will not be able to skip the famous destination, the Pak Ou Caves, one of the important religious places in Laos. The local people and tourists often come here to visit and pilgrimage because there are thousands of different Buddha statues with many historical significance placed in caves.

Here everything is clearly lit and marked, so you won't have to worry about getting lost. There are 2 cave systems including the upper cave and the lower cave, in which the upper caves are more difficult to access, you have to climb many stairs and use torches to light the way. The top of the cave is a special feature that many visitors want to conquer to experience. This is a quiet space, very suitable for serenity and relaxation.

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