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8 things to do in Luang Prabang

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There are so many things to do in the town of Luang Prabang in Laos. It isn’t for nothing that it is the favorite city in Laos according to most travelers. The city has a spectacular offer of culture, nature and delicious food. Wandering through the streets gives you a glimpse into life in this charming town. What are the best things to do in Luang Prabang?

The 8 best things to do in Luang Prabang!

Luang Prabang

I spent 3 days in Luang Prabang and fell in love with this place. The relaxed atmosphere and the large number of fun things you can do here make it a great place to visit. And it is also a city that feels like a village! Most of the sights are in the old city center, so that everything can be discovered on foot.

1. Climb the Phousi mountain

In the center of the city lies the Phousi mountain and you reach the top of this hill by climbing a staircase of 355 steps. I really love the panoramic view! You see the city lying below, the mountains, the river Nam-Khan gracefully meandering through the green landscape and you also see the mighty Mekong streams. There is also a beautiful old temple on the hill. The best time to climb this hill is just before sunset and then you can enjoy a great sunset.

2. Wat Xien Thong

There are dozens of temples in the old city, but my favorite temple is the Wat Xieng Thong and it is located on the north side. This temple is also called “the temple of the golden city” and is the most important temple of Luang Prabang. This temple is beautifully decorated and depicts the life of the ordinary Laotian. The temple is covered with many golden intricate mosaics and this is fascinating to see. It is best to visit this temple in the morning (before half past 11) before it becomes too crowded with tourists. Make sure you cover your legs and arms as a sign of respect.

best things Luang Prabang, 8 things to do in Luang Prabang

3. Kuang Si waterfall

These majestic waterfalls are about 30-40 minutes outside the city, but you can easily reach them by taking a tuktuk or by renting a scooter. At the lower waterfalls is a great place where you can swim in the blue water. The large waterfall where the water falls down cascading is impressive and absolutely beautiful. Remember to put on good shoes so that you can walk all the way to the top.

best things Luang Prabang, 8 things to do in Luang Prabang

4. The alms ceremony

Early in the morning you can experience the ceremony where the monks receive their daily alms. Every morning the monks walk from the temple in a procession through the city and collect alms (food, usually rice or fresh fruit) and this is the meal of the day. The locals gather in a line along the street to give food to the monks. The procession starts at 5:30 am at Wat Xiang Thong and goes along the main road and you walk back through the side streets. This is a wonderful religious ceremony! The most respectful way to enjoy this special ritual is to discreetly use your camera and to sit still on the other side of the street. I thought it was a very nice and humbling experience.

best things Luang Prabang, 8 things to do in Luang Prabang

5. The night market

Markets are of course extremely popular in Southeast Asia and the market in Luang Prabang is one of the best to visit. The atmosphere on the night market is pleasant and relaxed and here you can buy souvenirs for a low price. Here you will find clothes, handmade bags, jewelry, handmade cards, Laos whiskey (with a Scorpion in it) and much more! The market is in the main street and is open from 17:00 to 22:00.

6. Crossing the bamboo bridges

One of the things that I really enjoyed doing is hiking over the 2 bamboo bridges that the local population has built. From the bridge you have a great view of the surroundings. The second bamboo bridge is slightly further upstream directly at the bottom of Mount Phousi. Please note, the bridges are only open during the dry season (November to July) and are rebuilt every year by the locals after the monsoon season. Both bridges can be visited free of charge after 18:00 and as soon as the sun goes down, they are beautifully lit to show you the way in the darkness.

best things Luang Prabang, 8 things to do in Luang Prabang

7. Visit the Pak Ou Caves

Half an hour from the pier in Luang Prabang are the Pak Ou caves. I find these caves special because they are full of various Buddha statues. I have combined these caves with a boat trip on the Mekong.

8. Rent a bycicle and visit the temples

In Luang Prabang there are 66 different temples and this makes the temple lover in me very happy! I rented a bike and went cycling through the city and visited the many temples that I met along the way. I love to just cycle a bit and see what the day brings me. Wat Wisunalat I find a must see. This temple was built in 1513 and is the oldest temple in the town. Wat Xieng Mouane is also worth a visit, because here is a training center where the young monks are trained to maintain and restore the temples. The stupa of That Pathum has the most special form of all stupas in Luang Prabang. Finally, I find Wat Sensoukaram a nice temple to visit, because the red walls in combination with the golden decorations and the Buddha statues make this temple impressive.

best things Luang Prabang, 8 things to do in Luang Prabang

How many days should you spend in Luang Prabang?

For such a small town Luang Prabang has a surprising number of things to do. I was there for 3 days and I felt like it was too short. I therefore recommend going to Luang Prabang for at least 4 days. It also takes you at least half a day to visit some of the activities outside the city (such as the Kuang Si waterfall).

These are the best things to do in Luang Prabang. Have you been to Luang Prabang and what do you think ar ethe best things to do in Luang Prabang?


Hotel Luang Prabang

Villa Oasis exceeded my expectations. The small lake, the swimming pool and the little personal touches from the staff made my stay. The staff is very helpful and the rooms are fabulous. There’s a lovely pool. I loved the pitturesque lake with lotusflowers. The fact that the owner is a woman from Laos made everything even better for me.

  • Not what you are looking for? Find here more great places to stay in Luang Prabang!

best things Luang Prabang, 8 things to do in Luang Prabang


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