Luang Prabang – Things to see and do

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang: Laid back and authentic, this UNESCO world heritage site is probably the best part of Laos, and it’s a place many travelers end up staying longer. After Travel Channel aired few shows, Luang Prabang got even more attention among tourist community. In fact now a days it’s a challenge the country is facing with the growing number of Asian tourist poring in to this small little historical town and they are definitely struggling to keep up with the pressure.

The small quiet town, pretty much easily walkable to all parts of the town, even though at the first glance it may look like there aren’t a lot to do in Luang Prabang but the relaxing atmosphere, beautiful soothing river side walk, watching the sunset and chilling out in the evening will definitely make you feel like stay longer than your initial plan.

Young Monk by the river of Mekong River

Luang Prabang is known for its charming French influences. The French ruled Laos until the 1950s and as a result, French influences can be found just about everywhere. It was surprising for me to see French style cafes, bakeries, and restaurants along the street as well as the riverbank.

Here are some tips on things to do:Mount Phou Si – A beautiful view from the top:

The 100+ meters high Mount Phou Si is popular among visitors to watch the Sunrise or Sunset over Mekong River. The 360 degree view of the city is spectacular from the pick. Consider couple of hours for the climb and descent, with several stops to see the temples in between, rest under the shady trees and admire the magical views.

If you are in reasonable good health the 355 steps going up to the summit won’t be that difficult but definitely you will be sweating a lot.

I made it to the top of Mount Phou Si, and definitely deserve a photo op.

  • The most popular time to visit Mount Phou Si is in the afternoon
  • Bring a bottle of water to drink and a hat will surely help
  • Visit Wat Tham phou Si Shrine which is half way up the hill.
  • At the top of the hill visit the stupa of golden Wat Chom Si, built in 1805

Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham – Luang Prabang

This Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang is also know simply as Wat Mai, means The New Monastery of the Golden Land. Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham was built in 1796 by King Anourout in 1796-7, and later went through face-lift by King Manthathourat who gave the present name, Wat Mai, which means New Monastery.

Haw Pha Bang, the “Royal Temple”

One of Luang Prabang’s most attractive monuments Haw Pha Bang is located in Royal Palace Museum compound.

A view of Luang Prabang from Mount Phou Si
A very fancy temple, the Haw Pha Bang which translates to “Royal Temple” is also know as the Wat Ho Pha Bang. It was built to house the most sacred Buddha image.

Tad Sae Waterfall – Luang Prabang 

It is about 45 minutes drive only 18 km from my Luang Prabang guesthouse. Once dropped off by the tuk tuk driver had to cross the river to take me to Tad Sae. The boat ride to Tad Sae is about 7 minutes.

The place is beautiful, unlike the usual waterfalls, Tad Sae waterfalls features a wide, multi-level cascade pools of waterfalls and there is no single long-drop centerpiece. The place is divided between the swimming area and the elephant ride area. This place is perfect for a weekend getaway. It worth to pay a visit if you are in Luang Prabang.

Wat Xieng Thong – Luang Prabang 

Wat Xieng Thong, once known as “The Temple of the Golden City”, holds great cultural, historic and architectural importance.

Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, Luang Prabang
It is situated near the tip of the peninsula at the junction of two rivers, with a grand staircase leading up from the Mekong. For centuries it was considered the ceremonial gateway to the town, with visiting dignitaries and soon-to-be-crowned kings arriving via these steps. What will strike you upon entering the complex is how peaceful and elegant it is. The religious structures is very much enjoyable, and so is the generous places that surrounds them.

King Setthathirat, who ruled from 1548 till 1571, built Wat Xieng Thong in 1559. Incredibly, over the years it has survived war and raids including the sacking of the city in 1887 by the Black Flag Army. Up until 1975, it was the site of coronation ceremonies for Lao kings.

Wat Long Khoun – Luang Prabang

Wat Long Khun is an 18th century temple located in the village of Xiang Men on the other side of the Mekong River from Luang Prabang.

Boat cruising through Mekong River
  The temple is almost directly across from Wat Xieng Thong.  Even though it is across the river from one of Laos’ most visited temples, Wat Long Khun is off the main tourist trail and offers a quiet and peaceful temple experience.

It was amazing to see Buddhists monks in orange robes walk around the streets, or beautiful sunset over the mekong river from a temple up on the hills. More motorbikes and bikes than cars, noticeable impact of the French colonial style small buildings which gives Luang Prabang a relaxing and soothing quality. Located neatly between the Mekong River and the Nam Khan River, Luang Prabang, will surely win your heart.

Guesthouse I Stayed in Luang Prabang:

Mao Pha Sok Guesthouse, Ban Visoun, Luang Prabang, Laos

simsing says:
Congrats on the feature, Hasan!
I have to come back to read it though. Love your photos!
Posted on: Feb 02, 2017
Suusj says:
Hi, congrats on the feature :).
Posted on: Feb 02, 2017
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Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang
Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang
Young Monk by the river of Mekong …
Young Monk by the river of Mekong…
I made it to the top of Mount Phou…
I made it to the top of Mount Pho…
A view of Luang Prabang from Mount…
A view of Luang Prabang from Moun…
Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, Luang Pra…
Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, Luang Pr…
Boat cruising through Mekong River
Boat cruising through Mekong River
Haw Pha Bang, the “Royal temple…
Haw Pha Bang, the “Royal temple…
A view of Mekong River Activities …
A view of Mekong River Activities…
Local restaurant – cook to order…
Local restaurant – cook to orde…
I wanted to have something as simp…
I wanted to have something as sim…
Vegi was in my mind to give my sto…
Vegi was in my mind to give my st…
The Airport in Luang Prabang
The Airport in Luang Prabang
Popular mode of transportation amo…
Popular mode of transportation am…
A view of Mekong river from Mount …
A view of Mekong river from Mount…
Young monk by the river of Mekong!
Young monk by the river of Mekong!
Must do - Boat trip in Mekong River
Must do - Boat trip in Mekong River
River side restaurant gets really …
River side restaurant gets really…
A view of Luang Prabang from Mount…
A view of Luang Prabang from Moun…
Stairs to climb up to the top of M…
Stairs to climb up to the top of …
The mighty River called Mekong.
The mighty River called Mekong.
A beautiful view of Mekong river f…
A beautiful view of Mekong river …
Royal Palace Museum.
Royal Palace Museum.
Local street corner in Luang Praba…
Local street corner in Luang Prab…
Wat Tham Phousi shrine on my way c…
Wat Tham Phousi shrine on my way …
Grilled fish looked delicious to m…
Grilled fish looked delicious to …
A restaurant that I could not miss
A restaurant that I could not miss
Local market in Luang Prabang
Local market in Luang Prabang
Local market in Luang Prabang
Local market in Luang Prabang
This huge tree surprised me!
This huge tree surprised me!
Luang Prabang Airport heading back…
Luang Prabang Airport heading bac…
Passangers waiting area – Luang …
Passangers waiting area – Luang…
Taking Lao Airlines back to Bangkok
Taking Lao Airlines back to Bangkok
Time for me to leave Luang Prabang…
Time for me to leave Luang Praban…
A view of Luang Prabang and the Me…
A view of Luang Prabang and the M…
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2