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9 Best Things To Do In Luang Prabang

Things To Do In Luang Prabang

 

Curious about a city that offers a blend of colonial charm and traditional Lao culture discover luang prabang. Located in the Northern Region of Laos. this UNESCO World Heritage City blends natural beauty with historical charm and a rich cultural heritage. It is the most popular destination in the Laos.  In this article, we highlight 10 of our favorite things to do in Luang Prabang. You’ll need at least 3 days if you want to fit in all of these activities. 

 

Top 9 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

 

9. Explore The UNESCO Old Town

things to do in Luang Prabang

One of the first things you should do in Luang Prabang is explore the historic old town. Situated on a small peninsula, walking around this area is a peaceful and relaxing experience. The streets are dotted with a mix of traditional Lao and French colonial buildings, many of which have now been converted into a a hotel or restaurant. Other than that, you can also find a number of beautifully-adorned temples and most of them can be visited for free. 

8. Royal Palace & Haw Pha Bang Temple

Royal Palace

Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, the Royal Palace was the residence of King Sisavang Vong and his family during the French colonial era. Following the Lao Revolution of 1975, the palace underwent a transformation into a museum, welcoming the public within its historic walls. Inside, you can find sober residential quarters with some rooms preserved as they were when the family lived here.

But unfortunately, pictures and videos are not allowed inside and you have to leave your bags in a locker room if you want to enter. In the southeast corner of the palace gardens, you can find the beautiful Haw Pha Bang Temple which is brightly decorated in gold. 

7. Hike Up Phousi Hill For Sunset

Phousi Hill For Sunset

Adjacent to the Royal Palace is a sacred 100m high hill with a small Buddhist temple. To get to the top, you’ll need to climb about 300 stairs. You can find these stairs opposite the entrance of the Royal Palace. From the top, there’s an incredible view over the city and the Mekong River. 100% worth it to come up here for the views.

Visit at sunrise to have more peace and quiet or at sunset if you’re willing to battle the crowds for the golden hour panoramic view. If you decide to catch the evening views like we did, we recommend coming at least an hour before sunset to secure a spot. 

6. Shop At The Night Market

Shop At The Night Market

Every evening from 5:00 to 10:00 PM in Luang Prabang, the main street in front of the Royal Palace is closed off from traffic. This street is turned into a night market where you can stroll around and shop for souvenirs. These stalls sell anything from clothing to traditional handicrafts, paintings, trinkets, tea and coffee. There’s also a small food court where you can find affordable and tasty street food, such as grilled meats, noodle dishes, and fresh fruit shakes. 

5. Cruise The Making River At Sunset

Cruise The Making River At Sunset

A more peaceful way to experience the sunset in Luang Prabang is to take a boat ride on the Mekong River. Cruises leave from the riverbank in the Old Town and generally last about 2 hours. That’s plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the town.

4. Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC)

Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC)

Another interesting museum we recommend visiting in town is the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center. The museum houses informative and engaging exhibits, offering insight into the richness of Laos’ ethnic cultures. Artifacts on display include traditional handmade clothing and textiles, jewelry, and much more.

There’s also a small shop where you can buy handcrafted items made by minority artisans. Learning about these different ethnic groups is especially valuable if you’re planning to visit some of these villages on your Laos trip. 

3. Harvest Rice At The Living Land Farm

Harvest Rice At The Living Land Farm

One of our favorite activities in Luang Prabang was learning about traditional rice farming at the Living Land Farm. This farm is situated in a serene countryside setting just outside of town. From start to finish, you’re actively involved in the rice farming process, including planting the seeds, plowing the fields with water buffalo, and harvesting the rice.

This half-day hands-on experience will give you a deep appreciation for the hard work and skill that’s required to grow this staple crop. At the end of the tour, we also got to indulge in some rice-based treats. 

2. Observe Bears At The Bear Rescue Center

Observe Bears At The Bear Rescue Center

The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, also known as Free the Bears, is located an hour drive from Luang Prabang. Your admission ticket to the renowned Kuang Si waterfalls conveniently encompasses entry to this attraction, a topic we’ll delve into shortly.

This sanctuary serves as a safe haven for moon bears, also known as Asiatic black bears, which have been rescued from illegal wildlife trade. At the center, you can observe these majestic creatures up close and learn about the conservation efforts. You can support this cause by buying the merchandise at the center. 

1. Marvel At The Kuang Si Waterfall

Kuang Si Waterfall

Finally, you can’t leave Luang Prabang without visiting Laos’ most beautiful waterfalls. The Kuang Si waterfalls are located in the lush jungle about 30 km from the city center. The mesmerizing cascades of these falls gracefully tumble down numerous tiers, crafting a breathtaking spectacle of pristine turquoise pools below.

The main highlight is the 60m or 200ft tall main waterfall. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also hike to the top of the falls where you can take a short raft tour for a small fee. Swimming is allowed in most of the pools and changing sheds are provided.

There are also many restaurants and shops, so you can easily spend a half day or full day here. The waterfalls are very popular, so it’s best to come as early as possible, right after opening time. So you can experience these waterfalls in a lot more of a quiet atmosphere.

Also Read: Best Places To Visit In Laos

Conclusion

So This is our top selection of things to do in and around Luang Prabang, but of course there are many other activities that are worth checking out if you have more time in the city. Just like Alms Giving Ceremony, Tad Sae Waterfalls, Pak OU Caves, Morning Markets and Party at the bowling Alley.