Awesome Things to Do and See in Luang Prabang

honeymoon in Luang Prabang


Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong, the ‘Golden Tree Monastery’, is the oldest temple in Luang Prabang and also the most iconic. This richly decorated temple is a symbol of the country’s great religious history and Luang Prabang architecture style with an elaborate tree of life mosaic, intricately carved walls, rare Buddhist deities and a 12-meter high funeral carriage. Wat Xieng Thong is strategically situated close to where the Mekong joins the Nam Khan River and acts as a gateway to Luang Prabang. The temple is an important gathering place for significant annual festivities – A must-visit place during your Laos tours.
When you enter a Buddhist temple like Wat Xieng Thong, you should remove your sunglasses and cover bare shoulders and legs. You can hire a traditional sarong to cover up at the entrance if you need to.Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Long Khoun

Located on the bank of the Mekong River, Wat Long Khoun used to have a close connection to Luang Prabang royal family. Any new king would retreat to the Wat for three days to cleanse and meditate prior to his coronation at Wat Xieng Thong. Wat Long Khoun architecture is typical of 18th century Luang Prabang style with two single level sections featuring gilded columns and intricate wood carvings. The murals in the temple still manage to keep some of their original vibrancy, adorned by local myths and Buddhist teachings. The original meditation room of the kings and the monks’ living quarters are still intact after years of vandalism revolution.
Wat Long Khoun is still in use today so make sure you dress appropriately and keep respectful silence once you enter the temple. It’s also recommended that you take a short stroll of a few hundred meters down to the Sakkarin Cave for some photo opportunities.

The Royal Palace Museum

The magnificent Royal Palace Museum is set in a spacious and well-tended garden and was once the residence of the king. This is the perfect place to learn more about Lao history and culture. The exhibits trace back to the turbulent past of the Lane Xang kingdom and the colonial era. The palace remains in good condition and was opened to the public in 1995, offering an insightful glimpse into the lifestyle of the king and his family. The palace grounds contain other buildings including a new exhibition hall, a chapel, and a statue of King Sisavangvong. If you’re looking for some quality photo opportunities, climb up Mount Phousi and enjoy the panoramic view of the temple.The Royal Palace Museum

Mount Phousi

Mount Phousi cuts through the Luang Prabang skyline and rises 150 meters above the ground. The hill is a popular place to watch the sunrise and sunset over its surrounding splendors. From the summit, you can enjoy a spectacular outlook across the city with glistening temples and distant mountain ranges. It takes some work to reach the summit as you have to climb 355 zigzagging steps. However, you can enjoy the temples along the way before finally savoring the fascinating view of the whole city.
You can stop by several temples along the way to pray and make offerings. You can buy flowers to offer for blessings or set caged birds free. Lao people believe that if you set a bird free, good luck and happiness will come to you in the future.Mount Phousi

Kuang Si Waterfall

Kuang Si Waterfall is the biggest one in Luang Prabang with three tiers of azure water pouring down 50 meters into spectacular sparkling pools before flowing downstream. This is a great place to cool off and is very popular among tourists and locals alike. The pools have cascades of up to five meters high and lush green water due to the surrounding tropical jungle. You can relax under the shade of the jungle and watch as others having fun in the glistening water.

Pak Ou Caves

Set in a limestone cliff where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River, Pak Ou Caves are among the most respected holy sites in Lao. The history of Pak Ou Caves dates back thousands of years, and they’re packed with over 4,000 gilded Buddha statues brought in the caves by worshipers over the course of hundreds of years. You can visit two caves: the lower cave is called Tham Ting and the upper one is Tham Theung, both displaying miniature Buddhist figures that are mostly made of wood. The caves are famous pilgrim sites for locals are very busy during April when the Lao New Year takes place.
The caves are not far from Ban Xang Hai village, which is famous for its wine production. You can consider stopping by to experience the making of Lao wine earthen jars first hand. This will be an interesting side trip as you get to try locally produced wine and socialize with the locals as well.Pak Ou Caves


Alms Giving Ceremony

The alms-giving ceremony, also known as Tak Bat, is a sacred ceremony happening every morning where the locals paying alms to the monks. It’s an unforgettable sight to witness: a single file line of monks draped in orange robes carry bowls to collect offerings brought by the locals in front of them.
The monks line up in the order of age with the oldest one at the beginning of the line as locals and tourists lay offerings of food, flowers, and incense into their bowls. You can join the locals and buy offerings nearby. You can find locals selling packages for you to purchase. Make sure to always be respectful and dress appropriately because this is an important tradition of Lao people.Alms Giving Ceremony

Luang Prabang Night Market

You cannot enjoy Luang Prabang to the fullest without having a walk down its vibrant night market. The market can be very hectic and crowded but that’s what makes it so great! You can try the local foods or even put your bargaining skill to the test. Luang Prabang offers the most extensive collection of handicrafts in the country with a lot of interesting items on display that are rare and very affordable. So even if your bargain game is not very strong, you can still get good value.
If you’re not into shopping, you can wander around and chat with the vendors to know more about culture and people’s daily life. The best thing about traders here is that they don’t force people to buy anything. Taking a relaxing walk through the night market is an enjoyable experience as you can soak up the surroundings while strolling amongst the stalls.Luang Prabang Night Market

Take Lao Cooking Classes

Luang Prabang is the best place in Laos to learn how to cook traditional dishes. Classes normally last a day or half a day and most of them begin with a trip to the local market to shop for fresh ingredients. It’s recommended that everyone should choose different dishes to prepare then share with each other in the class so that you’re able to try a bit of everything!Lao Cooking Classes

Try an Authentic Laotian Massage

A traditional Laotian massage is wonderful and much cheaper than that of its neighbor – Thailand. After hiking the waterfall or Mount Phousi, your muscles can become very sore and in need of a good four-hand massage where you have two massage therapists working on you at the same time!

Enjoy Cheerful Festivals

Laos is a land of festivals and celebrations with a calendar full of exciting events. If you come to Luang Prabang, there are a lot of festivals for you to attend during the year such as the Harvest Festival, the Rocket Festival and Lao’s New Year, etc.Laos Cheerful Festivals