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Best Things to Do in Luang Prabang

What is Luang Prabang Most Famous For?

Our list of things to do in Luang Prabang highlights the UNESCO-listed town’s natural and manmade attractions. Often described as the 'Jewel in Laos Crown', Luang Prabang has managed to preserve its longstanding tradition and charm, exuding a missed-out-on-modernization vibe.

The majority of the Luand Prabang’s sights (including 33 Buddhist temples) can be reached on foot, so you can take your time taking in the surroundings and observe the way of the Lao people and monks. Just outside the town centre, you can explore lush jungles with miles of hiking trails leading to gorgeous waterfalls and limestone caves. 

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Alms Giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang

Alms Giving Ceremony

Luang Prabang is the perfect place to see one of the most sacred Lao traditions, the Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony. Read More...

Ban Phanom

Ban Phanom

Ban Phanom is a village steeped in traditional textile making with all families in the village working their looms to Read More...

Elephant Village Sanctuary

Elephant Village Sanctuary

Close to the banks of the Nam Khan River, the Elephant Village Sanctuary works towards providing a peaceful future for Read More...

Kuang Si Waterfall

Kuang Si Waterfall

Kuang Si (Xi) Waterfall is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into Read More...

Luang Prabang Library

Luang Prabang Library

The Luang Prabang Library offers the chance for you to give something back to the children of Laos. Many of the children Read More...

Mount Phousi

Mount Phousi

Rising 150 metres above the centre of town, Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure on the Luang Prabang skyline. The Read More...

Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves

One of the most respected holy sites in Lao; Pak Ou Caves have a history dating back thousands of years. Packed with Read More...

Royal Palace Museum

Royal Palace Museum

Set in a spacious, well-tended garden just off one of Luang Prabang’s main boulevards (Thanon Sisavangvong), you will Read More...

Tad Sae Waterfall

Tad Sae Waterfall

Tad Sae waterfall is a spectacular natural wonder best appreciated in the wet season. Despite not being as high as Kuang Read More...

The Living Land Company

The Living Land Company

The Living Land Company is a community-run organic farm supplying fresh vegetables and rice to hotels and restaurants in Read More...

Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre

Arts & Ethnology Centre

Luang Prabang’s Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre is dedicated to the preservation of the Laos' ethnic groups. Read More...

Wat Long Khoun

Wat Long Khoun

Resting close to the river on the banks of the Mekong, Buddhist temple Wat Long Khoun has long and historically Read More...

Wat Wisunarat (Wat Visoun)

Wat Wisunarat

Dating back to 1513 and the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun), Wat Wisunarat is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple and was Read More...

Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong

Also known as the ‘Golden Tree Monastery’, Wat Xieng Thong acts as a gateway to Luang Prabang as it is strategically Read More...

Alms Giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is one of the best places in Laos to witness the alms giving ceremony, which is a longstanding tradition in Laos Buddhist culture. Alms giving takes place daily as the sun rises, beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to all the side streets. You should buy your offerings (usually Read More...

  • Address: Sisavangvong Road, Luang Prabang, Laos

Ban Phanom near Luang Prabang

Ban Phanom is an artisan village, where locals practise traditional textile making to provide goods for sale at Luang Prabang’s markets. The woven products are made with cotton and silk materials, together with intertwined threads to produce a shimmering effect.

Some of the families work from their own workshops, with the entire village operating as a Read More...

  • Address: Ban Phanom, Luang Prabang Province
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Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang

Kuang Si Falls have 3 tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into shallow pools, before flowing downstream. The pools make great swimming holes – you can change into your swimwear at wooden huts close to the waterfall’s entrance.

Surrounded by a lush tropical jungle, the pools have cascades of up to 5 metres high. If you Read More...

  • Address: Ban Long, Laos
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Luang Prabang Library

The Luang Prabang Library offers a chance for you to give something back to the children of Laos. Many of the local children have limited access to books - in fact, some villages in Laos don’t even have schools. The library works towards providing reading materials to kids in some of the more remote areas by operating 2 library boats that deliver books to 75 different villages along the Mekong. 

These boats stay overnight at the villages, with staff organising active learning games during the day and operating as libraries for children to borrow books at night. Each boat carries 1,000 books, with about 100 titles are passed to primary schools.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
  • Address: Sisavangvong Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Tel: +856 20 5567 0890

Mount Phousi

Mount Phousi, standing at 100 m above sea level, is Luang Prabang’s highest hill. It’s popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set over the Mekong River. From the summit you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view across the city and its many temples, and over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance.

It takes about 300 steps to reach the top of Mount Phousi, but the climb is gentle enough for anyone with good health. There’s another set of steps down that will lead you to several temples – Visit Wat Chomsi where you can buy flowers to offer for blessings.

  • Address: Luang Prabang, Laos

Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves have a history dating back thousands of years. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. There are 2 caves to visit: a lower cave called Tham Ting and the upper cave Tham Theung, both serving as shrines to the river spirit and Lord Buddha. 

Tham Ting filters in some light but a torch is required for the pitch black Tham Theung. The upper cave is home to the majority of the Buddha statues and you will need to find your way in darkness to the thousands of hidden icons. The statues are believed to have been left in the caves by local people for hundreds of years.

  • Address: Luang Prabang, Laos

Royal Palace Museum

The Royal Palace Museum of Luang Prabang once served as the residence of King Sisavang Vong and his family during the French colonial era. Designed in the French Beaux-Arts style with many tasteful accents of traditional Lao culture, the museum exhibits stretches back several centuries to trace the turbulent past of the Lane Xang kingdom and the colonial era, through to the present day

The Royal Palace Museums is surrounded by a spacious, well-tended garden just off Thanon Sisavangvong. The museum is well worth a couple of hours of your time if you want to learn more about Lao history and culture.

  • Opening Hours: Monday–Wednesday and Friday–Saturday from 8am to 11.30pm and from 1pm to 3.30pm, Thursday from 8am to 3pm (closed on Sundays)
  • Address: 27 Ounheun Road, Luang Prabang, Laos

Tad Sae Waterfall

Tad Sae Waterfall is a spectacular natural wonder you can enjoy during the wet season in Luang Prabang. The cascades aren’t as high as Kuang Si waterfall, but there are many more streams of water pouring over unique limestone formations. You can also go for a swim in large pools below the falls. 

Tad Sae is only reachable by boat, giving you an opportunity to retreat into nature. Locals often visit the falls over the weekend, so you’re better off visiting during the week if you’re not a fan of crowds. The best time to visit Tad Sae Waterfall is from August through November. 

  • Address: Luang Prabang, Laos

Wat Long Khoun

Buddhist temple Wat Long Khoun once served as a sanctuary for those seeking spiritual rejuvenation. Prior to a king’s coronation, he would retreat to the temple for 3 days for cleansing and meditation. Also known as the ‘Monastery of the Happy’, Wat Long Khoun features 18th-century Lao architecture, with 2 single level sections: the front part was extended in 1937 during the reign of King Sisavonvan – it features gilded columns and intricate wood carvings.

The older section of Wat Long Khoun contains Jataka murals, which still retain some of their original vibrancy telling the story of the 547 lives of Lord Buddha. The murals also feature local myths and legends that incorporate Buddhist morals of kindness and the importance of giving. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm
  • Address: Luang Prabang, Laos

Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre

The Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre of Luang Prabang is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the many ethnic groups existing in Laos. Located in a restored heritage building along Kingkitsarath Road, it is the only non-profit museum in Laos. 

This cultural display of arts and lifestyles reflect a very diverse ethnic population. Permanent exhibitions feature traditional textiles and clothing, jewellery, religious artefacts, handicraft tools, and household objects. The museum offers visitors a rare glimpse into the life of Laotian people giving a greater understanding to their richly diverse culture with quotes, photos and videos bringing the exhibits to life. 

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 9am to 6pm (closed on Mondays)
  • Address: Kingkitsarath Road, Ban Khamyong Luang Prabang, 06000, Laos
  • Tel: +856 71 253 364

The Living Land Company

The Living Land Company is a community-run organic farm supplying fresh vegetables, herbs, salads and rice to hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang. You can take a daytrip to the farm and experience the life of a farmer.

There’s a beautiful Lao-style house overlooking rice terraces and the organic vegetable fields. The farm aims to offer an alternative to the current slash-and-burn farming methods which result in unusable land following harvest.

  • Address: Ban Phong Van, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Tel: +856 20 55 199 208

Wat Wisunarat (Wat Visoun)

Wat Wisunarat dates back to 1513 and named after King Wisunarat (Visoun), who ruled Laos from 1501 until 1520. It’s the oldest Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang, and served as the city’s Museum of Religious Arts. You can see religious artefacts and precious items related to Buddhism and the royal family.

Wat Wisunarat features traditional Lao architecture – a unique landmark here is its unusually shaped stupa designed by the wife of King Wisunarat. While it’s supposed to resemble a lotus flower, locals often call refer to it as the ‘watermelon stupa’. Another distinguishing highlight is the European-style roof, which slopes in a manner not usually seen in Laos.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm
  • Address: Luang Prabang, Laos

Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is one of the largest temples in Luang Prabang. A symbol of great historic importance, its structure has characteristics of 16th-century Lao architecture, with an elaborate ‘tree of life’ mosaic, intricately carved walls, rare Buddhist deities, and a 12-metre-tall funeral carriage. 

Wat Xieng Thong once oversaw the coronation of Lao kings – today, its’ an important gathering place for significant annual festivities in Luang Prabang. The temple still remains in its original form, with repairs undertaken to the roof, gold leaf gilding and lacquering added to the walls and entrance.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm
  • Address: Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
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