Top Things to do in Luang Prabang

Top Things to do in Luang Prabang

The iconic travel destination of Luang Prabang has so many things to attract travelers worldwide. Beside the fact that it is recognized as a Unesco heritage, the area boasts incredible nature. 
These top things to do in Luang Prabang are simply the best you should soak up:
luang prabang royal palace

Tour the Royal Palace

Wandering through the Royal Palace is one of the best things to do in Luang Prabang. Built in 1904 as a Royal Palace, this monument is now a museum that showcases artefacts portraying Lao’s history and the royal families.
Make sure to step in other buildings (the Royal Theater, Haw Pha Bang and the Royal stables) that dot the palace’s compound.

trek view luang prabang

Trek the picturesque Mountains 

Home to many breathtaking trekking trails, Luang Prabang beside the role of the cultural hub is also an adventure mecca spot. There are possiblities to hit the off tourist trails, hiking over the waterfalls, meeting the friendly hill tribes in the other parts of Luang Prabang. 
Trekking tours available from a day return to a week trip into the wilderness of northern Laos. Remember that the trekking adventure is not accompanied with comfort but amazing local experiences. 

kuang sii fall

Waterfall Hopping in Kuang Si 

Amongst the top things to do in Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterfall always takes a spotlight on the travel map.
It is just 45 km from the city Centre. This three-tier plunging fall is surrounded by lush jungles. Adding to the calm setting, the fall’s pools with turquoise waters offer one of the best swimming experiences in northern Laos.

tak bat
Photo: Daniel Trim

Alms Giving Ceremony (Tak Bat)

Are you after religion in Luang Prabang? Don’t ignore the Tak Bat, a sacred ceremony that takes place every morning. Wake up early to see hundreds of Buddhist monks as they leave their temples to receive alms from the local people.


Kuang Si Butterfly Park

Usually, visitors to Laos have varying interests, some drop-in for beach holidays, Jungle treks, marine life and others for Wildlife. If you are after insects like Butterflies, do not overlook the Kuang Si Butterfly Park. This Park (with streams, natural fish spa and gardens) is 300m from Kuang Si Waterfall.
It shelters over 1000 species of butterflies.

pak ou
Photo: Felix Nagel -

Explore Pak Ou Caves

One of the main draws in Luang Prabang is the Pak Ou Caves. This spectacular natural wonder sets on a rocky cliff facing the Mekong delta. There is a lot to appreciate, but the highlight for cave explorers are the two walls adorned with thousands of Buddha statues. The best way to get there is by a scenic boat cruise along the Mekong River. From the boat, views of the riverside scenery are inspirational.

Climb Mount Phousi

Luang Prabang city itself isn`t big. If you are searching for a viewing point to capture the panorama of the area, make your way to Mount Phousi. This towering hill with a temple atop offers tremendous hiking experiences.
To get to the top of this 100m high hill, you have to ascend the 350 steps. The major inspiration from the top is the bird’s eye views of the entire city and the nearby scenery like the Mekong River, Nam Khan River and more.

laos mekong sunset
Photo: Andrea Daddi

Sunset Cruise on the Mekong River

The Mekong River is the largest in Southeast Asia and a must-see. It is environed by numerous features such as waterfalls, caves and lush greenery. A range of astounding cruises are offered along its waters, but its most mesmerizing moment is probably sundowner.
During the cruise, you sit back and relax, sip a glass of beer as you take in elegant sunset views.

MandaLao Elephant Conservation

Elephants are some of the favorite Wild animals to Wildlife addicts. It may be your intention in Luang Prabang but not certain of where to find them. The best place to go is the MandaLao Elephant Conservation Centre. This sanctuary provides habitat to all elephants rescued from riding camps and lodging industries.
Guests often join a trek through the Jungle alongside these animals, take photos and participate in the feeding.

tad sae waterfall

Tad Sae Waterfall

Amongst the several waterfalls in Luang Prabang Tad Sae Waterfall is incomparable. Not like Kuang Si waterfall, Tad Sae is crowd-free and describes itself with turquoise waters suitable for swimming. Other things to do nearby are Jungle treks and Zip lining.

wat xieng thong

Wat Xieng Thong

Luang Prabang is known for exquisite temples, and none is more notable than Wat Xieng Thong . This Buddhist complex consists of twenty structures and shrines that are superbly furnished with a gold stenciling and colorful mosaics. Endeavour to look around the complex’s Chapel of the Standing Buddha and the Chariot Hall.

UXO Lao Visitors Centre

UXO Lao Centre is a museum to see in Luang Prabang. It’s located in Wat Naviengkham village and a great locality to seek more facts about the secret war. It showcases an array of artefacts, actual bombs, survivor’s stories and documentaries. It’s free of charge.

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center

Established to celebrate and preserve the diverse ethnic groups in Laos, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre is worth a stopover. This museum focuses more on the people of Laos through displaying their traditional handmade clothing, musical instruments, household tools and textiles. Be part of the cultural events hosted all year round such as the ethnic music performances and the handicraft demonstrations.

Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham

With its aesthetic beauty, great location and cultural significance, Wat Mai is a must among the top things to glimpse in Luang Prabang. What makes it unique from other temples are the black and gold stenciled columns, five-tiered roofs, a wooden sim, detailed golden reliefs, the Ramayana and Buddha’s penultimate birth.

Heuan Chan Heritage

House Heuan Chan Heritage House is a must-have for your days in Luang Prabang. Dating back 100 years, this traditional Lao house exhibits the way of life in northern Laos. Tourists sample the delicious local food and drinks, tour around the museum and the available workshops.

Check out a Traditional Handicraft Village

If you wish for something different in Luang Prabang, drop by a traditional handicraft village. These areas are famous for Laos’s elegant handmade products. Travelers are exposed to various skills like bamboo weaving, natural dyeing and pottery. Some of the prominent villages to consider first are Ban Phanom, Ban Xang Khong, Ban Hat Hien and Ban Chan.

Stroll Through the Old Quarter

Another secret in Luang Prabang is the Old Quarter. This UNESCO site highlights a fusion of Lao and French architecture along with the diverse culture. To get more excitements, wander through the city Centre to meet with friendly locals and admire the elegant splendor of buildings. Don't forget to try the tasty Lao food.

Traditional Storytelling at Garavek Theatre

Are you looking for evening getaways in Luang Prabang? The Garavek Theatre is one of them. From this venue, Laos’ legends treat the audience with various stories, including the one that details how the Mekong River and Mount Phousi came about. The event starts at 6:30 pm up to 7:30 pm every evening.

Traditional Lao Dance

Performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre Luang Prabang has plenty to excite you, but don’t condone a traditional dance performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre. This show gives an insight into the Lao culture. It’s performed by a troupe that consists of over 60 artists who are splendidly dressed in the Laotian costumes. Devour Traditional Lao Food Luang Prabang offers a great culinary adventure. The city’s restaurants serve a range of piquant dishes. Some of the worth to taste dishes are Laap, Khao Niaw, Khao Jee Sandwich, Khao Soi and Sai Oua.

Donate Books at Luang Prabang Library

If you are good-hearted, one of the things to do in Luang Prabang is donating books at Luang Prabang Library. This library supports the campaign raised towards improving the literacy of children in rural villages.

Learn How to Cook Delicious Lao Food

For those who have got the chance to taste Laotian cuisine can understand why it is named among Asia’s delicious foods. If you want to know more about this food, take a cooking class. Luang Prabang stars numerous cooking schools, but the best experience is offered at Tamarind Cooking School. It starts with a visit to the local market, learn about varied ingredients and later join a cooking session where you engage in the cooking with the help of an experienced chef.

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens

Places to immerse Laos’ diverse flora are abundant, one of them is Pha Tad Ke Botanical gardens in Luang Prabang.
Don’t forget to include it among the must-dos. It is located in the Jungle across the Mekong delta. Trippers participate in Jungle treks as well learn about the varied plant species in the ten decorated gardens.

bridge luang prabang

Photo hunting at Bamboo Bridge

For many, the reason for a trip to Luang Prabang is the Bamboo Bridge. This type of bridge; made out of bamboo and ropes is rare, that’s why thousands of trippers drop in north Laos to see it. The bridge allows people to cross the Nam Khan River. It’s usually washed away during the rainy season, but reconstructed for use in the dry season.

Herbal Sauna at Lao Red Cross

Luang Prabang is known for active adventures, wildlife encounters and local life, but it also caters for those who are in for refreshments. If you are after maintaining your health, visit Lao Red Cross for a sauna treatment and herbal massage.

Break Curfew and Go Bowling

After delving into Luang Prabang’s Charm, join the late-night fun at the Luang Prabang Bowling Alley. Many locals and foreigners congregate here to drink beers and sip on the glasses of Lao whisky. Free Movie Nights at L’Etranger, Books & Tea Apart from buzzing in bars, the other exciting thing to occupy your night in the city is a Movie Night.
Enjoy one at L’Etranger. It starts at 7 pm every day. The movie is free of charge, but you are required to order a drink or a meal.

luang prabang souvenir

Shop and Eat at the Night Market

For souvenirs, gifts and local cuisine, don’t hesitate to visit a night market on the Sisavangvong road. It consists of some shops that sell handcraft goods like jewelry, ceramics, clothes and bamboo straws together with abundant food stalls that serve Lao food (spring rolls, khao soi, grilled fish and more).

Take Part in a Lao Festival

Festivals feature on most itineraries for a Laotian trip. Luang Prabang hosts several Buddhist festivals per year. Endeavor to be part of one before you leave or time your check in to the city respective to one of them. The list of these scheduled events include Boun Xuang (Boat racing), Kin Chiang (Hmong New Year), Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year) and Boun Lai Hua Fai (Festival of Lights).

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