Peace, tranquility, and bliss are the words that perfectly sum up the emotion and vibe of the city of Luang Prabang. Situated in Northern Laos, Luang Prabang literally translates into “Royal Buddha Image”. Although the foundations of the city are deeply rooted in spirituality and Buddhism, Luang Prabang’s varied colonial past adds an extra dimension to this humble city.
The unique and serene places to visit in Luang Prabang have constantly received highly positive reviews in the past decade by travelers who have been on the lookout for fantastic unexplored destinations in Asia.
12 Best Places To Visit In Luang Prabang
Most of the renowned travelers, and tourist industry experts have recommended 3 days in Luang Prabang as an ideal time to enjoy the scenic beauty of this effervescent city. Here are the best places to see in Luang Prabang:
- Royal Palace Luang Prabang
- Kuang Si Falls
- Wat Chom Si
- Pak Ou Caves
- Mount Phousi
- Tad Sae Waterfalls
- Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
- Wat Xieng Thong
- Butterfly Park
- UXO Laos Visitor’s Center
- Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
- Morning Market
1. Royal Palace Luang Prabang
Constructed at the start of the 20th century, the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang was a home to the royal family of Laos during its French colonial era. Despite being built under the reign of a foreign power, the Royal Palace owes all of its architectural beauty and design to the traditional Indo-Chinese palatial structures.
Travelers on a Luang Prabang sightseeing tour can sense the air of royalty about the edifice as in its first 50 years, it was used as a home to the royal family and as a guest house to all the esteemed colonial guests the city was hosting. Travelers can now enjoy a full in-depth guided tour of the Royal Palace which got converted into a museum around 4 decades ago.
Location: 27 Ounheun Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
Timings: 8 am to 11:30am; 1:30pm to 4pm (all days)
Entry Fee: INR 280 per person (for the museum)
Tip: A tuk tuk ride will cost around INR 100 from the center of the town. A cab ride from the city center would cost roughly INR 250.
2. Kuang Si Falls
A lot of places to visit in Luang Prabang and places to visit near luang prabang encapsulate the natural beauty of the terrain that is bestowed upon Laos in general. As a result, day trips from Luang Prabang often can lead people to discovering amazing waterfalls, breathtaking caves, and stunning views from various hill tops among the top places to visit in luang prabang. A great thing about a place like Luang Prabang is that- the lines between the urbanized and rural areas can be so thin at times that sometimes travelers would be venturing into a beautiful untouched landscape without even noticing.
Located 29 km from Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Falls are a famous day-trip destination for international tourists who come and visit Laos for its serenity and natural beauty and amongst the top luang prabang tourist attractions. This multi-layered waterfall provides an opportunity for its visitors to relax and unwind in the midst of pristine flowing waters.
Timings: 8 am to 5:30 pm
Entry Fee: INR 170 per person
Tip: The best time to visit these falls is during the months of November to February
3. Wat Chom Si
Like a few other predominantly Buddhist nations in Asia, a common answer to what to visit in Luang Prabang while inquiring locals is Buddhist shrines and temples. Luang Prabang is also home to many magnificently built Buddha temples that are laden with bronze and gold statues of their spiritual leader and guide- Lord Buddha.
This is one of the most soul – soothing places to go in Luang Prabang. Wat Chom Si is a buddhist temple that is located on the top of Mount Phou Si- a small hill located in the center of the city. Often many local pilgrims make the daily journey to the top of this hill to pray at this tranquil place of worship and solitude.
Location: 10 Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
Entry Fee: No cost of entry
4. Pak Ou Caves
Pak Ou caves is yet another one of the adventurous places to visit in Luang Prabang. Situated 25 km to the north of Luang Prabang, the centuries old cave system contains over 4000 Buddha sculptures and statues. Located on the banks of the Ou river, the cave system can only be accessed by boats.
The caves are a very important site for devout followers of Lord Buddha, and also gets a lot of religious travelers from all around the country in April when the Laotian New Year celebrations begin.
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm (all days)
Boat Fare: INR 600 per person (from Mekong River bank in Luang Prabang)
Tip: Travelers can also chose to stop by at a local village called Ban Xang Hai which is famous for producing local wine and whiskey.
5. Mount Phousi
Often regarded as the sacred hill of Luang Prabang, Mount Phousi is one of the most revered places to see in Luang Prabang. The peak is often visited by travelers and locals alike to catch a glimpse of the sunset over the city of Luang Prabang. Visitors can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city of Luang Prabang and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
Tip: It is important to note a few things before going to the summit of Mount Phousi. Firstly, since it is regarded as a sacred hill by the locals, it is not advisable or appreciated that tourists carry alcohol to the summit. Secondly, the only way up and down the hill is a steep 300 step-staircase and travelers with physical constraints are advised to not make the climb.
Location: Luang Prabang, Laos
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6. Tad Sae Waterfalls
With its tropical forest cover, abundance of rivers, and a hilly terrain, there are a lot of waterfalls to be enjoyed in and around Luang Prabang. Tad Sae Waterfalls is another tourist hot-spot for people who love to relax, swim, and unwind in the midst of mother nature.
Situated 18 km South of Luang Prabang, what makes this waterfall unique is the fact that water flows over limestone formations making the waterfall drop not deep at all and spreading its surface area horizontally that can easily be accessed by wading through waist-deep waters throughout the premises.
Timings: 8 am to 5:30 pm (all days)
Entry Fee: INR 130 per person
Tip: Contrary to other waterfalls, Tad Sae is best enjoyed during the rainy months of May to September when there is constant rain and the pools of water and fresh and resurgent.
7. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
The first botanical garden to be ever constructed in Laos- Pha Tad Ke is a much appreciated ecotourism destination in Luang Prabang. Along with a guided tour, the visitors are also invited to an hour-long Bamboo handicraft workshop, an orchid talk session, and herbal tea-tastings during their visit to the garden.
Location: Nam Pho, Luang Prabang, Laos
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm (all days); Wednesday closed
Entry Fee: INR 1700 (included with guided excursion); No entry charge for children under the age of 12
Tip: Visitors can get a free boat ride that starts from the Garden’s downtown reception in Ban Wat That (included in the ticket price).
8. Wat Xieng Thong
Wat Xieng Thong is probably one of the most artistically and elaborately decorated temples in Luang Prabang. One of the very few temples that have survived in Laos for more than 500 years despite the numerous invasions by Western and Asian colonial empires.
As a reminder to the abundance of riches the royal families of Laos possessed, there is no shortage of gold statues, and even inscriptions written in gold on doors that lead to the main congregation hall of the temple. Photography enthusiasts are sure to have a great time in this temple that is a testament of elaborate middle-age architecture.
Location: Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
Timings:8 am to 5 pm
Entry Fee: INR 150 per person
9. Butterfly Park
The Kuang Si Butterfly Park is a heaven on earth as its the ideal place to spend your leisurely hours strolling around the colourful blossoms in the lap of nature. Dip you feet in the crytal clear waters and enjoy the sight of butterflies flocking around you.
10. UXO Laos Visitor’s Center
This is a small theatre that shows documentaries about the Lao civil War, citizens affected by Unexploded Ordinances, and the slow, painstaking clean-up efforts. This is an ideal place for film enthusistasts to spend their entire days wathcing the sceening of thse fascnitaning movies.
Location: UXO Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province, Laos
11. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
Splurge on hand-crafted items made by minority artisans, listen to seminar or attend a handicraft workshop and learn to weave or embroider yourself. The museum also features aretefacts on display, a library, a cafe and a shop.
12. Morning Market
Explore the outdoors by visiting the Luang Prabang’s morning market. Go on a morning adventure by indulging in grocery shopping where you’ll spot the vendors selling all kinds of vegetables and local produces like galangal, kefir leaves and lemon grass. Fruits like passion fruit, dragon fruit and durian.
After glancing through all the places to visit in Luang Prabang, it is evident that this tranquil and spiritual city caters to all kinds of travelers who would like to experience adventure, nature, history, architecture, or spirituality on their vacation. Book a memorable Holiday to Laos now and enjoy the benefits of witness a gorgeous unexplored paradise.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Luang Prabang
A. Yes, Luang Prabang is absolutely a safe place to visit. The streets are always full of tourists and locals, and the liveliness of the place’s culture can be felt throughout the day. However, petty theft is an issue to be aware of but it can be avoided if you take care of your valuables at all times.
A. Given the kind of attractions and experiences the city offers, an ideal duration to explore it is 3 to 4 days.
A. While there are a lot of places to visit in Luang Prabang, the most famous is the Royal Temple Museum.
A. Located in the north of Laos, Luang Prabang is situated on a peninsula at the confluence of the Mekong River and Nam Khan.
A. There is dry and wet season in Luang Prabang, wherein the months from November to January are considered to be the best time to visit the city since the temperate is quite moderate. However, it completely depends on what kind of a season lover you are, which means that you can visit Luang Prabang at any time of the year as well.
A. Yes, Luang Prabang has some of the most gorgeous waterfalls in Laos. Here are some of the best ones that you can visit:
1. Kuang Si Falls
2. Tad Sae Waterfall
3. Tad Thong Waterfall
4. Nahm Dong
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