Henri Mouhot's Grave

Quirky history, beautiful scenery

Photo of , , Luang Prabang

What we say: 3 stars

This whitewashed monument in a small clearing by the river is quite simple, but the fascinating life of the man buried beneath is what brings visitors to this grave.

Henri Mouhot was a French explorer and the first foreigner to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia. He contracted malaria during an expedition into the jungle surrounding Luang Prabang and died in 1861 at the age of 35. The French built a tomb over his grave, but it was forgotten when colonialism ended.

It was rediscovered by aid workers in 1990 and has been cleaned and the brush around it cleared. The grave is not particularly interesting, but the scenery on the Nam Khan makes it worth the visit. The riverbank here would make a great picnic spot if you pack a lunch.

More details
10km east of Luang Prabang
How to get there: Less than 10 kilometres east of Luang Prabang, it is possible to bicycle to the site, though it's a long and hilly ride. Be sure to get a well-marked map and bring plenty of water.

It's best to arrange tuk tuk transportation through a travel agency or with the help of someone at your guesthouse, as many drivers will not know where the grave is. Round-trip transport should set you back about 150,000 kip.

Whichever way you go, Mouhot's grave can easily be combined with a trip to Ban Phanom and a stop is sometimes included in local trekking tours (talk to the folks at Tiger Trail if this appeals).
Last updated: 24th February, 2013

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