Photo: Pak Ou caves.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Luang Prabang.

Temples


The temples of Luang Prabang

Life in Laos revolves around the temple and Luang Prabang is especially renowned for its spiritual aura, no doubt partly due to the 34 UNESCO-protected wats, all located within a compact town centre. ... Read more about The temples of Luang Prabang .

Wat Xieng Thong
Enter from Sakkaline or Souvannakhamphong Rds, Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang has a whopping 34 UNESCO-protected temples to explore. If there’s one must see, it’s Wat Xieng Thong, considered the finest in all of ... Read more about Wat Xieng Thong .

Wat Mai
Sisavangvong Road, Luang Prabang

Centrally located on Sisavangvong Road and an important site during the annual Pimai Lao festival, Wat Mai is one of Luang Prabang’s most photographed ... Read more about Wat Mai .

Wat Visounnarath and Wat Aham
Intersection of Phommathat and Visounnarath Road, Luang Prabang

Wat Aham and Wat Visounnarath (Visoun) occupy a spacious corner at the intersection of Phommathat and Visounnarath Road, but the complex is probably best known for Wat That Makmo, literally the “watermelon stupa” because of its distinctive rounded ... Read more about Wat Visounnarath and Wat Aham .

Wat Manorom
Corner of Manomai Road, Luang Prabang

Located just outside the peninsula, Wat Manorom (Wat Mano) was built to inter the ashes of King Samsenthai (1373-1416). It is possibly one of the oldest sites in the city, dating from the 14th ... Read more about Wat Manorom .

Wat Khili
Sakkaline Rd, Luang Prabang

Wat Khili (Wat Souvanna Khili), found on the main street near the tip of the peninsula, was built in 1773 by Chao Kham Sattha of Xieng Kouang. This explains why the temple is the same style as those found near the Plain of Jars, which makes Wat Khili unique amongst Luang Prabang ... Read more about Wat Khili .

Mount Phou Si
Between Sisavangvong and Phou Si Roads, Luang Prabang

Dominating the peninsula and visible from afar, Mount Phou Si is the epicentre of Luang Prabang. The golden stupa at its peak radiates like a beacon beckoning all—predictably, it is an extremely popular spot for ... Read more about Mount Phou Si .

Tak bat
Throughout Luang Prabang

Every morning after chanting has finished, hundreds of Luang Prabang’s resident monks and novices leave the wats and walk down the streets, barefoot and silent, collecting morning alms from kneeling ... Read more about Tak bat .

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Museums


Royal Palace Museum
Sisavangvong Rd (entrance opposite Phou Si Hill), Luang Prabang
T: (071) 212 470

Also known as the Luang Prabang National Museum and Haw Kham (Golden Hall), the Royal Palace Museum dominates the main street, its grounds stretching all the way back to the Mekong riverfront. One can really appreciate the big picture from across the road, on the steps up to Mount Phou ... Read more about Royal Palace Museum .

UXO Lao Visitor Centre
Phothisan Rd (behind the Chao Anouvoung Monument), Luang Prabang

Fact: Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in the world. It’s a fact that’s been repeated over and over again—but what does it really mean? Thirty minutes at UXO Lao Visitor Centre will open your eyes to the hell the country went through and how, to this day, people are ... Read more about UXO Lao Visitor Centre .

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
Kitsalat Rd side of Phousi, near Dara Market, Luang Prabang
T: (071) 253 364

The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) is a private museum devoted to Lao ethnography. It is highly recommended for anyone interesting in learning about the country’s rich cultural diversity and ethnic ... Read more about Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre .

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Waterfalls


Waterfalls around Luang Prabang

As a World Heritage town, Luang Prabang conjures up visions of golden temples and Buddhas, French colonial buildings and quaint cafes. Often visitors are surprised to learn the town boasts natural wonders as well, including several waterfalls just outside of ... Read more about Waterfalls around Luang Prabang .

Kuang Si Waterfall
28 km from Luang Prabang

With a multi-tiered cascade and mesmerising turquoise water that triggers involuntary gasps at first sight, Kuang Si waterfall is considered one of Luang Prabang’s top attractions and a must ... Read more about Kuang Si Waterfall .

Tad Sae Waterfall
Around 16km from Luang Prabang.

Tad Sae waterfall is an impressively wide set of falls, with turquoise water gushing through the jungle over limestone rocks into a large pool where people can splash ... Read more about Tad Sae Waterfall .

Tad Thong Waterfall
Ban Donekang

While certainly not the most spectacular of the waterfalls around Luang Prabang, Tad Thong waterfall offers the chance to take a short vigorous hike through the jungle, a brisk spring-fed pool to cool off in and a place entirely to yourself. It’s a very low-key experience, and if you’re sure-footed, want to enjoy some nature and get away from the tourist crowds, Tad Thong is the ... Read more about Tad Thong Waterfall .

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General activities


Sunsets

Sunset in Luang Prabang leaves a lasting impression on travellers, often becoming one of their most memorable experiences. ... Read more about Sunsets .

Free the Bears Laos
Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, Kuang Si Waterfall

When five-month old Kobe arrived at the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, he was traumatised. His mother had been shot and killed by hunters. Kobe had been caught, noosed, bound tightly by all four legs, tied to a length of bamboo and carried through the jungle. He endured being carried around this way for three days as Forest Rangers pursued the hunters. Eventually he was abandoned and found by ... Read more about Free the Bears Laos .

Weaving and textiles

Laos is renowned for its tradition of weaving and Luang Prabang has become a hub for textiles—read on for a primer on how to learn more about the craft along with recommendations for reputable outlets to buy ... Read more about Weaving and textiles .

The Living Land Organic Farm
Ban Phong Van village, on the road to Kuang Si Waterfalls, approximately a 15-minute tuk tuk ride from town.
T: (020) 551 99208

At The Living Land Organic Farm, a community enterprise five kilometres from Luang Prabang town, travellers can learn how to grow rice and try their hand at every one of the 14 laborious steps to go from a single grain to the dinner table (including step #3, a romp through the muck with Susan to prepare the paddy). By the end of the half-day Rice Experience programme, you’ll be dirty, sweaty ... Read more about The Living Land Organic Farm .

Kuang Si Butterfly Park
300 metres before entrance to Kuang Si Waterfalls, 29km from Luang Prabang
T: (020) 9823 7466

The forests around Kuang Si Waterfall have always attracted a large number of butterflies. Now the Kuang Si Butterfly Park gives both local and foreign visitors an opportunity to view them up close and provides another attraction to see while you’re already visiting the falls and the bear ... Read more about Kuang Si Butterfly Park .

Henri Mouhot’s Grave
Less than 8km from Luang Prabang

Henri Mouhot’s grave is a simple monument, found in a small clearing by the river, and is the final resting place of a fascinating ... Read more about Henri Mouhot’s Grave .

Giving back

There are several organisations in Luang Prabang quietly doing good work on the ground to help those most in need. Here’s how to give back a little something to the ... Read more about Giving back .

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Cooking classes


Tamarind Cooking School
Kingkitsalath Road, Ban Vat Sene, Luang Prabang
T: (071) 213 128

Cooking classes have a reputation for being a bit hit and miss in Southeast Asia with some being too technical and fiddly while others being demonstrations with little hands on participation. The cooking school at Tamarind in Luang Prabang however manages to strike a good ... Read more about Tamarind Cooking School .

Bamboo Tree Cooking Class
Kingkitsarath Road (on the Nam Khan River), Ban Wat Sene, Luang Prabang
T: (020) 2242 5499

Bamboo Tree Restaurant and Cooking School opened June 2014 and owner Linda brings 13 years of experience as a chef and instructor. This cooking class is a needed addition to Luang Prabang and we can highly recommend it as one of the best classes in town—if the group size is ... Read more about Bamboo Tree Cooking Class .

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Boat trips


Boat rides

A lazy boat ride on the Mekong is one of the highlights of Luang Prabang, and you can’t walk along the riverfront without being approached and offered a ... Read more about Boat rides .

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Massages and spas


Massage and spas

When it comes to massages in Luang Prabang, be cautious. We’ve been poked and prodded enough to tell you that it’s important to know where to go or risk a comically bad ... Read more about Massage and spas .

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Shopping


What to buy in Luang Prabang, Laos

From designers putting a chic new spin on traditional motifs to elephant slippers that have reached cult status, here's a rundown of souvenirs you should consider buying if you're shopping in Luang ... Read more about What to buy in Luang Prabang, Laos .

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Day trips


Pak Ou Caves
Around 25km upriver from Luang Prabang

Pak Ou Caves are one of Luang Prabang’s most famous sites, and these limestone caves overlooking the Mekong have been a place of worship for more than a thousand ... Read more about Pak Ou Caves .

Ban Xang Hai
Around 20km from Luang Prabang by road

At Ban Xang Hai, a Mekong village north of Luang Prabang, visitors can see the process of making lao-Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey, second only to BeerLao in popularity. A visit is usually included on boat trips to Pak Ou Cave. The village is very touristy but can be enjoyable as a short stop that’s part of a bigger ... Read more about Ban Xang Hai .

Ban Xieng Lek and Ban Xang Khong
Around 2.5km from Luang Prabang (by road)

Ban Xieng Lek and Ban Xang Khong, or the paper and weaving villages, are a quick, easy getaway from town. It’s an ideal trip for those interested in textiles, crafts and handmade ... Read more about Ban Xieng Lek and Ban Xang Khong .

The Pak Ou Loop

We’ve researched and created a full-day motorbike trip that gets you off-the-beaten track while covering two Luang Prabang attractions. We’re calling it “the Pak Ou Loop” since Pak Ou village marks the furthest point. Mere minutes from town you’ll find yourself off-road travelling through rural landscapes, teak forests and small friendly villages and we’ve thrown in two stunning ... Read more about The Pak Ou Loop .

Across the river, Chompet District
Across the river from Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang prospers with World Heritage architecture, boutique hotels, fine dining and tourism, yet a five-minute boat ride across the Mekong delivers you to Chomphet District and it’s like stepping into another ... Read more about Across the river, Chompet District .

Ban Chan pottery village
Around 3.5km downriver from Luang Prabang

See those decorative terracotta pots, ashtrays, roof tiles or lamp covers in the garden of your Luang Prabang hotel? These all came from Ban Chan, a Mekong village making pottery the old fashioned ... Read more about Ban Chan pottery village .

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
15 minutes by boat south of Luang Prabang.

As if visitors to Luang Prabang needed another excuse to get on the Mekong, the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden beckons on the opposite side of the river. ... Read more about Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden .

Nahm Dong Park
10km from Luang Prabang

In Luang Prabang, there can never be too many opportunities to get outdoors. Nahm Dong Park is yet another way to enjoy nature, albeit in a neatly presented ... Read more about Nahm Dong Park .

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Festivals and events


Pi Mai Lao in Luang Prabang: In 1999

Situated on a hill rising dramatically at the intersection of two rivers, Luang Prabang has for centuries enchanted those who arrive by boat—still probably one of the best ways to first see the former royal capital of Laos. This town dominated by wats of unspeakable beauty is somnambulant, peaceful and languid, masking a fascinating history of conquest and recapture, and only hinting at an ... Read more about Pi Mai Lao in Luang Prabang: In 1999 .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries


Luang Prabang for kids

Luang Prabang is a great holiday for easygoing parents and curious, adaptable children—but not children who must have access to modern distractions as you won’t find cinemas, malls or flashy theme parks ... Read more about Luang Prabang for kids .

One day in Luang Prabang

Have only one day in Luang Prabang? Oh boy, do we feel sorry for you; sometimes travellers stay for a week and still feel like they have more to see. But if you’re in a rush, or you were too busy relaxing and have suddenly run out of time, here is Luang Prabang packed into one day. Rent a bicycle and ... Read more about One day in Luang Prabang .

Trekking and village homestays

Luang Prabang is slowly catching up with the rest of the modern world but venture outside of the town centre and it doesn’t take long before you’re immersed in rural Laos. A trek or homestay is a good way to get away from other tourists, to delight in nature and learn about village life. It can be enjoyable—so long as travellers have realistic expectations of the ... Read more about Trekking and village homestays .

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Performing arts


Garavek
85/5 Kounxoua Rd, Ban Phonheuang (200m from Wat Xieng Thong), Luang Prabang
T: (020) 9677 7300

In Luang Prabang, everything has a story. From Mount Phousi to the Nam Khan River to the town itself, there’s a legend behind how they came to be. And don’t forget the popular Lao folktales of trickster Xieng Mieng or the first king Fa Ngum. Garavek gives visitors the opportunity to hear these stories in ... Read more about Garavek .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Luang Prabang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.


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