Places to visit in Luang Prabang

Situated in the center of Northern Laos, Luang Prabang is one of the most charming cities in Southeast Asia with its protected, unique juxtaposition of temples and traditional architecture. This city offers a perfect balance of beauty nature, peace and bliss which stands within the UNESCO World Heritage protected zone. You can also access all of nature and wilderness that makes Laos so popular from Luang Prabang.

If you are planning to travel to this wonderful land which often called “the heart of Laos”, the following list of beautiful sights in Luang Prabang will be helpful for your travel guide pocket. Let’s check it out with Laos Travel team!

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1. Wat Xieng Thong

Constructed in the order of King Setthathirath in 1560, Wat Xieng Thong presents a fine example of the traditional Lao style with sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics, of which a beautiful ‘tree of life’ glass montage on the rear temple wall is highlight. This temple is considered the most beautiful and important among other ornate ones in Luang Prabang. There are many gold statues, statues of deities and a 25-meter (82-foot) high funeral carriage as well as delicate reliefs, carvings, recounting many sacred Buddha relics that the visitors can see here.

In the past, the temple was used as Royal Temple holding the coronation of Lao Kings. It was also as the gate of city where the official Royal departed and arrived. Nowadays, Wat Xieng Thong becomes a major place to gather people celebrating significant annual festivities in the ancient capital.

Top 10 Places To Visit In Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art.

Add: Between Souvanhnakhamphong Road and Sakkaline Road, Luang Prabang City
Opening hours: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Entrance fee: 20,000LAK/ticket (~ 2,5USD/ticket)

2. Royal Palace Museum

Built between 1904 and 1909, Royal Palace Museum features the mixture of Lao and French architectural styles, and finally completed to more appropriate Lao design by King Sisavangvong.
In the past, Royal Palace Museum used to be the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Laos.

In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the palace was converted into a museum where its exhibits tracing the history of Laos back several centuries, an ancient Buddha status with 71m high (232 foot) and a room containing gifts presented to the King by foreign countries here.

In 2003, the Phralak Phralam Theatre was established on the grounds of museum to ensure the survival of the Lao Ramayana (the long traditions of the music and the performance) and giving opportunities for both visitors and Laotians to experience this vitally important part of Lao culture.

Royal Palace Museum

Once Laos’ Royal Palace, National Museum houses a lot of interesting historical items.

Add: 27 Ounheun Road, Luang Prabang City
Opening hours: 8.00am – 11.30am / 1.30pm – 5.00pm
Entrance fee: 30,000LAK/ticket (~ 3,8USD/ticket)

Phralak Phralam Theatre:

Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
6.00pm from October to February/ 6.30pm from March to September
Counter ticket: start from 8.00am until 6.00pm
Entrance fee: there are 3 different price depends on the row seat; start from 100,000LAK, 120,000LAK and 150,000LAK/person (respectively 11USD-13USD-16USD/person)

3. UXO Laos Visitor’s Center

Although Luang Prabang’s UXO Laos is in smaller size and less elaborate than the one in capital Vientiane, this center’s display still packs a punch. At here, visitors will have chance to learn more about the war, see the displays of real-life bombies, compelling survivor stories and watch a documentary about the dangerous works to clean up the bombies.

The UXO Visitors Centre, Laos

The UXO Visitors Centre is a ‘must see’ for those who travel to Luang Prabang with real-life bombies on display.

Add: Behind Souphanouvong Monument, Luang Prabang City
Opening hours: 8.00am – 11.30am / 1.00pm to 5.00pm
Entrance fee: Free (donation is encouraged)

4. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (TAEC)

Founded in 2006, The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center promotes the appreciation and transmission of the ethnic cultural heritage and livelihoods based on traditional skills in Laos. This is a good place to see artisans practicing traditional arts and learn more about the ethnic groups inhabiting Laos.

The primary activities of the center are museum displays, offering a rare and fascinating insight into the diversity and richness of Laos’ ethnic cultures and fair-trade handicrafts stores. The center also expanded to include a growing collection of ethnic minority artefacts, a small library, family activity centre, and outdoor patio space for special events.

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center luang prabang laos

The Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center is the place for those who are interested in the ethnic diversity and cultural heritage in Laos.

Add: Ban Khamyong, on the West side of Phousi hill of Luang Prabang City
Opening hours: 9.00am –12.00pm, every day except Monday.
Entrance fee: 25,000LAK/ticket (~ 3,1USD/ticket)

5. Mount Phousi

Regarded as the sacred hill of Luang Prabang, Mount Phousi is one of the most revered places to see in Luang Prabang, offering a stunning panoramic view of the city and beautiful landscape that surround it while climbing on top. There are some notable temples at the summit such as Wat Tham Phousi with its big reclining Buddha and Wat Chomsi. Prepare a good health to conquer the hill with a steep 329 step staircase.

Sunset in Mount Phousi

At 100m above sea level, Mount Phousi is Luang Prabang’s highest hill, offering panorama view of the ancient capital and a perfect place to watch sunrise or sunset over Mekong River.

Add: located in the centre of Luang Prabang City
Opening hours: 5.30am –6.00pm
Entrance fee: 20,000LAK/ticket (~ 2,5USD/ticket)

6. Luang Prabang Markets

Morning market

This is simple outdoor market where many locals buy their groceries in the morning. The products are varied from fresh vegetables, fruits to live fish, frogs, dried buffalo meat, insects… and anything else that might be the day’s catch from nearly river or jungle.

Luang Prabang Morning Market

Explore morning market is the way closer to the daily life of the locals.

Add: near Royal Palace
Opening hours: 5.00am – 11.00am
Entrance fee: Free

Night market

Night market is one of interesting activities after the night falls. This is place to experience your bargaining skills as well as enjoy bustling atmosphere with the locals. There are a variety of products on display here, from souvenir stalls for clothes, textiles, paintings and trinkets, as well as tea and coffee. You can also try delicious yet inexpensive street food such as fried mushrooms, spring rolls, baked goods…with Lao Lao whiskey or Beerlao – a great combination.

Luang Prabang Morning Market

Join Night Market is one of interesting activities after dark in Luang Prabang.

Add: on Sisavangvong street
Opening hours: from 6.00pm to midnight
Entrance fee: Free

7. Pak Ou Caves

Situated 25km to the north of Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves are very important site for Buddha followers, containing over 4000 Buddha sculptures and statues in various positions such as meditating, teaching or in nirvana. Located on the banks of the Ou river, the cave system can only be accessed by boats, with two caves of Tham Ting (low cave) and Tham Theung (upper cave, flashlight is necessary).

You can get here by tuk tuk (~ 200,000LAK) or by boat (350,000-450,000LAK for 2-4 people) or private transfer, then a boat to cross to other side of the river (~ 20,000LAK/person).

Located on Mekong River, Pak Ou Caves is very important site with over 4000 Buddha icons

Located on Mekong River, Pak Ou Caves is very important site with over 4000 Buddha icons.

Add: 25 kilometers from Luang Prabang City to the North
Opening hours: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Entrance fee: 20,000LAK/ticket (~ 2,5USD/ticket)

8. Kuangsi Waterfalls

Kuang Si waterfall is one of favourite day trip destinations in Luang Prabang, offering the natural beauty and serenity. This is the most stunning waterfalls in the area with 50-meter drop of flowing from three tiers. Once here, visitors can cool down in the pools beneath the falls or climb to the top for amazing views around. Proper footwear is necessary as the way is slippery. Of all the places to visit in Luang Prabang the Kuang Si waterfalls is the most famous attraction.

Kuang Si Waterfalls

Kuang Si Waterfalls is one of the most stunning sites for a day out in Luang Prabang.

Add: 30 kilometers from Luang Prabang to the South
Opening hours: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Entrance fee: 20,000LAK/ticket (~ 2,5USD/ticket)

9. Tad Sae Waterfall

Smaller than Kuangsi Waterfall but Tad Sae waterfall is still a great alternative for a day out in case you don’t have enough time for Kuangsi Waterfall. At here, you can swim in one of the pools (modest swimwear is recommended while the locals swim with fully clothed) and admire the beautiful surroundings.

There are some other activities for your choice such as organized elephant trekking for 150 000 Kip (so-called Elephant Trail), zip lining, boating on the river. It is better to visit Tad Sae Waterfall in rainy season (August to November) when the water level is high as it turns dramatically different in dry season.

Tad Sea Waterfall

Despite of smaller size than Kuang Si, Tad Sae Waterfall can also be an good choice with some interesting activities, including zipline, elephant trekking.

Add: 15 kilometers from Luang Prabang to the Southeast
Opening hours: 8.00am – 5.30pm
Entrance fee: 20,000LAK/ticket (~ 2,5USD/ticket)

10. Elephant Village Sanctuary

The Elephant Village Sanctuary was established in 2001, supporting the survival of elephants living in harmony with nature and community.  This also gives support for indigenous people in remote areas with creation of jobs.

At here, rescued elephants are given a safe and secure home where they are free from abuse works.  For those who love animals and nature, Elephant Village Sanctuary can be good place with several choice of tours including half day, full day or two day mahout experience with bathing the elephant, feeding them, trekking in the jungle or visiting Tad Sae Waterfall…

Elephant Village Sanctuary

For those who love nature and animal, a day trip at Elephant Village Sanctuary will be worth well.

Add: Ban Xieng Lom, Luang Prabang City
Opening hours: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Price: Half day from 45USD/person; Full day from 72USSD/person or Overnight experience from 150USD/person

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