Things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos


Before becoming another common tourist destination, Luang Prabang in Laos was one of the must-see places in Asia.

During my visit there, I had the chance to explore and experience the best of Luang Prabang, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so here are some things to do in Luang Prabang.

Things to Do in Luang Prabang, Laos

Things to Do in Luang Prabang

Many things to do in Luang Prabang include exploring the beautiful natural landscape of the area.

Overview of Luang Prabang Town

Explore this beautiful and well-maintained town on foot and relive history by admiring the stunning heritage buildings with traditional Lao and Dutch designs. Hotels, restaurants, cafes and guesthouses around Luang Prabang town use these buildings for their business, all within easy walking distance. This unique town has absolutely no modern buildings or anything above 2 floors.

nordic grotto

Or simply known as Buddha Caves, this is a must-see for all travellers, as the 25km scenic river journey will be an unforgettable one. Seeing everyday life on the great Mekong River on the way to the cave is what makes it so special. In the Baiou Grottoes, thousands of Buddha statues are placed in the grottoes, which is breathtaking. Entrance fees are separate here.

This tour includes visits to Pak Ou Cave and Kuang Si Waterfall.

Luang Prabang Market

There are 2-3 markets around Luang Prabang town, but the most popular is the daily night market, which is another place everyone must visit. Unlike normal markets that we are also used to, Luang Prabang Night Market is full of many crafts and silverware. This is also the best place to get your souvenirs. Also, there is the Hmong Market in town that day, where you can get some nice souvenirs too. For art lovers, be sure to check out some of the local paintings for sale in town.

Eat local food in Laos

Lao food in Luang Prabang is relatively safe for everyone to eat. Try the local baguettes sold in town. Delicious and very reasonably priced. Be sure to drink the local Lao coffee, reputed to be one of the best in the world. Try various Lao local restaurants along the Mekong River roadside. For a fusion of French and Lao cuisine, try the upscale L’Elephant restaurant in town.

whiskey village

The Laotian village known as Ban Xang Hai is on its way to the Pak Ou Caves where the boat stops for 30 minutes. You can also visit this interesting handicraft village by road from Luang Prabang town. The highlight here is the local whiskey, or Lao Lao, where various snakes, insects and bugs are fermented and blended with the whiskey and sold in bottles of various shapes. Lao silk is also woven on-site by local people. You can also buy fabric and other crafts here.

Mount Fuji

Also known as Mount Chomsy or Mount Phousi, this easy-to-climb mountain is one of the best places in Luang Prabang to watch a stunning sunset or view the entire city. A temple is also at the top, and there are two ways to get here. One is on the main street of the town and the other is on a small road behind the town’s ethnographic museum. Best to visit in the evening before sunset, where entry fees are the lowest.

Temples and Wats

There are 30 or more temples or monasteries around Luang Prabang town, so you can easily visit any of them on foot. The most popular of these is Wat Mai, which is on the town’s main street and has recently been refurbished. A walk around the town will also take you to various other temples and monasteries there. Visit some temples that run schools for young monks, where they learn carpentry, painting and English.

Things to Do in Luang Prabang
Visit temples in Luang Prabang, Laos

Tad Sae Waterfall

For nature explorers, this beautiful waterfall is located in the park, about 13 kilometers from town, and offers a variety of excursions or tours. There are restaurants and facilities in the park, and the entrance fee is 8,000 kip. The best time to visit the waterfall is after the rainy season. During the dry season, the waterfalls tend to have low volumes, so you may be disappointed.

This Tad Sae tour includes kayaking.

Xiangtong Temple

Wat Phra Kaew is probably one of the oldest and most important temples in Luang Prabang, built in 1560. The entrance fee is 5,000 kip ($0.50) to the temple grounds, where you can see the fascinating architecture. Check out the detailed work on the main temple structure, while the various murals were restored, which look very beautiful.

Elephant Riding and Trekking or Elephant Village

The Elephant Park project area is located about 15 kilometers outside the city, surrounded by mountains. An easy half-day hike (approximately 3-4 hours) will take you into a local Khammu village, where you can gain insight into the daily life and culture of this ethnic minority.

Alternatively, you can hike in Luang Prabang to nearby hillside villages.

  • travel expert

    I am sure you have had a similar experience while traveling. You’re somewhere and a travel companion or local recommends a little-known beach, bar, or place to stay. Great travel tips from fellow travelers or locals always add something special to our trip. That’s the inspiration for Travel Dudes.

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