Luang Prabang is an ancient town in Laos. The town of Luang Prabang is located on the northern part of the country and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. lots of beautiful old colonial French architecture has been immaculately preserved and walking through it is like strolling through a time machine! An extremely laidback little town where you can while yourself away in, from the beautiful nature of Khuang Si Falls to the man made wonders of Pak Ou Caves, there are so many things to do in Luang Prabang that there’s something for everyone.
But the best way to see Luang Prabang, we believe, is to connect with the locals our simply contact Laos Group Tours and see Luang Prabang from the inside. Here’s a list of the top things to do in Luang Prabang, please view below:
1, Visit Luang Prabang Elephant Village ofcourse !
What trip to the “Land of a Million Elephants” would it be if you never even went to see these wonderful animals up close and personal!
We make sure to always keep the welfare of the elephants and staff as a top priority. You can find out more about the work.
2, Visit Kuang Si Waterfall
A seriously beautiful natural waterfalls located about 30 km outside of Luang Prabang.
Most people will decide to get a Tuk Tuk there for around 200,000 Kip; but the more adventurous among you can actually get a bicycle and ride it. of course takeing the minivan by buying the ticket from our Laos Group Tour office is the most reasonable price (Only 50,000kip about 5.5 usd)
Just remember to bring swimming suites, some of water and something to cover your head as well because it can get very hot
Whilst you are there, you can also visit the nearby butterfly farm which is beautifully designed and kept by a couple of local expats and their local Lao staff.
3, Learn how to make a knife
Something that may not be on most travelers radar, is to learn the traditional ways to make a knife from a local expert or you can book your tour Making a knife half day tour
4, Check out the UXO (Un-exploded Ordinance) center
Laos has the unfortunate record of being one of the most heavily bombed countries on Earth due the secret war that ran parallel to the Vietnam war.
One of the legacies of this is vast amount of un-exploded bombs littered around the country, but mainly located in the Xieng Khoung and Huaphan Provinces on the Vietnamese border.
You can see some of the work that UXO organisation is involved in and perhaps get a better understanding about the country in general.
5, Giving alms and morning market
Of course, the obligatory Alms giving ceremony.
Every morning, long lines of saffron robed monks will walk all around Luang Prbang collecting food and other offerings from both tourists and the locals.
However there are a few things to bear in mind:
The local people who do this every morning must be respected. They are very devout and it is not respectful to just treat the whole process as a thing to check off your list.
The monks must not be interrupted during it and women must refrain from touching them.
Don’t stand in front of them with your camera just snapping away. These real people and it is not a zoo.
If you wish to participate; it would be a good idea to ask your hotel or guesthouse to prepare some sticky rice or snacks for you to give. Dress respectfully and do not just show up in a “I went tubing in Vang Vieng” vest.
Have a read through this list made by the government, of things to keep in mind when visiting.
6, Get a traditional Lao massage / Learn some Yoga!
Although we can’t really recommend any particular place to get a massage in town; there are a great many that offer some very good massages at reasonable rates, (not to mention the health benefits!).
A word of warning here though: The traditional Lao massage can be quite strong, so it may be worth telling your masseuse to start off gentle and then work up to the full body contortions!
Yoga is also a really amazing way to get your body in top shape and also to get it into sync with your mind. You want to consider practicing at home first before you really jump into it.
However if you already have a base and want to get started right away, you can always head over to Utopia bar to enjoy the river front view as you stretch in the morning! (Check out their schedule here).
So there you have, a quick list of some great things to do when in this beautiful city.
There many other things to do of course, but this is just a small list to help get you on your way. You are also very welcome to our Laos Group Tours office to say hello and our staff are wonderful talkers and love every opportunity to talk with foreigners, (you may even get a local tip or two if you ask them :)).
7, Visiting Phousi Mount
Rising 100 meters above sea level, Mount Phousi is Luang Prabang’s greatest spot for a panoramic view of the remarkable city and wild surrounds. Possibly the best place to soak in a sunrise or sunset in all of Asia, those who come fully surrender to the awe-inspiring sight of a bustling city set amongst the endless jungle and towering mountains.
The climb is fairly steep but able to be completed by most fitness levels, with several spots offering a comfortable rest before continuing the ascent. Whatever it takes, make sure you spend an evening atop this incredible peak during your time in Luang Prabang with a full camera battery and an empty mind.
8, Visiting the pak ou cave
Crammed to breaking point with over 4,000 Buddha icons said to have been abandoned by locals thousands of years ago, Pak Ou Caves are set dramatically into a limestone cliff at the meeting point of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers.
Two caves here serve as shrines to the Buddha and spirits of the river, with both accessible by tourists and more than worth the tricky path that grants entry. Torches are required for some areas that fade to total black, providing an eerie atmosphere as you search for the intricate religious icons amidst the all-encompassing darkness.
9, Night Market
Gracing the central area of Sisavangvong Rd every single night, the Luang Prabang night markets are a place that brings together locals and tourists with a community spirit and brings a smile to the face and a hunger to the belly.
Luckily, these vibrant markets feature not only locally-made items such as clothing, souvenirs, astounding art, and freshly squeezed juices, but also a huge array of traditional food cooked right in front of your eyes. Devour a whole fish on a skewer, tuck into fruit-infused sticky rice, bite into crunchy roast pork, or get your fill of vegetarian delights night after night at this unique and unbeatable night market.
10, Spend an over night home stay
Luang Prabang Homestay
The surrounds of Luang Prabang lend themselves perfectly to travelers looking to get their heart rate up through a mixture of strenuous activity and jaw-dropping views. There are hiking trails to suit all levels of fitness and no shortage of stunning waterfalls and wildlife to discover along the way.
Trek to local villages to see how rural Laos residents live their lives and feel their welcoming hospitality from the moment their beautiful homes come into view. Companies do offer hiking tours from the center of the city, but those feeling ambitious can feel safe talking to the trees themselves.
11, Cross Namkhan River on a Bamboo Bridge
Channel Indiana Jones as you cross the old bamboo bridge that has provided a route across the picturesque Nam Khan River since the 1920s. Today, the bridge is in a state of decay that gives the impression of danger when crossing, but the small fee tourists pay in order to cross does go towards ensuring the bridge remains intact for many more years to come.
Once safely on the opposite shore, it is well worth it to wonder area an area that features several local cafes, a small school, and an insight into the way Luang Prabang residents live in the modern age. Make sure you have your return ticket safely tucked away though, as it is a long walk back without the use of the bridge!