Sites to visit in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a small city yet full of character and charm. It was recognised by UNESSCO as World Heritage Site because of its unique French and Laos culture and architecture. Check out this following list of sites to visit in this city!

1. Kuang Si Waterfall

If you do one thing in Luang Prabang, it should be to visit this majestic waterfall. The falls are located about 30-40 minutes outside of the city, but can easily be reached by taking a tuktuk or renting a motorbike. On the way to the falls just inside the gate is a bear conservation center that is informative about the abuse the bears face. If you continue on, you will come across the lower falls which are a great place to swim in the blue pools (though very cold!). The most impressive part is the large water fall which cascades down and is absolutely stunning. It is possible to hike to the top but you need proper footwear as parts of it are very steep.

2. Golden City Temple (Wat Xiang Thong)

This is the main temple in Luang Prabang, and it is from here that the monks process every morning for the Alms Giving Ceremony (see #4). This temple is beautifully decorated with a long and rich history attached to it. It is possible to get a guide to learn all about it, since there are no real signs explaining the history or significance. If you only visit one temple in Luang Prabang, it should be this one.

3. Mount Phousi

Located in the center of town, Mount Phousi isn’t really a mountain but a very big hill. Getting to the top is not a hike but just a climb up a very long set of stairs (over 300). At the top is an old wat and 360 views of the surrounding area. Make sure to walk around all sides of the temple to get a glimpse of the Nam Khan River as well as the Mekong that snakes by. Another entrance leads down the backside of the mountain with Buddha statues along the way.

4. Old Quarter

With brick sidewalks, beautiful architecture, and lovely temples, the Old Quarter of Luang Prabang is the cultural heart of the city. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this part of the city is mix of French colonial architecture and old Laos temples. The Old Quarter is not large, and you can really get a sense of the atmosphere by strolling around and exploring on foot. Make sure when entering any religious sites to cover up your bare arms and legs as a sign of respect.

5. Bamboo Bridge and Crafts (Seasonal)

If you visit Luang Prabang during the Dry Season, you will have the chance to cross the Bamboo Bridge the only exists for a short time each year. At the beginning of the season, a family erects the bridge entirely out of bamboo. It is only possible to build the bridge at that time due to the low water levels of the Nam Khan River. Definitely something to check out! And it leads across to a few amazing restaurants and craft shops on the other side!

6. Tad Sae Waterfall

While this waterfall may not be as impressive as Kuang Si Falls, it is a lot less crowded and a great place to escape the city and beat the heat. To get there, you must drive about 15 km and then take a 10 minute boat ride. The waters at Tad Sae Falls are crystal clear, though very brisk! There is a deck where you can sit to view the falls, but seats go fast. Other activities include elephant riding as well as zip lining.

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