Top 10 Things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos

August 28, 2017 Jacquiline Darosa

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the former capital of Laos, and you'll see everything from golden-roofed temples to vestiges of colonial French architecture here. Buddhist monasteries abound in Luang Prabang, and early every morning, monks process through the streets collecting alms (their food for the day). If you want to watch or participate, though, ask your hotel for a brief etiquette lesson first—you have to distribute the food in a specific manner.
Restaurants in Luang Prabang

1. The Living Land Company

Khuangsi Water Fall Road | Ban Pongvang, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos +856 20 55 199 208
Excellent
91%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 642 reviews

The Living Land Company

Spend a morning on ourLIVING RICE FARM,Come and let us show you how rice is grown on our farm, experience the life of a farmer and try your hand at some of the activities. Or just view it all from the comfort of our traditional Lao rice house balcony, which is surrounded by rice terraces and our organic vegetable farm. All the family can join in and there are great photo opportunities. Our converted rice barn offers simple but comfortable accommodation for two, overlooking rice fields and Mountains. Relax on the Terrace and sample some of our home-brewed rice wine, walk to the ruined temple through our rice farm, be pampered with a massage then have afternoon tea, visit the local weavers who make our farm outfits before joining our farm family for a game of petanque or rattan ball! Watch or join in the preparation of the Lao dinner then dine with our farm family before you retire for the night (maybe after a Beer Lao or two?). Wake up to a brand new day and a typical Lao breakfast before joining the Rice Experience for the morning COST: 1-2 guests including lunch: kip 424.000 per guest Without lunch: kip 344.000 per guest We have reduced rates for families and children. Please contact us, we can arrange free pick-up!

Reviewed By Mark B - Calgary, Canada

Overall a big highlight from the trip as it was both educational and experiential throughout the entire process. We felt like we walked away with a much more profound respect for the rice making process and really enjoyed our guide for the day. The food at the end was fantastic (including the rice wine). Make sure you bring enough cash to pay as they don't take Visa and works out to about 688,000 KIP for two people, which included a TukTuk there and back to our hotel. Worth the price!

2. Kuang Si Falls

Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Excellent
70%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

Kuang Si Falls

Reviewed By zenu - London

A 20 mile bumpy car ride (however very scenic en route) from Luang Prabang brought us to the Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls. At the car park level there are many stalls and eateries providing BBQ meals.
The walk up the paved roads to the Waterfalls is fairly steep (I have mobility issues and managed it!) through forest land and the flora is very interesting. Many of the trees are labelled and this was very useful. The first view of the falls is breathtaking - the water tumbles over tiered limestone formations into crystal clear pools. There were many visitors in the afternoon and some were enjoying a dip in the inviting pools. There are toilets/changing rooms. Please bring your own tissues and handwash! No sign of any washbasins....
The area near the falls is designated as a picnic area. Long tables and benches are laid out especially for guests who have travelled with travel companies and a set lunch is served here. The dishes (apart from spring rolls and fruit on skewers)) were average and it was good to rest one's feet and enjoy the the Waterfalls.
Please note that the ground area at the falls level and the way back down is very uneven. We did not attempt the trail above the main falls.
This visit is worth a few inconveniences, a welcome change from temple hopping and a great scenic spot for picnics.
THE BLACK BEAR RESCUE CENTRE:
is located in the complex. Bravo to the organisers for the initiative they have taken. It was delightful to watch the bears play, fight or just take a nap from the madding crowd (good views from the viewing platform).
There is a display/information (statues) of bears from around the world. The warden said that the black bears were breeding - good news for the species.

3. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

Ban Wat That, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos +856 71 261 000
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 148 reviews

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden offers a peaceful escape from the town that allows you to learn about over 1,500 plant species on a 40 hectare property located 15 minutes down the Mekong River by boat. Learn about biodiversity conservation, sustanable agriculture and ecotourism as you take in free activities, including bamboo handicrafts, a local tea tasting, one hour hike to a cave, a history talk and a talk about orchids given by one of our local experts. If you care about conservation, environmental education or sustainable tourism, then Pha Tad Ke is the perfect half or full day getaway.

Reviewed By falangsabai - Phitsanulok, Thailand

My wife and I have a tropical home garden in Thailand, so we really wanted to see this one for inspiration. Even with our high interest it was simply not worth the $ 25 US dollars per head they charge.
Its a nice garden, but not spectacular, and only 10 years old. It would be of great interest to a person interested in native healing plants, as they have a good display with information.
You do get a 20 minute boat ride, but be warned, you have to navigate some very steep, rustic steps (about 60) to get to and from the boat.
They have a lovely, but very high priced restaurant. Admission does include a free herbal tea sampler that was pleasant.
This is a non profit conservation effort, and they offer free programs to locals
You could easily find other ways in Luang Prabang to spend time and money..

4. Old Quarter Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Old Quarter Luang Prabang

Reviewed By Bernard B - Paris, France

I fell in love with what is probably the most beautiful city in SE Asia. Luang Prabang has it all: location, Panorama, architecture, temples, daily life, crafts, delicious food, day and night markets. Beyond the main tourist attractions lie many pleasant surprises, do wander around.

5. Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park

300 meters before entrance to Kuang Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang, Laos +856 20 98 237 466
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 802 reviews

Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park

Reviewed By DomusLulu - New York City, New York

It was fun to take the one-hour drive to the Kuang Si Waterfalls in late January 2018. The falls create beautiful terraced pools of turquoise waters and invite ( a LOT) of visitors to take a dip. As lovely as the falls are, what captivated us most were the bears in the rescue centre within the park. Gorgeous, fluffy, playful things just napping or having a good time! Do not miss the bears, even if you are in a hurry to go swim! The only unfortunate thing in the trip was to witness the incredible amount of garbage strewn in the countryside: there is obviously a problem there and while you are in LP it is obviously kept in check by the local businesses, but out in the countryside is a free for all of dumped plastics and every sort of garbage you can imagine.The locals must have become inured to it, or have very few alternatives...very sad to witness.

6. UXO Lao Visitors Centre

Phothisan Road | Behind the Chao Anouvoung Monument, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos +856 71 260 906
Excellent
66%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 595 reviews

UXO Lao Visitors Centre

Reviewed By Steven B

Small installation of UXO impact on Lao and its people. Divided into two rooms, one showing a video of the victims un-exploded ordinance and the other contains examples of disarmed bombs,
Excellent, thought provoking experience, just don't expect to leave feeling warm and fuzzy (as you shouldn't).

7. Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)

Luang Prabang, Laos +856 71 212 470
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)

Laos' most enchanting temple was built in 1560.

Reviewed By Bernard B - Paris, France

I've visited hundreds of temples in Asia and this one captivated me so much I went twice! Best time was in late afternoon -crowds were gone, young monks performed a mesmerizing drum beat and the evening prayer and chanting was a delight. Whatever your spiritual background, you will enjoy!

8. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre

Ban Khamyong | At the foot of Phousi Hill next to Dara Market, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos +856 71 253 364
Excellent
51%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 705 reviews

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre

Opened in 2007, TAEC is a museum with permanent and temporary Exhibitions about the diverse ethnic groups of Laos. Permanent Exhibitions highlight the Akha, Kmhmu, Tai Dam, and Hmong ethnic minorities. On display now is a special exhibition entitled, "Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts". This exhibit features the Job’s tears (Coix) plant, indigenous to Mainland Southeast Asia, to demonstrate the important relationship between humans and nature. On display are unusual artefacts from 14 different countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. The adjacent TAEC Museum Shop features fair trade handicrafts from 12 provinces of Laos supporting over 600 ethnic artisans from all over Laos. Approximately 50% of the price of the products goes back to our village producers. TAEC also boasts a family activity centre, ethnobotanical garden, and patio cafe with cold refreshments making the museum a perfect destination for children and adults.

Reviewed By mjlothar - Geneva, Switzerland

Anybody who’s rated it poor/terrible clearly didn’t take the time to read some reviews before going. Yes it’s a tiny museum with a limited collection of artifacts but it’s very well done and they explain the different tribal / ethnic groups not only in Laos but all of Indochina and show you their crafts explaining history / differences / signatures so when you go to the Markets / stores you know what you’re buying and where it comes from, which as an avid market shopper I really appreciate. And yes it’s about 3 USD to enter but most people have no qualms about blowing that on beer! So come learn something instead ; just don’t come with super high expectations. Even the bathrooms are full of artifacts made by different tribes. They have workshops and lots of audio tapes to listen to and a video, You van easily spend an hour there. And yes there’s the boutique with pricy but beautiful items - they claim half the profits go to village craftsmen. Some of that stuff you don’t find at the market.

9. Wat Xieng Mouane

Sakkarinroad, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Excellent
44%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 153 reviews

Wat Xieng Mouane

Reviewed By Aqusite - Sonoma County, California

In a city where you come across so many wats that your eyes glaze over at yet another gilt naga, Wat Xieng Mouane restores your fascination all over again, especially if you appreciate the Ramayana, or else if you just like gold, gold, and mor gold. It is the Aya Sofia of wats. Don't avoid it due to the entrance fee. I nearlt did. And there are some other stunners, but this is iconic. Avoid going when you are burnt out; you want fresh eyes for this treasure.

10. Morning Market

Alleys between Main St. (Sisavangvong Rd.) and Mekong River, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Excellent
42%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 229 reviews

Morning Market

Reviewed By John and Deb K - Karratha, Australia

Jut loved these markets - it is fantastic to wander through and try and identify some of the fresh produce they are selling. You can buy just about anything there from cockroaches and crickets, fish and meat to fridges and washing machines. We wandered around for a few hours just enjoying the sights and smells

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