The city of Luang Prabang in Laos is a destination no visitor should ever want to skip. It’s a mesmerizing city filled with over 33 temples, vibrant nightlife, stunning nature, and so much more, which is why it’s the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a lot of top things to do in Luang Prabang, and each one is more memorable than the last. Here’s our list of the best things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos
Aside from the obvious activities of visiting the many temples and soaking up Luang Prabang’s tranquil atmosphere, here are a few favorites to check out.
1. Discover Kwang Si Waterfall
It’s not easy to describe how falls look like, because they’re a gorgeous mix of azure and turquoise, and they cascade in an entirely beautiful way. At times, they feel as if they’re the sky in liquid form, especially when they’re crashing down on the rocks. You can also hike to the top of the waterfalls, and even stand inside the waterfall itself. You can take a tuk-tuk around 30 kilometers (45 minutes) outside of Luang Prabang to the gorgeous Kwang Si Waterfall. Escape the heat by swimming in the various pools; you’ll find food, drinks, and even a bear rescue center in the vicinity of the waterfall.
2. Enjoy the Colours of the Luang Prabang Night Market
South East Asia is a haven for markets, and Luang Prabang has one of the best – the colorful and lively night Evening Markets, which take place from 17:00 – 23:00 in the center of town. Hill-tribe traders and local vendors emerge selling all the usual products, including incredible wood carvings, handicrafts, jewelry, lighting, clothing, and other knick-knacks. The night market is open nightly from around dusk until 10 p.m. You’ll find great river fish, Khmer food, pho noodles, and lots of souvenirs, including fabulous silk. Arriving early as vendors are setting up will sometimes land you better prices. Avoid purchasing the many environment-unfriendly souvenirs made from animals and insects.
3. Watch Sunset from Mount Phou Si
The large hill in Luang Prabang is known as the “Holy Mountain.” From the top, you can get amazing photographs of the town and Mekong river. Many people choose to take in a mountain sunset after visiting the temple on top of Phou Si. Avoid supporting the merchants who sell small birds in baskets that you can release from the top for good luck. Mount Phousi is probably the most popular spot to watch the sunset from each day in Luang Prabang – so be sure to climb those stairs early to avoid having to jostle with hundreds of other tourists trying to get ‘the shot’ from the top.
4. See an Alms Ceremony
You’ll have to be up at dawn to see an alms ceremony, but watching scores of monks make their rounds to collect their daily food is an amazing sight. If you participate, bring your own food or fruit, stay low profile, and don’t interfere with the procession in any way.
5. Enjoy all the food in Luang Prabang (and the drinks too!)
Luang Prabang is a gorgeous heritage city in Laos, and it happens to not only be pleasant to walk around, but there’s an abundance of incredibly delicious northern Lao food for you to try and Laos cuisine is a celebration of the fresh and fragrant. Whatever your reason for visiting, the abundance of delicious flavors will make you want to extend your stay.
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