In the tropical and cozy city Luang Prabang you can see some amazing natural waterfalls and fantastic views, visit lively markets and stroll around among the city temples. In Luang Prabang, there are not that much to do, but there are some things you don’t want to miss during your stay. So if you need some inspiration, then you are more than welcome to have a look at the list of the top 10 things to do in Luang Prabang!
Kuang Si Falls – My favorite among the top things to do in Luang Prabang!
Yes, this is one of the most spectacular and beautiful waterfalls on this planet. The amazing Kuang Si Falls is the biggest waterfall in Luang Prabang with its three tiers of refreshing water which leads into a 50-meter drop into the crystal clear and azure pools. From one pool to another the water flows downstream which results in even more waterfalls! At this beautiful waterfall area, you can relax, go for a swim in the turquoise pools, splash around and just have fun! Kuang Si Falls is no doubt one of the best things to do in Luang Prabang, even if you don’t like to get wet!
In the waterfall area, they also have a sanctuary for bears where you can watch them play!
If you are up to a physical challenge with a reward of a beautiful 360-degree view of Luang Prabang, then you should climb up the stairs to Mount Phousi! Mount Phousi is rising 150 meters above the town and is a popular place for both locals and tourists to watch the sunset over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. To get to the top you have to climb several stair steps, but fortunately, there are stops on the way where you can go and see some temples and shady spots where you can rest for a while.
Alms Giving Ceremony
The Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony is one of the most sacred traditions in Laos, where the locals give the monks gifts in the morning such as rice, fruit, money, and snacks. This tradition is for the monks to collect food for their one and only meal of the day. The Ceremony takes place every morning at sunrise at the beginning of the main road Th Sisavangvong, in town. When you participate in the ceremony, you have to show respect for both monks and the locals.
Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park
The tropical forests that lie around the incredible Kuang Si Falls are still attracting a great number of beautiful butterflies. Today the Kuang Si Falls area gives their visitor the chance to both explore the azure waterfalls, the bear sanctuary and a park full of colorful butterflies. The Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Parks is situated about 300 meters down the road from the entrance to Kuang Si Falls, and it costs 30.000 KIP for adults and 15.000 KIP for children to enter.
At this park, you can learn about the butterflies, ask questions about the waterfalls and the area and just be amazed at the colors of all the butterflies who live here in their beautiful garden. The Butterfly Park is one of the top things to do in Luang Prabang when you are visiting Kuang Si Waterfalls.
Tad Sae Waterfall
Tad Sae Waterfall is one of the best gifts by nature outside town. This waterfall is not as famous as the Kuang Si Falls, but it’s still one of the most popular things to do in Luang Prabang. The Tad Sae Waterfall is so beautiful with its beautiful limestone formations where it runs, even more, water streams than the Kuang Si Falls. The waterfall is only reachable by boat and invites you to go for a swim in the refreshing pools under the several levels of flowing water.
A nighttime stroll on the daily night market in town is one of the most popular things to do in Luang Prabang. If you like to shop, then this is the place for you. Here you can find all sorts of things with a broad selection of handicrafts, clothing, accessories, paintings and delicious street food. The street food on the market also has a wide range of different kinds of dishes, meat on a stick and even “buffés” where you can fill up a plate for about 10.000 KIP! The Night Market is the place to be during nighttime, where people get together for something to eat, some shopping or just for a beer or two!
Wat Xieng Thong
Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most famous temples to visit in town and according to some, this is one of the top things to do in Luang Prabang. Wat Xieng Thong was once used as a monastery and a Royal Temple where they crowned the Kings of Laos. The temple has some beautiful details of mosaic, woodcarvings, and gold and is located by the Mekong River. By the temple, there is also a funeral carriage where they have the remains of the last King of Laos in an urn.
I’m going to be totally honest when I say that according to me this was nothing special, in fact, I was a bit disappointed because of everything I have read and heard about this temple. If you are a big fan of history, architecture and never gets tired of seeing temples, then I’m sure you are also going to like it.
I love the fantastic architecture of the temples around Asia, and I am always excited to see something new and even more creative. As I had so many expectations about this temple, I was really disappointed when I got there. That’s why I include this temple in this list of the 10 things to do in Luang Prabang, so you don’t have to be as disappointed as I was if you decide to go!
The Morning Market in Luang Prabang is like the locals own supermarket where they buy their groceries. From 8 ‘clock, there is a lot going on when the local people come to either sell or bargain food. At this market, you can find some really odd groceries like oxblood, serpents, bats, fried insects and bugs and caramelized pork’s head. But you can also shop some more usual groceries like fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish.
Royal Palace Museum
The Royal Palace Museum is set in an enormous well-tended garden, beside Luang Prabang’s main road, Thanon Sisavangvong. Here you will find the beautiful Royal Palace Museum, which is worth a couple of hours of your time during your stay. Here you can learn more about the Lao history and culture and some beautiful artifacts to see. This is a chance to see how the royalties of Laos lived and keep in mind to show your respect by covering shoulders and knees ladies!
Wat Phra Mahathat & Wat Hosian
The Wat Mahathat & the Wat Hosin temple is situated next to each other and are my two favorite temples in Luang Prabang. The temples are free to visit and are centrally located at the beginning of the main road Thanon Sisavangvong. Both of the temples has some amazing details both carved and painted the walls and is also an excellent spot to see the monks singing in the temples. These temples are great, so you just have to make sure to put these on your list of things to do in Luang Prabang!