What to do in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

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Attractions

Destination

Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former royal capital of Laos. It is one of my favorite places in Asia. There are 30 Buddhist Temples in town with over 300 Monks living there. The Monks, dressed in their saffron robes, walk in single file through the town early in the morning to get their alms of sticky rice which is a large part of their daily diet. This is a sight not to be missed. You can also buy sticky rice to hand out yourself.

The Monks of Luang Prabang

 

The Monks of Luang Prabang

 

The Monks of Luang Prabang

 

The Monks of Luang Prabang

In the evening you can walk into the temples and listen to the same monks chant their evening prayers. It is wonderful way to end a busy day.

The Monks of Luang Prabang

 

The Monks of Luang Prabang

The Temples themselves are beautifully painted with sculpted roofs. Wat Xieng Thong is one of Luang Prabang’s most magnificent temples. ┬áIt consists of a large compound with many buildings, stupas and small halls. You will see traditional temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. There is a rare reclining Buddha to view.

Wat Xieng Thong

 

Wat Xieng Thong

 

Wat Xieng Thong

There is a daily vegetable and food market along the streets in town and an amazing night market for handicrafts, along Th Sisavangvong, from the Royal Palace Museum to Th Setthathirat. This is where you can find wonderful textiles from the Hmong or other hill tribe villages nearby. The women are in their native dress and it is very festive.

The Temples of Luang Prabang

 

The Temples of Luang Prabang

Enjoy the small shops in town. I loved shopping for the Lao silk textiles which were exceptional. I bought a large number of pieces from Caruso Lao Home Craft at 60 Sakaline Road. The decorative pillows were great. In addition to textiles they sell exotic wood and silver pieces.

Lao Textiles

If you take a boat trip up the Mekong, make sure to stop at the small village of Ban Kang Khong where they weave textiles and make handmade paper.

Mekong River

 

The Mekong River

On the Mekong trip you must stop at the Pak Ou Caves. There are two caves in the lower part of a limestone cliff facing the river that is filled with hundreds of carved Buddha statues. You can have lunch in one of the small villages across the river from the caves. They are fun to explore also.

Pak Ou Caves

 

Pak Ou Caves

 

Pak Ou Caves

Royal Palace Museum: Make sure to include this palace which is now a museum on your list of places to see.

The Temples of Luang Prabang

I really enjoyed just walking, exploring and photographing the monks, the people and the great architecture.

The Monks of Luang Prabang

To get some exercise, climb the steps to the summit of Phu Si where you will have a great sunset view. You can see two temples and a stupa at the top, That Chomsi.

Royal Palace Museum

Take a trip north to the nearby hill tribe villages. I saw many small thatched homes built on stilts and many wild poinsettia trees. Village life is great to see.

The Hill Tribes

 

The Hill Tribes

 

The Hill Tribes

 

The Hill Tribes

 

The Hill Tribes