7 Nice Issues to do in Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is an idyllic city surrounded by scenic landscapes of rivers, mountains, jungles, and waterfalls. The streets are full of historical temples, bustling markets, the occasional French bakery, and naturally pleasant individuals with that comfortable Laos smile.
With a inhabitants of below half one million individuals, and an excellent laid-back Laos life-style, you might simply neglect that is the second largest metropolis in the complete nation. Nonetheless, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city doesn’t fail to impress, not even for a minute.
On the west of Luang Prabang, you can find the Mekong River which snakes its means by means of Laos to the Thai border in Chiang Rai, and ultimately on to the massive Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
The Nam Khan River, a tributary of the Mekong River, runs east-west by means of the city. On the south, you can find the traditional city centre filled with Buddhist temples, guesthouses and markets. To the north, throughout the small wood stroll bridge, there are small semi-rural villages which supply a view into Laos’ genuine life-style.
I solely spent a short while exploring Luang Prabang, nonetheless, I’ve to say it was one in every of my favorite cities (or villages) within the Democratic Republic of Laos.
Planning to go to, or already there? Listed below are a few of my favorite issues to do in Luang Prabang.
Discover the Historic Temples
With over 30 temples scattered all through the city, visiting a temple or two is the obvious factor to do in Luang Prabang. Nevertheless, all too usually I discover myself confused with the massive vary of choices. The place do you begin?
Essentially the most iconic temple in Luang Prabang is named Wat Xieng Thong which was constructed again within the 1500s. This ornate temple is positioned proper up within the north-west nook of city the place the Mekong River and Nam Khan River meet.
Wat Xieng Thong is open day by day from 8am to 5pm. The doorway price is 20,000 kip (about USD 2.50), a modest worth. Bear in mind to be thoughtful, gown appropriately protecting shoulders and knees, and hold your quantity down, as this temple is actively visited by worshippers.
Proceed your exploring Luang Prabang by foot with these prime 10 temples round Luang Prabang, you’ll be capable of stroll to most of them inside in the future.
Be taught Meditation in Luang Prabang
If you happen to’ve ever needed to select up meditation, then the time is now. As I discussed, Luang Prabang has over 30 lively temples all through the city, which implies loads of monks. And what do monks do very well? You guessed it.
The best (and free) method to be taught meditation is to easily ask a monk within the temple to show you. Stroll round city visiting a few temples till you discover some practising monks inside. They’re usually more than pleased to advise you, maybe in alternate for a quick English lesson with you. As a first-timer, a 15-minute meditation session might be sufficient!
If you wish to actually immerse your self in meditation, then you might contemplate a meditation retreat close to Luang Prabang. Most retreats run from 7 to 10 days, so plan your time accordingly. I’d counsel studying the fundamentals of meditation earlier than trying a meditation retreat in Luang Prabang although, because it’s tougher than you’d count on.
Attend the Alm’s Giving Ceremony
5 o’clock within the morning is a tricky get up name, particularly if you’re on holidays, however typically it’s simply value it. Every day, early within the morning, Luang Prabang hosts a powerful ceremony the place a whole lot of monks stroll the streets by means of city accepting meals choices. This is named the Alm’s Giving Ceremony.
Locals and vacationers are each allowed to make meals choices. Typical choices embrace sticky rice or bananas which might be bought from small stalls on the town early that morning. It’s not customary to supply cash, so arrive a couple of minutes early to purchase some meals as an alternative.
The one different place I’ve seen that is Alm’s Giving Ceremony is in Chiang Khong, northern Thailand.
Go to the Unimaginable Kuang Si Falls (Luang Prabang Waterfall)
Kuang Si Falls is likely one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in Southeast Asia. Proper up alongside the Ban Gioc Waterfall in Vietnam and Khun Korn Waterfall in Chiang Rai. Now that’s a reasonably daring declare, however when you get there you’ll wholeheartedly agree.
There are three ranges on the Kuang Si Falls, every of that are stunning, nonetheless, the third degree is unquestionably probably the most superb. There may be one other (secret) degree which you’ll entry by taking a hidden path past the fence between ranges 2 and three.
Kuang Si Falls is positioned about 30 kilometres south-west of Luang Prabang. A songtaew prices about 40,000 kip (USD 6) which might be shared by as much as eight individuals. You should definitely ask the driving force to attend on the waterfall for about 2-Three hours whilst you go discover. Entrance to the Kuang Si Falls is one other 20,000 kip (USD 2.50).
Go to the Lesser Recognized Tat Sae Falls
The Tat Sae Waterfall is positioned about 18 kilometres south-east of Luang Prabang (the wrong way to the Kuang Si Falls) alongside the Nam Khan River. This waterfall is way much less mentioned than the Kuang Si Falls, so it’s an important choice if you wish to really feel slightly extra intrepid.
You’ll be able to both constitution a songtaew or hire a motorcycle to get to the Tat Sae Falls. As soon as there a 5000 kip (USD 0.60) parking price applies, adopted by a 10000 kip (USD 1.20) river crossing fare, then a 15000 kip (USD 1.80) entrance price.
Eat, Drink, and Store on the Evening Market
The Luang Prabang Evening Market is positioned within the centre of city alongside Sisavongvong Street, which might be closed to automobiles when the market is operating. You can see a variety of products from contemporary fruit smoothies and road meals dishes, to handmade native crafts, in addition to the everyday imported souvenirs from Vietnam and China. If you wish to assist the native communities, I counsel selecting up a handwoven scarf or different domestically made textiles as a memento of Laos. Please keep away from shopping for any animal merchandise just like the snakes and scorpions in whiskey bottles, or different uncommon animal components, as this simply encourages the animal commerce.
The Luang Prabang Evening Market opens day by day from 5.00pm and runs by means of till 10.00pm, whereas some shops proceed as late as 11.00pm. Entry to the evening market is free. This all makes it one of many best issues to do in Luang Prabang without cost!
Take pleasure in Sundown with a Chilly Beerlao
It wouldn’t be Laos in case you didn’t take an opportunity to step again out of your chilled-out life and actually decelerate. One among my favorite issues to do in Luang Prabang after a giant day of exploring is to hang around at Utopia Bar for a sundown beer.
Get to Utopia Bar early sufficient and also you’ll discover a seat within the bamboo hut trying instantly throughout the Nam Khan River. It’s north dealing with and completely positioned for the sundown. Arrive late and also you may not even discover a seat, it’s that common!
The place to Keep in Luang Prabang
Thongbay Guesthouse (mid-range) – a small household run guesthouse positioned about 10 minutes’ stroll from the Luang Prabang city centre. The air-conditioned bungalows are positioned proper close to the Nam Khan River. The Thongbay Guesthouse is a good spot if you wish to be barely away from the busier city centre, but inside simple strolling distance.
Satri Home Retreat (luxurious) – this luxurious Laos type lodge is positioned within the centre of city, simply 2 kilometres from Wat Xieng Thong. You’ll love the luxurious rooms and the backyard swimming pool at Satri Home Retreat which presents a refreshing break from the recent Laos climate.
Tips on how to Get to Luang Prabang
Hanoi to Luang Prabang – the sleeper bus from Hanoi to Luang Prabang takes about 26 hours a method. It’s not probably the most snug journey however does effectively for these on a price range. The bus departs from Hanoi round 5pm (test tickets and timetable).
Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang – the favored gradual boat from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang is likely one of the greatest methods to take pleasure in Southeast Asia’s rural landscapes. If coming from Chiang Mai, you’ll first have to hop on a bus as much as Chiang Khong (in Chiang Rai) then board the gradual boat. Learn a full evaluate of the journey right here.
Bangkok to Luang Prabang – there is no such thing as a practice from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, the closest you may get is Nong Khai which is throughout the border from Vientiane. One of the best ways of getting from Bangkok to Luang Prabang is a flight with both Bangkok Airways or AirAsia (test tickets and timetable).
- Header – Picture by Poswiecie from Pixabay
- Alms Giving Ceremony – Picture by Poswiecie from Pixabay
- Wat Xieng Thong – Picture by Basile Morin [CC BY-SA 4.0], by way of Wikimedia Commons
- Luang Prabang Evening Market – Picture by Backpacker’s Wanderlust
What did you like about Luang Prabang? Depart me a remark under!
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