Best Things To Do in Luang Prabang, Laos

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Luang Prabang is a great example of a mix of traditional yet modern Lao architecture and Colonial Era influenced European architecture. Luang Prabang has successfully managed to blend these distinct cultures which makes it so unique and a must for people visiting Laos. Luang Prabang is situated in the northern part of Laos in the mountainous region which encircle the city with its lush greenery and picturesque landscapes. The town is not very big and most of the attractions are accessible on foot.

Things to do in Luang Prabang: 

The Golden City Temple, also known as the Wat Xieng Thong, was built in the 16th century and was the location for the coronation of Lao kings. The temple is well known for its distinct architecture, intricate mosaics and bright coloured wall painting which form a stark contrast to its surroundings making this place a must visit. Head for the hills to visit the highest point in Luang Prabang, Mount Pousi or the ‘Holy Mountain’. Climb up 300 steps to reach the top of the mountain to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city of Laung Prabang. Head out early morning to watch the sun rise, or during the late afternoon to watch the sun set. Visit the roads alongside the Mekong River to enjoy some delicious Laos Food. From local Luang Prabang specialties like sai oua, also known as Luang Prabang sausage to the Luang Prabang salad which is a fusion dish blending Lao and French cuisines to Kaipen, an appetizer made from seasoned and dried river weed from the Mekong river, Luang Prabang’s gastronomy scenes caters to a range of foodies. Running along the Sisavangvong Road, is the Luang Prabang Night Market which starts at 5 in the evening and is open till 11 at night. A perfect place to take home some souvenirs, traditional clothing and handmade craft while enjoying some street food the local way. Try your hand at traditional and organic farming at The Living Land Company which supplies vegetables, herbs, and rice to the restaurants and markets in Luang Prabang. You can enjoy your hand at the traditional Lao style of farming rice while enjoying a beautiful view of the fields around. Wander around the Royal Palace Museum, the former palace, now turned into a museum, houses the Phra Bang, the country’s most sacred Buddha image. Early in the morning, witness the Alms ceremony, where monks collect alms of rice and other food items from locals and tourists.

Things to do around Luang Prabang: 

One of the top things to do in Luang Prabang is visiting the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Located at an hour’s drive from the city, these waterfalls have three tiers which form a 50 meter drop in the pool in the most natural settings. Carry a picnic basket along and spend the day here enjoying the magnificence of the waterfalls. Situated a few hundred meter from the Kuang Si waterfalls, is the Kuang Si Butterfly Park. This park was created by two Dutch nationals, with an aim to research, protect and preserve the butterflies of Laos. There is a beautiful pond situated within this park on the banks of which is a café where you can sip some hot coffee while enjoying the beautiful view around you. About 2 hours from Luang Prabang, along the Mekong River are the Pak Ou Caves where you will witness beautiful Buddha Statues. A Buddhist pilgrim destination for thousands of years, the pilgrims who used to visit the caves, used to leave behind a statue of Buddha. Over the years, these statues of several styles and sizes added up, making this a popular place among the visitors. On your way back to the city, enjoy a sunset on the Mekong River Cruise. After a long day of sightseeing, cruising along this beautiful river is a perfect way to end your day. Take a boat across the Mekong River and arrive at a small and quiet village of Chompet. You can spend the day here enjoying various small temples. In case you have given Pak Ou Caves a miss, you can visit the smaller version of the caves here in Chompet. About 20 kilometres south of Luang Prabang towards the capital city of Vientiane, are the Tad Sae Waterfalls. These waterfalls are famous among the locals due its scenic setting where visitors can bathe under the waterfalls. Some of the other activities around the waterfalls include ziplining and elephant riding.

Below we have a list of things to do in Luang Prabang and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Luang Prabang getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Luang Prabang with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Luang Prabang

Here is the list of things to do in Luang Prabang and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Kuang Si Falls

    4.7 (240 Votes)
    Kuang Si Falls

    View Point

    Kuang Si Falls or the Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls is a three-tier waterfall and a favourite day excursion of the people travelling to Luang Prabang. The water plunges down 60 meters through limestone-rich rocks and gets collected in aquamarine blue pools where visitors can enjoy a dip. The whole area is very cool as it is shaded by the thick vegetation around. As you enter, you will find marked wal...Read more
  2. Wat Xieng Thong

    4.4 (234 Votes)
    Wat Xieng Thong

    Religious Site, Temple

    Wat Xieng Thong is a 16th century Buddhist temple complex (Wat) located in the town of Luang Prabang in Laos. There are various structures including shrines, temples and stupas situated inside this complex. Wat Xieng Thong was built by the king Setthathirath and was under the patronage of the royal family of Laos. This temple was used for coronation of the Lao kings till the year 1975. Some of ...Read more
  3. Mount Phousi

    4.2 (196 Votes)
    Mount Phousi

    Religious Site, Hill

    Mount Phou Si is a hill located in the middle of the town of Luang Prabang. This hill is 100 metres high and has river Mekong flowing on side and river Nam Kahn flowing on the other side. There are various Buddhist shrines located here like Wat Tham Phou Si and Wat Chom Si. Reaching the top of the hill takes approximately 15-20 minutes and once up, you get a 360-degree panoramic view of the bea...Read more
  4. Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park

    Park, Bird Watching

    Situated near the Kuang Si Waterfall, is the Kuang Si Butterfly Park. This project was started by two Dutch nationals in 2014 and the park aims at studying, protecting and preserving the butterflies of Laos. Here, you can learn the various stages of the life of a butterfly from a guide; from caterpillar to cocoon forming to hatching of a butterfly. You can roam around in this beautiful garden w...Read more
  5. Royal Palace Museum

    Museum, Palace, Architecture

    The Royal Palace, officially known as Haw Kham, was built in the year 1904 and was the royal residence of the kings and queens of Laos. However, in the year 1975, monarchy was overthrown in Laos and since then, this place has been converted into a museum. The architecture is a blend of traditional Lao motifs and French Beaux Arts styles. Some of the buildings in the royal campus, apart from the...Read more
  6. Old Quarter

    Walking Area, Neighborhoods

    The Old Quarter is situated on a peninsula created by the two rivers; Mekong and Nam Kha, north of Mount Phou Si and is a very popular tourist area. Some of the most popular temples of Luang Prabang, Wat Sensoukharam and Wat Xieng Thong are situated here. The main street here is approximately 2 kilometres long and you can opt to walk or hire a bike. There are many buildings of old French coloni...Read more
  7. Elephant Village

    Outdoors, Wildlife Sanctuary , Camp, Boating

    The Luang Prabang Elephant Camp is an elephant sanctuary and is supervised by Mr Tha Thao, an elephant expert. Starved, beaten and abandoned elephant from nearby area are brought here and they are taken care of. The Elephant Village aims are conserving the preserving the elephant species. Some of the activities you can engage in at this elephant camp are; training on how to ride an elephant, ba...Read more
  8. Night Market

    4.2 (61 Votes)
    Night Market

    Walking Area, Market

    Luang Prabang Night Market is set up right across The Royal Palace on the Sisavangvong Road every evening. During this period, the main street of Luang Prabang, the Sisavangvong Road is closed form vehicular traffic. Locals set up stalls on this street where tourists can buy locally produced products like clothes, shoes, bags, handmade bamboo craft, quilts, paintings, jewellery, art-work, handi...Read more
  9. The Living Land Company

    4.4 (128 Votes)
    The Living Land Company


    The Living Land Company is a project started in response to the ‘slash and burn’ culture of rice cultivation in Laos which often leaves the ground degraded and unusable. This project introduces an organic approach to rice cultivation by using methods like organic composting, crop-rotation and many more. This farm also supplies fresh, crisp, organically grown produce to many restaura...Read more
  10. The Traditional Arts And Ethnology Centre

    Art Museum, Library, Cafe, Arts And Crafts

    Traditional Arts and Enthnology Center is a museum while exhibits the traditional arts and lifestyles of more than 30 ethnic groups of Laos. The collection comprises of traditional handmade clothing and textiles, household items, jewellery, handicrafts, farming tools, and objects of religious importance. The centre has a rotating display of exhibitions and a few permanent exhibitions of the mos...Read more
  11. Tad Sae Waterfall

    4.2 (149 Votes)
    Tad Sae Waterfall

    Trail, Water Body, View Point, River

    Located outside the town of Luang Prabang, along a tributary of the Nam Khan River, are the lovely, refreshing, clean and blue waterfalls surrounded by the shaded green trees. There is a small trail located here which is marked and leads you to the falls. You can visit this beautiful area around the falls on foot or on an elephant back. You can opt for activities like hiking through the jungle ...Read more
  12. Bamboo Bridge

    View Point, Bridge

    Located in the town of Luang Prabang, is a rickety and creaky bamboo bridge that connects the town to a village is built on the eastern bank of river Nam Khan. The unique thing about this bamboo bridge is that it is re-built every year after the end of the wet season. Once on the other side, you will come across many humbling locals, a few guest houses and an open-air restaurant. Most of the mo...Read more
  13. Wat Mai

    4.4 (213 Votes)
    Wat Mai

    Religious Site, Temple

    Built in the 18th century, Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, or Wat Mai meaning New Temple, is the largest Buddhist temple complex in Luang Prabang and is located next to the Royal Palace. The most important structure of this temple complex is the Sim. The Sim’s multi-layered roofs are decorated with intricate black and red lacquer and Naga finials. Located inside the temple, is a beautiful emeral...Read more
  14. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

    Botanical Garden, Leisure, Boating, Workshop

    Located 15 minutes by boat across the river, is Laos’s first botanical garden, Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden. Visitors can undertake various activities like; Garden excursion tour, which starts with a leisurely boat ride across the river Mekong, and once in the garden, you can either hike us to a Buddha cave or read a book while sipping on some hot tea while sitting next to a beautiful pond...Read more
  15. Morning Market

    4 (46 Votes)
    Morning Market


    It is at the morning market that you see the locals shopping in Luang Pranbang. Set up in the narrow streets near the Royal Palace, this market starts early in the morning and gets over by mid-morning. Here you will find vendors selling vegetables and fruits, rice, seaweed, meat and fish. These shops are mostly set up for the locals and will give you a feel of the day to day lives and activitie...Read more