Luang Prabang

Experiential journeys will make you a storyteller
About Luang Prabang

Tourist places in Luang Prabang have been attracting tourists since many years now. Sitting at the intersection of two rivers, the Mekong and the Nam Khan, Luang Prabang a beautiful and a charming destination to visit. It is surrounded by limestone mountains and lush green fields and forests. The city houses traditional Lao wooden houses inspired by the European architecture as it was a French colony in the 19th century. The city is well maintained and tidy. Moreover, it has kept the traditions and culture alive which is clearly depicted in the monuments present in the city. Due to these reasons, Luang Prabang is UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Luang Prabang stands out amongst vacation destinations in Laos. From waterfalls to monasteries to trekking to outdoor activities, this place has a lot to offer. Regions in and around the city are filled with breathtaking views which leave in awe of the place. Moreover, the panorama includes limestone mountains, green fields, clear blue river waters etc., all of which contribute towards the serenity here. Visiting monasteries and temples will definitely be a spiritual nourishment. Beyond the history and traditions of this town are tranquil waterfalls, trekking opportunities, river cruises, kayaking trips, and wildlife adventures. A day boat ride in azure waters of the Mekong river is the best option to rejuvenate from stress.


The treks to interiors of the forest provide are amazing experiences and are the best way to explore the regions around the city. The serene waterfalls are ideal places to have picnics with friends and family. This town is an outstanding example of the amalgamation of traditional architecture and modern structures built by the French. It has well-preserved the landscape which makes it, even more, better vacation destination. The alluring beauty and stunning attractions call for at least one trip to Luang Prabang. Hope the answers of few questions below will make you visit and explore the tourist places in Luang Prabang in your next vacation trip.

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Luang Prabang FAQ's

Travel advice:

  • Physically excruciation: If you like adventure activities, then you really have come to the right place. Luang Prabang attracts a variety of backpackers however, when you enrol yourself in any form of adventure, make sure you do not neglect the safety gears and equipments.

  • Plan well: In Luang Prabang there are a number of things to do. However, it is important for you to ensure that you do not rush with the things. Make sure you do a proper research regarding all the places to see and then plan your travel.

  • Illegal substances: Do not indulge in drugs of any form.

  • Liquor: Do not go overboard with the liquor. Drink only as much as you can handle.

  • Beware of the mosquitoes: Across Thailand, mosquitoes are a common site. So, make sure you carry with you a strong mosquito repellent or a spray to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

  • Food: Street food in Thailand is good. However, you must ensure that you check the quality of the food before consuming it.

  • Climate: In Luang Prabang the climate is usually pleasant so there is not much to bother about. However, in case you plan a visit during winters, then it is advisable for you to tuck along some warm clothes as the chill usually increases ay night.

  • Secluded Areas: Though Thailand is a safe area but you must still avoid venturing the secluded zones all alone.

  • Be wise while choosing your hotel/resort: Some of the streets in Luang Prabang are away from all the hustle bustle. However, even if you seek some privacy it is advisable to not book a hotel or resort in such places.

  • Touts and Vendors: Keep the touts and vendors at bay.

Drinking laws

In Luang Prabang the legal age for drinking is 20.

Things to do in Luang Prabang:

  • Visit the beautiful temples of Luang Prabang: Life in the city of Luang Prabang primarily revolves around the beautiful temples of the place. This holiday destination is known for the spiritual aura that it emits. There are about 34 different UNESCO-protected wats in the whole of the city. This is among the must-have experiences in Luang Prabang.

  • Pimai Lao Festival: The Pimai Lao festival takes place in Wat Mai on Sisavangvong Road. This site is important and serves as one of the most beautiful spots in Luang Prabang. This temple was discovered back in the 18th century and additions and expansions have been given ever since.

  • Get a glimpse of the central stupa: The central stupa comprises of great historic interest in Laung Prabang. It is among the largest constructed stupas in the city and are in a style similar to other chief attractions such as Wat Mai and Wat Wisunalat. It weighs approximately 600kg and you must visit at least once if your lifetime.

What will you like in Luang Prabang:

Shopping experience: One of the best things to do in Luang Prabang is to go shopping in the local markets. You will surely enjoy yourself as you purchase local, ethnic products at cheap rates.

Trekking on Mount Phou Si
: Among the many other things that you can is go trekking on Phou Si. If you are the kind that enjoys adventure activities that this is surely the place for you.

Books on Luang Prabang:
Thailand, a travel guide, Lonely Planet Thailand.

What is the best time to visit Luang Prabang?

If you are planning to visit Luang Prabang, November to May is the best period to visit the city though in September and October months one can enjoy boat races on the Nam Khan river.

November to May:

This is the dry season in Luang Prabang and temperatures are mostly pleasant. The temperature doesn’t go beyond 31-32 degree Celsius. Many tourists visit during this time and enjoy the sightseeing, festivities, and natural beauty of this place.

May to October:

Even though the monsoon season prevails in Luang Prabang during this period, it is surprisingly a good time to visit. The temperatures are lower in the range of 20°C and weather is comfortable. Flowers are colorful and attract a lot of beautiful butterflies. The waterfalls even look amazing with water gushing through the stony pathways. With fewer tourists visiting the city, hotels and accommodation places are cheaper to stay. Moreover, the boat races are a must watch during this season.

How to reach Luang Prabang?

The beautiful city of Luang Prabang is well connected with all three major modes of transportation.

By Air

The city’s airport opened in 2013 is located about 5 km towards north-east of the city. There are frequent flights from major airports like Bangkok, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur etc. For certain nationals, Visa-on-Arrival is also available at the airport.

By Bus

Luang Prabang is well connected by bus service. One can take a bus from Hanoi which would be around 30 hours of journey. Highway 13 links the city to Vientiane and Vang Vieng. The road is in good condition during the dry season and buses and coaches are available easily. Prior bookings can also be done for a bus journey.

By Boat

From the Thai border, boats ply on the Mekong river from Huay Xai and can be boarded till Pakbeng. From one can either take the overland connections or continue their boat ride to reach Luang Prabang. Many operators also offer 2-day luxury cruises to enjoy the beautiful boat ride in Laos.

Which are the major tourist attractions in Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang is a wonderful city built at the confluence of two rivers and offers a large number of tourist attractions due to its beautiful setting. The city is an amalgamation of traditional Laos culture and European architecture as it was a French colony earlier. It’s a most enchanting place to visit and enjoy.

Few popular places that you must visit in your trip are:

  • Alms ceremony – a ritual in Laos
  • Haw Kham – a former royal palace converted to a museum
  • Chomsky Hill – the main hill in the city
  • Vat Xieng Toung – the oldest monastery in the city
  • Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort – to learn about Asian Elephants.

What are the things to do in Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang has a lot to offer to its tourists. There are numerous activities that one can do to enjoy their vacations. The city is famous for its traditions, rituals, and breathtaking natural beauty. From food to nature treks to wildlife safari, there is a lot to do here.

Few activities that you could enjoy in Luang Prabang are

  • Climb the Mount Phousi
  • Trek to waterfalls at Kaung Si
  • Enjoy the Tak Bak ceremony
  • Plough Rice Fields with Water Buffalo
  • Visit the Royal Palace Museum
  • Dine on the traditional Lao cuisine
  • Enjoy the night market
  • Ride the Mekong river
  • Learn to cook Lao cuisine
  • Visit the Tad Sae Waterfall
  • Spend the day with elephants at the Elephant Village
  • Visit the Pak Ou Caves

What is the local food of Luang Prabang? Which are the best places to taste this food?

Luang Prabang has a very distinctive cuisine that can be cherished by all. Being located in the lap of nature raw fishes, wild herbs, and stews are some of the ingredients that make the cuisine unique. The food making technique has matured over the years and is full of herbaceous and earthy flavors.

To enjoy the local dishes, you can visit the following eateries in Luang Prabang-

  • Café de Laos
  • Le Banneton
  • Atsalin
  • Saffron Café
  • Scandinavian Bakery
  • Sena Steak House
  • The terrace
  • Elephant Blanc
  • Nang Ae Restaurant
  • Delilah’s
  • Dyen Sabai

What is the best public transport to commute around Luang Prabang?

To commute around Luang Prabang, multiple modes of transport are available. The tuk tuks are easily accessible. Though they tend to charge more than Vientiane, the price can be negotiated easily. Rental motorbikes are also available for people to take and roam around in the city. A wide range of motorbikes like Honda CRF, Honda Scoopy etc. can be rented for an entire day. For a casual stroll in the city, bicycles are also available at numerous shops for rent. Make sure that you lock the bicycles and motorbikes when parking at a tourist location.

What is the local language in Luang Prabang and which are the most commonly used greetings?

The local language in Luang Prabang is Lao, also known as Laotian and is closely related to Thai. It is connected to the Tai Kadai language family. The language is written in Lao script and the Vientiane dialect is the standard. The meanings of words in Lao depends on its pronunciation. Few basic words to get you started are:

  • Hello is ‘Sa-bai-Dee’
  • Thank you is ‘Khawp Jai’
  • Good morning / Good evening is ‘Sabaï dii / None lap fan dii’
  • How much is it? is ‘Laka tao daï?’
  • Is it close / far? Is ‘Pid bo? / kaï bo?’

Which are the best shopping places in Luang Prabang and what are they famous for?

Luang Prabang is famous for handmade items that are made by the locals. Souvenirs, jewelry, and handicrafts are the items to look out for. The designers have put a modern twist to the traditional motifs and designed unique and interesting handicrafts that tell a story about this place and people. The night market on the main street that sets up in the evening is famous for such handicrafts. The handmade elephant slippers are a must buy here. The Dara market next to Wat Phousi is another place to shop. In this market, you can buy fabrics, jewelry, clothes, bags etc. Few other shops that can interest you in shopping are:

  • Big Brother Mouse for gifts
  • Naga Creations for souvenirs
  • TAEC Boutique for handmade clothes
  • Passa Paa for traditionally designed textiles and clothes

Where can I do adventure activities in Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang is a place famous for outdoor and adventure activities. Located at the intersection of two rivers, water boat riding and cruise is the most famous water sport. Being surrounded by lush forests and greenery trekking and wildlife tours are another set of outdoor activity that you would like to do when visiting the city. Few outdoor activities that might interest you are:

  • Visiting Mount Phousi – take the stairs to the top of this hill to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the city.
  • Mekong River Cruise – pick a riverboat and enjoy a breath-taking ride while enjoying the local cuisine and riverside attractions.
  • Elephant riding – visit the elephant village and enjoy an elephant ride.
  • Take a kayaking tour on the Nam Khan river.
  • Take a trek in the foothills of the mountains to visit the local tribe villages.
  • A cycling tour of the city is a good way to experience this World Heritage Site as a local.

Which are the best waterfalls to see in Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang has two main waterfalls that are a must visit during your vacation trip here. The most famous being the Kuang Si waterfall that is located around 30 kilometers towards the southwest of the city. The water here flows over limestone rocks which makes it look magnificent. Towards the upper section of the waterfalls, there is a lagoon where one can enjoy swimming in the cold waters. The Tad Sae waterfall is another beautiful place to visit. It is about 16 kilometers from the town. It makes for a good place to enjoy a picnic with your friends and family by the water’s edge. Both these tourist spots are well maintained and equipped with changing rooms, washrooms, and restaurants.

Which are the most adventurous trekking routes/spots in Luang Prabang?

Being located in mother nature’s lap, Luang Prabang makes an ideal place for trekking. Few treks that you would be interested in are:

  • Chomphet Trek: this trek is the best to explore the rural life in Luang Prabang. Chomphet district is located across the Mekong River and one has to walk through green forests, caves, and fields to reach the village.
  • Kwang Si waterfall trek: A alternate four to five-hour walking route to reach the waterfalls is one of the most spectacular treks to take.
  • Nong Khiaw trek: this is a one-day trek to the highest limestone cliffs in Nong Kiaw. The views from the top of the cliff are amazing and will leave you mesmerized.

What are the famous historic monuments in Luang Prabang?

Since Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is home to some of magnificent architecture and monuments. Few must visit monuments here are:

  • Wat Xieng Thong: it’s the most famous monasteries in Laos and is a great reflection of Laon culture, religion, and traditional art. It consists of more than twenty structures including shrines, residences, and pavilions along with beautiful gardens and lush green trees.
  • Royal Palace Museum: Built-in 1904 during the French colonial period this was the home to the King and his family. Post monarchical era this palace was converted into a museum.
  • Wat Long Khoun: it is a Buddhist temple made on the banks of the Mekong river. It is also known as ‘Monastery of the Happy’ and has deep connections to the royal family.

If you do happen to visit around mid-April, you’re likely to encounter the festivities associated with the Laos New Year celebrations, which include the tradition of throwing water - welcome relief from the heat.

Luang Prabang Reviews

Aagney Rana
Reviewed: 18 Jul 2020
During the tour of 8 days, our Thrillophilia provided full support, co-operation and guidance at every location of Tour Iternary. Also good food and Hotel stay were arranged to make us feel at home. In short, we had good time and we have returned back with sweet memories of Europe which we can never... Read More
Uttam Mehra
Reviewed: 04 Jan 2020
Very nice planned trip done by the professional. It was an awesome experience to book our trip through Thrillophilia. Even though the trip has no guide but it went so well as per the itinerary and as well the team gave us full support each day and available for us at any time. Which makes us easy th... Read More
Tarun Sharma
Reviewed: 04 Jan 2020
I planned my vacation trip to Vietnam with the help of Thrillophilia...I would like to thanks them for arranging such a smooth and pleasant trip for my family. Everything on the trip went so well without hassle even managing the transport according to our time... The company representative we met wa... Read More

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