Things to Do in Luang Prabang

If you want to know important things to do in Luang Prabang, then it is important to know about the place. Luang Prabang, the ancient town of Laos is being designated by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and is currently a tourist destination. The economic bubble of the region is worth commendable and the region is a premier destination of Southeast Asia. Tourists will certainly love the cultural habitat, food and other aspects of the place it has been holding since ages.

 Historically, Luang Prabang was the ancient royal capital of Lan Xang Kingdom, however, later King Photisarat moved the administration to Vientiane in 1545. The place is located on the banks of the Mekong River and Nam Khan. Over the last 20 years, the Luang Prabhang has witnessed good development as an investment has been flooding in and French Villas have been raised. This has certainly attracted tourists for stay and explores the region. Boutique hotels and luxury accommodation have come up offering better option for stay. The entire town is dedicated for tourism and it still remains the centre for Buddhist learning.

 Luang Prabang is blessed with some iconic architecture buildings, cascading waterfalls and Mekong River. This certainly attracts tourists to this location. There are many things to do in Luang Prabang and tourists have a great number of choices. However, people here still follow reserved culture and follow old customs. When it comes to things to do in Luang Prabang, there are many sightseeing to watch including Wat Xieng Thong, Phu Si, Royal Palace and a few others.

Best Time to explore:

Luang Prabang can be visited ideally on November- February when the climate is pleasant and winter. If you don't mind downpour, then June-October is also a great time to explore when lush green surrounding strive.

So plan your trip to Luang Prabang to explore the ancient Buddhist culture and pleasant locations.

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Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang rose to unmistakable quality as the capital of the main Lao kingdom (Lan Xang - place where there is the million elephants) from 1353 onwards. The city owes its present name to the Pha Bang, a respected Buddha picture (now in the Royal Palace Museum) which was conveyed to the city by King Visoun amid the brilliant time of Lan Xang in the mid 1500s.
The discontinuity of the Lao kingdom toward the end of the sixteenth century saw Luang Prabang turn into a militarily feeble autonomous city state paying tribute to the encompassing kingdoms. At last the 1887 sacking of the city by the Chinese Haw drove the Luang Prabang government to acknowledge the security of the French, whose impact prompted the development of the numerous fine pilgrim manors that sit agreeably nearby the conventional Lao design.

Highlights – Angsana Spa, Backstreet Academy, Banana Boat, Big Brother Mouse.

Location - Laos

Opening Hours: All year round

Best time to visit: November to May
Pak Ou Caves
Luang Prabang is highly popular for these limestone caves located near river Mekong. The Pak Oh Caves have been known as a place of worship over a thousand years. Near the Pak Ou (mouth of River Ou) the Tham Ting or the lower cave and the Tham Theung, or the upper cave overlook River Mekong, 25 km to north of Luang Prabang, Laos. This group of two caves on the west of Mekong, about two hours upstream from centre of Luang Prabang have become pretty well known to tourists.

These caves are mainly noted for the miniature Buddha sculptures. Innumerous small and damaged wooden Buddhist figures have been laid out on the wall shelves taking positions, including that of peace, rain, meditation, teaching, and reclining (or nirvana). One can reach the Pak Ou caves by boat. The trip takes about 2 hours upstream from the Luang Prabang with a magnificent scenery along River Mekong and the limestone mountains. The way back downstream consumes over an hour. One may alternatively go by a tuk tuk, cab or minivan to the Ban Pak Ou village that’s opposite of caves on the other side of the river.
Wat Xieng Thong
Wat Xieng Thong is basically a Buddhist temple located at the northern tip of Luang Phrabang, Laos’s peninsula. Wat Xieng Thong is among those most important Lao monasteries and stands out as a significant monument. There are more than twenty structures including a sim, the shrines, the pavilions and the residences, in addition to gardens of flowers, shrubs and huge trees.

 There is a ‘tree of life’ mosaic set on the exterior wall at the west. Inside, a gold stencil work showcases the dharma wheels on ceiling and exploits from the life of King Chanthaphanit. Dotted around the Sim are stupas and three chapel halls or Hor Tai. The rest two show striking external mirror-shard mosaics depicting the village life and exploits of Siaw Sawa. The Hor Pa Maan or the success Buddha sanctuary is usually locked except the week following Pi Mai. The Hor Tai Pha Sai-nyaat contains a rare reclining Buddha.
Nong Khiaw
Nong Khiaw (Nong Kiau or Nong Kiew) is an excellent natural little town on the bank of the Ou River in Laos. It is crushed in the middle of the absolute most incredible limestone mountains north of Vang Vieng. Numerous voyagers go through in transit up stream to the much more disengaged Muang Ngoi, yet Nong Khiaw has an a lot of appeal, a nice scope of settlement, in addition to comforts, for example, 24 hour power and an association with the street system for those inspired by investigating the encompassing region. Nong Khiaw is basic in design and sufficiently little to stroll around. It's conceivable to lease a bicycle at the Riverside Bungalows and Delilah's to investigate the 2 streets and encompassing territory.

Highlights – Indochina Traverse, Northern Laos Explorer, Laos Family Adventure

Location - Northern Laos
Uxo Laos Visitor Center
Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) operates in the nine most impacted provinces all over the nation. UXO Lao makes way for land for agricultural and community related purposes (e.g. hospitals, schools, temples and water supply) along with developmental activities. UXO Laos Visitor Center is basically a permanent but small exhibition in Luang Prabang, which depicts the problems of UXO affecting Laos and efforts to clean affected areas.UXO Laos Luang Prabang visitor center is situated within a government building on Bounkhong Road. UXO Laos visitors’ center usually stays Open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 12:00 and in the evenings from 13:00 to 16:00 .

There is no entrance fee or to the exhibition. ThisUXO Laos Luang Prabang visitor centre is exhibits with just 2rooms the different kinds of unexploited munitions (UXO), along with series of illustrations with appropriate data related to various wars that previously affected the country, the impact on civilian population and tasks of decontamination and cleaning are also exposed.
Elephant Village
Elephant Village is basically an elephant sanctuary and a popular tourist destination in Luang Prabang, Laos operated by a team of caring individuals for the rehabilitation and protection and of elephants. The magnificent "elephant village" is located about 15 km from Luang Prabang on the bank of River Nam Khan. Elephant Village is ideally located in the laps of Mother Nature, by misty mountains near the river. It's the first and one of its kinds in Laos that offers Elephant interaction programs alongside an outstanding variation of Elephant activity tours for the young as well as for the old.

The area around Elephant Village offers approximately 4 hectares of lush green nature, and sandbank at the camp allowing visitors to watch Elephants during their daily bath. A beautiful Elephant Lodge is connected via a small path, only a few hundred meters from the "Elephant Village", offering a simple but relaxing stay with well-furnished rooms in exclusive colonial style.
Living Land Rice Farm
Rice is life in Laos. Laos also gives an opportunity for experiencing the rice making procedure from seeds to table, through the half day ‘Rice is Life’ experience suitable for individuals and their families. Such exciting join-in tours start from $ 40. The Living Lands Farm is one such community enterprise outside Luang Prabang maintaining educational programs as well as professional organic farming next to rice paddies. Small groups can participate in the interactive rice farming experience actively benefitting locals from community, maintaining crafts in traditional form. One gets to learn bamboo weaving, tools and trap making gardening and blacksmithing.

 Residential English-speaking farmers demonstrate the activities. The Tour includes activities in the farm as well as rice product tasting, Lao lunch in a separate area, transportation, and local taxes, ideal for a perfect family experience. Wading through the sloppy, knee deep mud and dragging plough in a rice field behind a huge buffalo is not on the bucket list of every tourist– it’s certainly an unplanned adventure to learn rice farming in Laos.
Mount Phousi
Mount Phousi rises about 150mtrs from the centre of Luang Prabang and is located between the Thanon Sisavangvong and the Thanon Phousi. From the summit, a 360-degree spectacular look of the city with River Mekong to the north, River Khan to its south and east, with all the temples, and surrounding landscape with the mountains has been marked favorite by tourists. When it comes to climbing Mount Phousi there are numerous steps. However the climb is gentle for one with reasonable health.

The popular time for visiting Mount Phousi is in the late afternoon, to watch the sunset over the Luang Prabang and surrounding countryside. For a much awaited peaceful experience, the sunrise view is worth catching, especially from the hill top. The Thanon Phousi staircase is comprising 355 steps zigzagging up till the summit, is well paved, offering several resting spots all along. The Wat Tham Phousi shrine, featuring a huge-bellied Buddha nestling in a grotto and reclining Buddha can be spotted halfway up on the hill. The golden Wat Chomsi, built in 1804 sits on top of Mount Phousi.
Kuang Sii Waterfalls
The Kuang Si Falls spelled also as Kuang Xi or called Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls, is basically a three tier waterfall 29 kilometers south of Luang Prabang. The falls start in shallow pools from a steep hillside leading to the main fall with 60 meters cascade. The water gets collected in many a turquoise blue pool as it flows downstream. The Cascades resulting are quite typical of the travertine waterfalls.

One can make way to the waterfalls on a hired motorcycle with some scenic village en-route or book a tour. Many opt for an unusual alternative and hire a boat and ride down River Mekong before catching yet another boat for the short hop across to these falls.
Tad Sae Waterfall
The Tat Sae Waterfalls popular as the Tad Sae Waterfalls are those waterfalls situated along the tributary of River Nam Khan in Luang Prabang, Laos about 18 kilometers southeast of Luang Prabang and 2 kilometers from village Bak En. The falls flow over the limestone formations among trees. Takes about an hour to reach by a tuk tuk or a shared minivan and a fee of 10,000 kip (or $1.25) is charged for a round boat trip to the fall from riverbank.

The rainy season has always been marked as the ideal time for a visit to the falls; as December to July stays dry. The limestone cascades have always been a sight worth seeing. A number of pools wait the dry feet. Picnicking is a popular pastime at these falls. Elephants are often hired for a joyride. . Elephant tour operators offer this option as the last leg of the trip, however in the dry seasons they skip it.
Royal Palace
In a well tended, spacious garden off Luang Prabang’s main boulevard (Thanon Sisavangvong), lies the wonderful Royal Palace Museum, also popular as Haw Kham. It's easy reaching the place. A walk up to the museum is easy. One can also opt for a rented motorcycle or bicycle in a cab or a tuk-tuk. The museum remains open from 08:00 to 11:30 and 13:30 to 16:00 daily except Tuesdays. The museum is the key if one is keen on knowing more about the Lao culture and history. T

his museum had been a Royal Palace, built back in 1904 for the King Sisavangvong. One is bound to be impressed by the royal apartments well preserved. The exhibits of this museum include royal religious objects, statues, weapons, paintings and screens of centuries ago. On the mirrored Throne Hall, crown jewels of Laos can be seen. A room featuring murals that depict Lao life of the 1930s is worth visiting. There's also a new pavilion housing a 2,000 year-old, Prabang Buddha made of solid gold. The garage showcases the last king’s car collection.
Traditional Arts And Ethnology Center
The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (or the TAEC) is more than merely a museum and a boutique of fine handicrafts. Located at the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Lao, PDR, TAEC has been the single independent resource centre that is dedicated to the country's diverse and multiple ethnic groups. Established back in 2006, the TAEC preserves, collects and interprets the traditional arts and the lifestyles of the ethnic groups.

This Centre has further expanded to include the growing collection of ethnic minority artefacts, a library, and TAEC Cafe for the special events. Back in July 2014, the TAEC opened TAEC Boutique, the stand-alone shop that featured the finest hand-crafted items from the minority artisans. In Luang Prabang the visit to the TAEC is justified and a must do. One can extend the visit for a cup of coffee and delicious French pastry at the Le Patio Café and stop by Museum’s Shop for purchasing their fair-trade handicrafts.
Wat Xieng Muan
The sim has been reportedly constructed during the mid-1800s, though the monastery is actually way older. The sculpture found inside is pleasing, and the ceiling has been painted with the gold nagas, an uncommon motif in such a position - possibly due to the influence of Thai Lu. Also, no table is an elaborate haang thien with the nagas at their ends. Backed by the Unesco and New Zealand, the Wat Xieng Muan has successfully been able to restore the monks' quarters to be used as a classroom for training the young novices and the monks in artistic skills required to maintain and to preserve the temples of Luang Prabang's.

 Wood-carving, Buddha-casting, painting are some of the skills taught, however, all of these came to a halt after 1975. The Wat Cieng Muan opensdaily from 8 in the morning to 5 pm in the evening. An Admission fee of about LAK 20,000 is usually charged.

Tad Thong Waterfall
For years, this path was hidden from the public but is open again to let the world witness the beauty of the natural jungle and waterfalls. The waterfalls usually are spring fed, as are many of the falls in this area, which naturally reduce to a trickle as the dry season comes to an end - but Tad Thong is more impressive and known for a Jungle walk, so the waterfalls are sort of a bonus, as claims tourists and not the primary reason for a visit.

Tad Thong gives an opportunity of taking a short but vigorous hike through the jungles, and a spring-fed pool to a place entirely to oneself. The Tad Thong has always been a place of must visit as it is a quiet spot ideal for a long, nice nature walk with butterflies and beautiful falls and only a few tourists with friendly locals.
Night Market Of Luang Prabang
The Vientiane night market (‘Night Market’, the ‘Night Market Riverside’, or the ‘Riverside Market’) is basically a makeshift outdoor market, which disappears and reappears every night, along banks of River Mekong River, in vicinity of park Chao Anouvong. This night market reflects a reddish shade due to bulbs illuminating hundreds of positions in the market of theRed awnings. Though the night market is aimed mostly for tourists, the local population also joins the night market.

The Luang Prabang Night Market perhaps has most extensive collection of handicrafts, with wide range of textiles, carvings, clothing, quilts, basketry, and much more. There are stalls selling mobile accessories and also other gadgets related to music and kind. The only thing which isn’t sold is food; however, there are a chain of restaurants on the other side of that street. The night market has always been a good place for buying souvenirs of Vientiane or for other souvenirs. The night market Opens every day at 18:00 to 22:00, 20:00.
Mekong River Boat Trip
At 4,350 km, River Mekong is the longest river in Southeast Asia. The Lower Mekong forms a part of the border of Burma (Myanmar) and Laos, and of Laos and Thailand. Two typical journeys along the Mekong areA Three-day cruisethat begins at theSiem Reap, covering Chnok Trou (the floating village), the Kampong Chhnang, the Kompong Tralech, the Koh Chen and finishes at the Phnom Penh. Low water at Tonle Sap Lake can alter this itinerary.

A Seven-day cruisefromthe Siem Reap, a cruise covering the Chnok Tru, the Kompong Chhnang, the Kompong Tralach, the Phnom Penh, the Koh Dek Chau, Chau Doc, the Vinh Long, the Cai Be, the My Theo and finishes at the Ho Chi Minh City. Most river ships on the Mekong have been built recently, and artful replicas of the “colonial” river steamers have been done, accommodating less than a hundred passengers. The cabins, in general, are quite comfortable and practical though recent additions include luxurious options.
Morning Market
Vientiane Talaat Sao, the morning market is widely known for offering a wonderful selection of the local offerings, mostly of fabric-based stuff. The stalls and shops stay open from early till about 17:00. The indoor market, older and newer malls have been fused together to make Talaat Sao the favored shopping centre for both the locals and the visitors. Mostly the indoor mall keeps featuring household appliances, the knock-off electronics and watches. A few vendors sell delicious Lao ice cream sundaes with yummy coconut ice-cream, nuts, jelly sweets and sticky rice. For buying a sinh, traditional Lao skirt, and endless choices of fabrics are available. Silk scarves, wooden boxes, carvings and bowls are scattered over shops.

 There are shops selling snakes in trinkets and Lao whiskey. Lao herbal remedies are sold. The older mall, opposite of the bus station is of three storeys selling Western as well as Lao clothing alongside electronic goods. Those desperate for parts for a phone, laptops or cameras, find this the ideal place to visit. If one has been looking for traditional styles, the Lao Cotton keeps quality stuff, so does few other shops. The newer mall attempts to raise the standards, and thus features high-end cosmetics, accessories, gold traders and better electronics.
Bamboo Bridge
For the construction of any kind, the most important requirement is the use of the bamboo. These products are available are made with the help of the most dependable and versatile building material. Bamboo is considered to be a very fast growing plant that survives itself in different climates and situation. It can be available in a climate that is stretched across the globe from that of North Australia to that of the eastern side of Asia.

 This may include regions such as India and parts of the USA and other European countries. The structure becomes so strong that it becomes hard, and it looks beautiful and has a fine finish. In parts of the world especially in the climates of the tropical region, there are forests to grow huge bamboos that are used for construction. The method of construction with the help of bamboo is used for making industry and is becoming dependent on other alternative methods by using renewable items.
Wat Mai Suwannapumaram
The Wat Mai Suwannapumaram is a popular attraction in Luang Prabang. Situated next to the famous Royal Palace Museum along the Sisavong Vang Road lays this early nineteenth century temple, the Wat Mai Suwannapumaram (popular as 'Wat Mai' to majority). The sim of this particular temple escaped destruction by Chinese Haw, according to few sources this sim was too beautiful to be destroye

 The four tier roof highlights religious architecture of Luang Prabang. However, more impressive are its wood carvings and the gold-leaf murals on main pillars along with the portico entrance to this temple. The intricate panels depict the last life of Buddha. During Bun Pimai festival or the Lao New Year, for purposes of ritual cleansing, the Prabang sacred Buddha image is carried from Royal Palace to Wat Mai. An entrance fee of 10,000 Kips (US $1) are charged from foreign tourists to visit the Wat Mai Suwannapumaram.
Wat Sensoukaram
Located on one of the main street on Sakkarin Road, Old Quarter, Luang Prabang is the Wat Sensoukaram which does not require an admission fee. It dates back to 1718 and features beautiful ruby walls. Many tourists claim that it resembles Wat Maysouvanhnaphoumaram, but it’s worth visiting the Wat Sensoukharam. The same gold and black scheme of colors presides over majority of the temple, and pairs well with blue skies. Wat Sensoukharam is also popular as Wat Sen.

The temple had been originally built with 100.000 stones from River Mekong, for this, its name in Laotian culture means the “Temple of 100.000 treasures”. This whole temple had been restored back in 1957. If one is walking from Mount Phu Si along the Sakkarin Road towards Wat Xieng Thong one is bound to pass Wat Sen. Wat Sensoukaram’s glorious red walls have earned a repuation as one of the most impressive temples of the city. It is a popular place for tourists to take part and watch Tak Bat.

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Luang Prabang Things To Do FAQs

What are the best adventure activities to do in Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang is blessed with some dense forest and hilly landscape offering good outdoor activity options. The location is also celebrated as UNESCO Word Heritage Site and three ethnic tribes have made their home in the surrounding mountains. From cascading waterfalls to sanctuaries, there are many options to explore. As a part of outdoor activities, you can spend the day at one of the many spas and treat yourself to a traditional massage.

There are many adventure activities to get involved into:


This is the must do adventure activity in Luang Prabang. Spectacular waterfalls and wildlife areas offer great option for trekking and other adventure activities. There are companies that offer and one of the popular agents is Green Discovery who offer treks from one day to several days including Luang Prabang to Ban Nong Touk.

Bowling Alley:

Though it may not be an outdoor activity, but the Bowling Alley is really fun. You can find this at some of the pubs and lounge where loud Asian pop music, local whisky and Beer Lao are as popular. You will find this in the outskirts of the city and you can arrange for the transportation in advancement and fixing right fare.


If you want to indulge into elite game, then Golfing is the best options that can be enjoyed with backdrop of the Mekong River and dramatic mountains. The golf club has 18-hole course on a par 72 green situated 10 minutes by car from the centre of town. The location is at Ban Houiphai in Khet Sangkhalok.


Mountain biking is a must in this region as you will be going through some hilly areas. One day trip is conducted by some cycling tour companies.

Kayaking and Rafting:

This is yet another adventure location done at the Ban Huay Lo Khmu village. Green Discover Laos and Vietlong Travel offer Kayaking trip at the Nam Xeuang River and Nam Khan River.

What are the best things to do in Luang prabang?

From adventure activities to exploring the Buddhist regions, there are many things to do in Luang Prabang. Some of the best things to do are:

  • Full day hill tribe village safari
  • Adventure activity at the Nam Khan River
  • Kuang Si Waterfall Adventure
  • One Day Village Tour in Motor Cross 110cc
  • Full day heritage sightseeing tour
  • Trekking at Pha Pon
  • Kayaking at Nam Ou
  • Kayaking in Nam Khan river
  • Cycling around the hills
  • Half Day elephant safari

Which are the best places to do water sports in Luang prabang?

Water sports are the major activity in Luang Prabang. There are some rivers to perform these activities. Some of the best places for water adventure in Luang Prabang are-

  • Nam Xuang River
  • Nam Khan River
  • Nam Au river
  • Adventure activity in Kuang Si waterfall

These places offer the best Kayaking experiences.

Where can I enjoy kayaking in Luang prabang?

Kayaking is the most exciting and adventurous activity to do in Luang Prabang. There are various water adventure companies that undertake this activity. You will be accompanied from your accommodation place and offer all the assistance if doing it for the first time. If you want to do the kayaking activity in Luang Prabang then you have options like:

  • Nam Ou
  • Nam Khan River
  • Nam Xuang River

You will be provided with all the safety products during the kayaking water activity. The starting price for the Kayaking activity is Rs 2900/- to Rs 3500/-

Which are the best places to go for trekking in Luang prabang?

Luang Prabang is blessed with mountains and trails offering good options for trekking. Whether you are doing it for the first time or experienced, trekking is the great experience. During trekking you will pass through some beautiful locations of villages and mountains. You can go for 2 days of Pha Theung Jungle trekking during which you will pass through great jungle landscape offers a great opportunity to gain a true insight into the rural life and landscape. Trekking in Ban Chomphet will take you to rural area along the mighty Mekong river.


Khmu and Hmong are another best trekking option for adventure lovers. Don't miss the Nong Kiaow and Muang Ngoi which are two difficult trekking options. Throughout the trek you'll come across the ethnic villages. Trekking to Pha Pon is another good option to get the view of Golden mountain range. Some adventure companies also undertake one day Kuang Si trekking that offers some realising sights.


The price of the trekking depends on the number of day the activities take place. The price range from Rs 2000/- to Rs 7000/-.

Which are some famous cruises tours in Luang prabang?

Cruise tour is one of the things to do in Luang Prabang during which you will enjoy view of some mountains and sea. Mekong Cruise is one of the leading cruise services that will take your various landscapes of the region. You can book for 2 days and 1 night. During this tour, you will pass through Huay Xai, Laos Village and Pakbeng. You will be also offered with lunch and dinner.


Shompoo Cruise is yet another company that specialized in Mekong river cruises. It has three traditional slow-boats. The 2 day cruise tour will take you through Houay Xay, traveling downstream to Luang Prabang, or from Luang Prabang, cruising upstream to Houay Xay.

Where can one enjoy an elephant safari in Luang prabang?

Elephant safari is the most interesting activity to do in Luang Prabang. Elephant Village is the leading company and sanctuary that conducts the safari. During the safari, you will enjoy some thrilling activities including inside the deep forest and bathing your elephant in Nam Khan river. During the safari, you can learn how to control and feed your elephant.

Take a trek through the diverse jungle landscape and experience the breathtaking Nam Khan river and mountains in the backdrop. If you are taking up the half day elephant safari then the price will be around Rs 4000/- per person.


You can go for options like Half Day tour, 3 day tour, 2 day tour and 1 day tour.

Where can I go on a Tribal Village Safari In Luang prabang?

Luang Prabang tribal village safari takes you through the home of ethnic minorities including Yuan, Hmong and Khmu. It is a one day trip will give a glance of the tribal village. The safari trip will start from Luang Prabang and passes through Ban Hath Hient, Ban Na Tan, Ban Long Lan, Ban San Xang Khong and back to Luang Prabang. Green Discovery Laos is one such company that undertakes tribal village safari tour.

Some of the tribal village are:

  • Yuan (Ban Pick Ngai)
  • Khmu Village (Ban Na Tan)
  • Hmong Village (Ban Long Lan)
  • Hath Hient Village
  • Ban Xang Khong (Ban Sang Khong)


Each of these villages is known for their age old customs and fashion which are still prevalent. Villagers of these tribal areas have perfected the craft over centuries, passing through generation. You can even learn about the traditional medicine practices at Hmong Village.

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