Travel Guide and Tips: Luang Prabang

Located in northern Laos, Luang Prabang is nestled in the mountainous region by the Mekong River. Here, you can find temples, nature, delicious food and beautiful architecture. 

Things to do

1) Explore Kuang Si Waterfalls

As one of the most popular attractions in Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterfalls' beautiful blue waters make it a worthy sight to see. You can hike, swim in the pools of water or eat at one of the delicious restaurants. What makes it even better is that Tat Khuang Si Rescue Centre is there, so you can meet the bears. It's like a 2-in-1 deal! The best way to get there is to take a tuk tuk for around 200,000 kip for the ride - it's better to split it with a group of people. Admission is 20,000 kip. 

2) Pak Ou Caves Buddha Caves

Pak Ou Caves is advertised throughout the city, but we heard it wasn't that impressive. Located along the Mekong river, the caves were used to store damaged Buddha statues and have become a tourist attraction. You can take a tuk tuk or a boat to get there (200,000 - 300,000 kip for the ride). Admission is 20,000 kip. 

Grabbed this picture when we passed by on the slow boat. 

3) Hike up Mount Phousi

If you want to get a view of the city, hike to the top of Mount Phousi. It's a short 15 minutes hike up the stairs. There's a Buddhist temple at the top. Admission is 20,000 kip.  

4) Catch the sunset by the Mekong River

The Mekong River runs beside the city and is a short walk away. 

5) Shopping at Night Market

The night market starts around 5 p.m. and ends around 10 p.m. If you're looking to do some shopping, head here for the night. You don't have to go through all of it, since most of the stalls get repetitive after a while. Most of the items are fixed (reasonable) prices, so don't bother negotiating. I prefer this night market over the ones in Thailand, since you don't feel as pressured to buy anything. 

6) Visiting the Temples and Royal Palace Museum 

Spend the day walking around the city to visit some of the temples. You can also check out the Royal Palace Museum to learn more about Laos history and culture. Admission fee is 10,000 kip. 

7) Alms Giving Ceremony

The Alms Giving Ceremony is a sacred Laos tradition that takes place everyday at around 6 a.m. Monks will walk the streets of Luang Prabang and receive alms from the locals, usually in the form of food for their daily meal. Please note that this is a respected ceremony and you should follow the rules if you observe: dress conservatively (shoulders and knees covered), don't use flash and keep silent. 

8) Try Laos coffee at one of the many cafes 

As its main export, Laos is known for its high quality coffee. Head to one of the many cafes to try a cup! 

9) Visit Utopia for a drink and then go bowling

Looking to try BeerLao? Head to Utopia for a drink! It has a beautiful view of the river and affordable drink prices. Since the bar closes around midnight, most people head to the bowling alley after to continue their night. 

Where to eat

Street Alley at the Night Market

This is one of our favourite spots in Luang Prabang. It's an alleyway of street food. From BBQ meat on a stick to an all-you-can-fill-up-on-a-plate buffet (vegetarian for 10,000 - 15,000 kip), there's a variety of dishes to taste. Try the fish, it's delicious!!  

Where to Stay

Sok Dee Guesthouse

Located by the Mekong River, Sok Dee Guesthouse advertises affordable rooms with Wi-Fi, hot showers, free coffee, tea and water, laundry services as well as a free dinner the first night you stay. They have three routers, which can be spotty at times, but they're decent. They also advertise a Western manager who can show you the special spot at Kuang Si Waterfalls

  • Basic private room with ensuite washroom = 120,000 kip
  • Standard private room with ensuite washrom = 160,000 kip
  • Four-bedroom dorm = 70,000 kip

Happy Exploring!