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One Day in Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang is one of the most laid-back places in the whole of Southeast Asia; with a relaxing and welcoming vibe that's easy to feel as soon as you arrive. While there are many things that you can do in one day, this list of my personal highlights just scratches the surface. My main piece of advice? Lose your map, wander down the back streets of the old town, and see what you discover.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

11 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Alms Giving Ceremony

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Morning Market

Flea & Street Markets

Royal Palace Museum

Speciality Museums

Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites

Old Quarter Luang Prabang

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Bamboo Bridge

Bridges, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre

History Museums

Mount Phousi

Mountains

Luang Prabang Night Market

Flea & Street Markets

Luang Prabang Bowling Alley

Bowling Alleys

PeterJones79's City Tips

  • Be careful if you go antique shopping, some items are copies. Shop around, ask questions, and make sure that you're getting what you pay for.
  • Start early, finish early — Luang Prabang like many Asian towns has more going on in the morning than the evening. Sit down to your evening meal no later than 8:30pm.
  • For getting around, the best way is either by two feet or two wheels. The pace of life here is slow so why speed it up?
  • Laos tuk-tuks are not my favorite and are quite clumsy; stick to walking and cycling wherever possible.
  • Respect the resident monks and ask if you wish to take photos (just like you would like to be asked if someone was to take a photo of you).
  • The Lao world for hello is "Sa Bai Dee."
  • Do take off your shoes before entering a Lao home.
  • Dress modestly when visiting temples; and women should not touch a monk or a monk’s robes.
  • Don’t litter. Picking up rubbish sets a good example for young Lao people.
  • Don’t give gifts to children as it encourages them to beg; make a contribution to a village elder instead.
  • Touching or showing affection in public will embarrass your hosts.
  • Save
    Alms Giving Ceremony
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    The ceremony at Tak Bat is a daily event and worth getting up early for. This touching ritual is part of the monks' daily routine in which they receive food from the locals to feed them for the day. However, please be respectful of this ceremony; this is real-life, not a photo shoot, and I am personally against visitors participating unless they are Buddhist.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Get up at around 5am if you're not staying in the center of town.
    • When taking photos, be sensitive and keep them to a minimum.
    • Wait until the sun rises for the best shots.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    • Calm and peaceful 15/08/2017
    • Highlight of the trip 15/08/2017
    • Alms Giving Ceremony
    Address:
    Th Sisavangvong (main road to town)
    Luang Prabang
    Laos
    Phone:
    08040570990
    Other:
  • Save
    Morning Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    There are many interesting things to see here without the overpowering smells that often characterize other Asian markets; instead all of the produce on offer here is remarkably fresh. The many fried and dry snacks make for very tasty treats that you can nibble on as you explore the different stalls. It's easy to amble alone, or take a local guide if you want to know more about all the exotic types of fruit and vegetables on offer.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • It's good to visit this market straight after the alms ceremony.
    • See how many fruits and vegetables you can name and guess what the best way to cook and eat them is.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Merge with the locals 25/07/2017
    • Smells and colors before cooking 15/07/2017
    • Morning Market
    Address:
    Alleys between Main St. (Sisavangvong Rd.) and Mekong River
    Luang Prabang
    Laos
    Other:
  • Save
    Royal Palace Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    A visit to the Royal Palace is highly recommended! The palace is situated in the heart of town and offers visitors the chance to better understand the life and history of the Laos Royal Family. A guide is recommended to unearth some fascinating stories as you explore this beautiful building. The colored mosaic glass stuck to the walls with rice glue is incredible and unexpected, and don't miss the last room where gifts presented to the Royals over the years make for a fascinating display.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Keep your hands in your pockets just to be safe; the intricate mosaics are very delicate and should not be touched.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    • Worth a few touristic pics 15/08/2017
    • A place well worth a visit! 14/08/2017
    • Royal Palace Museum
    Address:
    Haw kham
    Luang Prabang 06000
    Laos
    Phone:
    856-071-21-20-68
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:30 - 11:00
    13:30 - 16:00
  • Save
    Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    Golden City is a beautifully decorated 'wat' (monastery temple) both inside and out, with stunningly painted interior walls and colorful mosaic glass decorating its exterior. The number one must-see temple in Lunang Prabang!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Spot the Buddha by looking through one of the small keyholes in the building; the one that is directly opposite the mosaic of the tree of life.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Get a feel of the Laos culture 15/08/2017
    • Very nice temple to visit 13/08/2017
    • Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)
    Phone:
    856-71-21-24-70
    Other:
  • Save
    Old Quarter Luang Prabang
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    A stroll around the old quarter under your own steam is both relaxing and extremely insightful. While many tourists stick close to the river, there is so much daily life to see by journeying deeper into this area's backstreets. A good place to start is by walking down Kounxoau Road that runs pretty much down the middle, and then go where ever your senses take you.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Lose your map for an hour or two and just wander the streets.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful buildings and people, lovely glimpse into a place caught in a time warp! 12/08/2017
    • My favorite place on the planet 10/08/2017
    • Old Quarter Luang Prabang
    Address:
    Old Quarter
    Luang Prabang 0600
    Laos
    Other:
  • Save
    Bamboo Bridge
    Bridges, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    If you want to get out of the urban center and explore a little further afield, there are two Bamboo Bridges in town, and taking either one of these will lead you out into the Lao countryside. For a glimpse of normal life in the country, simply walk across and explore. Even more ground can be covered via bicycle, and though bikes can be taken across without a problem, be warned that there are some steps and a small hill that you will have to carry your bikes up and down.

    Good for
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Have some small change ready for the bridge toll.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    • It's a bridge. It's the story behind the bridge that makes it interesting 15/08/2017
    • Fun experience and wonderful lunch places nearby! 12/08/2017
    • Bamboo Bridge
    Address:
    Over Nam Khan River, off Kingkitsarath Rd
    Luang Prabang 0600
    Laos
  • Save
    Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
    History Museums
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    A wonderful little museum funded by Fair Trade Laos, head here to learn all about Laos' ethnic culture and traditional handicrafts. The fantastic onsite shop also supports over 600 rural ethnic artisans and is a great place to buy authentic handmade goods.

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • The shop has a good website that you can buy things from after returning home.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great display of local fabrics 10/08/2017
    • Loved it and did a workshop! 07/08/2017
    • Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
    Address:
    Ban Khamyong
    At the foot of Phousi Hill next to Dara Market
    Luang Prabang
    Laos
    Phone:
    +856 71 253 364
    Price range:
    USD 3 - USD 3
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    09:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Mount Phousi
    Mountains
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    Mount Phousi is a perfect end to any day in Luang Prabang. Your climb to the top will be rewarded with great views of the town, and shows you just how small the center actually is. The perfect vantage point for planning your next meander through the town’s streets. Actually scrap that; just go and enjoy getting lost!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is not a lot of standing space at the top and Mount Phousi can get crowded at peak times e.g. sunset. Try to time your visit accordingly.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fantastic Views. 15/08/2017
    • Great hike in Luang Prabang 13/08/2017
    • Mount Phousi
    Address:
    Sackarin road, Luangprabang
    Luang Prabang
    Laos
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Luang Prabang Night Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    Not to be missed — and literally can’t be missed, since it takes over the main street from 5pm each night — the Night Market features some really lovely handicrafts and prints on rice paper among its goodies. There are also tee shirts galore and bedtime slippers — what more could you ask for?! Despite the covered walkways not being ideal for those over six feet tall, they make the market particularly enjoyable because you can look and touch without being pounced on by the market vendors to buy something.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • Bargaining is common place, but don't worry; stall holders will not sell to you if they are not making a profit!
    • If you like something, compare the price at two or three stalls before buying.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 91 things to do in Luang Prabang
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Don't miss the night market 15/08/2017
    • Good variety of handcrafted gifts 15/08/2017
    • Luang Prabang Night Market
    Address:
    Sisavangvong Rd, Alley Behind Lao National Tourism Office
    Luang Prabang 0600
    Laos
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    17:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Luang Prabang Bowling Alley
    Bowling Alleys
    See more photos
    PeterJones79 Says:

    In this town of early to bed early to rise there are not too many options after dark. This bowling alley is only a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride out of town, and even if bowling is not your thing, it is the one place where you are guaranteed to be able to carry on the party.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Food and drinks are also available at the bowling alley until the wee small hours.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 3 Fun & Games in Luang Prabang
    • Great way to end the night 07/08/2017
    • Bit of fun 01/06/2017
    • Luang Prabang Bowling Alley
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