This city offers a perfect balance of beauty nature, peace and bliss which stands within the UNESCO World Heritage protected zone. You can also access all of nature and wilderness that makes Laos so popular from Luang Prabang.

If you are planning to travel to this wonderful land which often called “the heart of Laos”, the following list of beautiful sights in Luang Prabang will be helpful for your travel guide pocket.

1. Wat Xieng Thong

Constructed in the order of King Setthathirath in 1560, Wat Xieng Thong presents a fine example of the traditional Lao style with sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics, of which a beautiful ‘tree of life’ glass montage on the rear temple wall is highlight. This temple is considered the most beautiful and important among other ornate ones in Luang Prabang. There are many gold statues, statues of deities and a 25-meter (82-foot) high funeral carriage as well as delicate reliefs, carvings, recounting many sacred Buddha relics that the visitors can see here.

In the past, the temple was used as Royal Temple holding the coronation of Lao Kings. It was also as the gate of city where the official Royal departed and arrived. Nowadays, Wat Xieng Thong becomes a major place to gather people celebrating significant annual festivities in the ancient capital.

2. Royal Palace Museum

Built between 1904 and 1909, Royal Palace Museum features the mixture of Lao and French architectural styles, and finally completed to more appropriate Lao design by King Sisavangvong.
In the past, Royal Palace Museum used to be the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Laos.

In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the palace was converted into a museum where its exhibits tracing the history of Laos back several centuries, an ancient Buddha status with 71m high (232 foot) and a room containing gifts presented to the King by foreign countries here.

In 2003, the Phralak Phralam Theatre was established on the grounds of museum to ensure the survival of the Lao Ramayana (the long traditions of the music and the performance) and giving opportunities for both visitors and Laotians to experience this vitally important part of Lao culture.

3. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (TAEC)

Founded in 2006, The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center promotes the appreciation and transmission of the ethnic cultural heritage and livelihoods based on traditional skills in Laos. This is a good place to see artisans practicing traditional arts and learn more about the ethnic groups inhabiting Laos.

The primary activities of the center are museum displays, offering a rare and fascinating insight into the diversity and richness of Laos’ ethnic cultures and fair-trade handicrafts stores. The center also expanded to include a growing collection of ethnic minority artefacts, a small library, family activity centre, and outdoor patio space for special events.

4. Mount Phousi

Regarded as the sacred hill of Luang Prabang, Mount Phousi is one of the most revered places to see in Luang Prabang, offering a stunning panoramic view of the city and beautiful landscape that surround it while climbing on top. There are some notable temples at the summit such as Wat Tham Phousi with its big reclining Buddha and Wat Chomsi. Prepare a good health to conquer the hill with a steep 329 step staircase.

5. Luang Prabang Markets

Morning market

This is simple outdoor market where many locals buy their groceries in the morning. The products are varied from fresh vegetables, fruits to live fish, frogs, dried buffalo meat, insects… and anything else that might be the day’s catch from nearly river or jungle.

Night market

Night market is one of interesting activities after the night falls. This is place to experience your bargaining skills as well as enjoy bustling atmosphere with the locals. There are a variety of products on display here, from souvenir stalls for clothes, textiles, paintings and trinkets, as well as tea and coffee. You can also try delicious yet inexpensive street food such as fried mushrooms, spring rolls, baked goods…with Lao Lao whiskey or Beerlao – a great combination.

6. Pak Ou Caves

Situated 25km to the north of Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves are very important site for Buddha followers, containing over 4000 Buddha sculptures and statues in various positions such as meditating, teaching or in nirvana. Located on the banks of the Ou river, the cave system can only be accessed by boats, with two caves of Tham Ting (low cave) and Tham Theung (upper cave, flashlight is necessary).

7. Kuangsi Waterfalls

Kuang Si waterfall is one of favourite day trip destinations in Luang Prabang, offering the natural beauty and serenity. This is the most stunning waterfalls in the area with 50-meter drop of flowing from three tiers. Once here, visitors can cool down in the pools beneath the falls or climb to the top for amazing views around. Proper footwear is necessary as the way is slippery. Of all the places to visit in Luang Prabang the Kuang Si waterfalls is the most famous attraction.

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