What To Do in Luang Prabang

Friday, December 7, 2018

The beautiful city Luang Prabang is renowned as ‘The Heart of Laos’ for many good reasons. As a city with diverse attractions, it will fill your what to do in Luang Prabang list with exciting nature bound-places to historical masterpieces. 

Every year, thousands of visitors haul into this city to explore its iconic attractions and relax in its tranquil atmosphere. It is quite easy to explore many sites within a short period, and you will only need around to 2-3 days. So, here’s a guide to help you on your journey to this charming place that has been luring visitors for decades.

Kuang Si Waterfall

The natural wonders of Kuang Si Waterfall will leave you speechless.
The natural wonders of Kuang Si Waterfall will leave you speechless.

This three-tiered cascade is one of the main reasons for the popularity of Luang Prabang, and it is renowned among both local and foreign travelers alike. If you love nature, here’s exactly what to do in Luang Prabang.

Located 30km from the city, this waterfall offers you picturesque vistas to remember. Select a natural pool of your choice and spend your time swimming or choose a shady hut and simply relax.

But if you want to experience the turquoise-colored fresh waters, visit the falls between December and May. This is when the paths aren’t too muddy, and the water is not too deep. The place is open to visitors every day from 8.00AM to 5.30PM, and you need to pay an entrance fee of 20,000kip.

Elephant Village and Camp

The Elephant Village in Luang Prabang is one of the best places when you can get a first-hand experience of these majestic creatures.
The Elephant Village in Luang Prabang is one of the best places when you can get a first-hand experience of these majestic creatures.

This is an elephant sanctuary that engages in rehabilitating and protecting elephants while providing them with a comfortable environment to live in.

The sanctuary is one of the best places to get a firsthand experience of these giants. Located along the Mekong River, this camp offers its visitors a variety of things to do and see. 

Amuse yourself by bathing the elephants in the river, feeding the baby elephants and snapping great pictures with them. Here, you will learn a lot about Asian elephants and their lifestyle. 

You can also ride them if you want or take a mahout course for an educational experience. It is indeed a great what to do in Luang Prabang activity.

Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong or Golden City Monastery features magnificent ancient architecture.
Wat Xieng Thong or Golden City Monastery features magnificent ancient architecture.

Known as the Golden City Monastery, this is one of the sacred and treasured places in Laos that you shouldn’t miss. The interior and the exterior are of great architectural value and the whole Wat Thong set consists of more than 20 structures. 

Wat Xieng Thong is a classic example of an ancient Luang Prabang style monastery decorated with mosaics and intricate wood carvings. A specialty here is the mosaic of the ‘Tree of Life’ which depicts the legendary tale of the origin of the monastery. 

Read more: What to do in Vientiane

Even though it was first built in 1560, the place had undergone repairs many times. Wat Xieng Thong is surrounded by a beautiful garden located along the bank of Mekong River. Don't forget to add this beautiful sacred place on your what to do in Luang Prabang list!

Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves are home to over thousands of Buddha statues.
Pak Ou Caves are home to over thousands of Buddha statues.

Want to see something rare and unique? Then this is your next what to do in Luang Prabang activity. Located in the limestone cliff where Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet is an incredibly fantastic place devoted to Buddhism. 

It consists of two caves named Tham Theung (upper cave) and Than Ting (lower cave) that have over thousands of Buddha statues. This has been a place of worship among Buddhist devotees for centuries, and they believe the area to be inhabited by spirits of the river. 

Read more: A Day Trip to Pak Ou Caves

You have to get to the caves by boat and pay an entrance fee of 20,000kip. Afterward, head to the Ban Xang Hai village situated nearby to get to know the locals and taste delicious wine.

Mount Phousi

Mount Phousi is a relatively easy hike to conquer and offers a beautiful 360-degree view over Luang Prabang.
Mount Phousi is a relatively easy hike to conquer and offers a beautiful 360-degree view over Luang Prabang.

This 150-meter high peak is located in the heart of Luang Prabang and is an easy climb to anyone who is in good health. While it is a sacred place for Buddhists with many temples along the way, it is also a favorite spot for travelers. 

What’s really special about Mount Phousi is that you get a striking 360° view of the entire city from its summit. For a great experience, climb the mountain in the evening and tick it off from your what to do in Luang Prabang list.

Read more: Unknown Things to do in Laos

This is the time when you will get to see the sun setting over the scenic city. On your way to the peak, you can buy flowers for offerings at the temples. You can also buy a caged bird and set it free for good luck!


All in all, Luang Prabang is rated as one of the best cities in Laos and is a top tourist destination. It’s a very charming city with colonial architecture, magnificent temples and other historic sites surrounded by lush greenery. You will enjoy everything here from trying delicious Laotian meals to exploring unique places. While these are our best what to do in Luang Prabang choices for you, there are many other fascinating places. If you do have time left, tread to the lesser taken roads, and visit lesser-known locations for an authentic experience. Believe me, you will love and remember every bit of it!

Raeesha Ikram freelance content writer for aSabbatical
Travelling isn’t a mere journey to different places. Instead, it’s an eye-opener revealing how beautifully diverse the world is.