Getting to Laos
Bordered with 5 countries there are many ways to get into Laos and you can be as adventurous as you dare.
Here you find selected travel information about Luang Prabang and Laos
as well as some travel tips on Laos for the independent travaler.
Luang Prabang, the jewel on the Mekong, a protected UNESCO World Heritage site in the warm heart of Indochina invites visitors for a wide range of activities to explore. Take the time to read and review our independent travel information about Luang Prabang and Laos.
This is a small list of highlights which you can find in and around Luang Prabang (Luang Phabang). The selected sights and highlights can be combined in our day trips and offer individual experiences and a good way to explore the beautiful area around town. Luang Prabang offers more and more activities and sights to visit, here are just a few of them. Most things can be done by bike or on our adventure and city exploration tours.
Also, enjoy our videos which give visual information about Luang Prabang!
Luang Prabang town is a jewel in Indochina, and a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Once the capital of former kings and an important post along river trade lines it became a site of interest for visitors from all over the world. The ancient royal city is surrounded by misty mountains at the junction of the Mekong and the smaller Nam Khan river.
The center of town is located on a peninsula at an altitude of 300 meters above sea level. Here we find ancient buildings, the former royal palace which is the national museum today and of course numerous Buddhist monasteries and temples. In the middle of the small city is Mount Phousi with truly stunning views of the surrounding temples and hills.
Luang Prabang is a provincial city where time still seems to stand still. As part of the UNESCO reconstruction plan, new buildings have been limited and old houses and streets receive reconstruction to keep Luang Prabang magical place...
Following the road down south a magnificent waterfall offers a day of discovery and perfect place to hang out in the sun. The waterfall is about 30 km away from town and offers small food stalls as well as the protection project for small bears. Tuk-Tuks as well as cars offer services to and from the waterfalls as it is the most famous attraction out of town. Biking tours and trekking arrangements can be combined with the waterfall visit as well as multi-day tours with trekking and home stays.
Another tour that includes the Kuang Si waterfalls can be viewed here. It combines a short Mekong Cruise on the Mekong and adds the waterfall experience to it, a great day activity out of Luang Prabang.
Elephants in Luang Prabang
Since Luang Prabang was once the capital of the “land of the thousand Elephants” (Lane Xang) visiting Elephants in and around Luang Prabang is one of the best experiences you can take home from Laos. There are several camps that host Elephants in a very humane way and we suggest visiting only these! Another superb project, the Elephant Conservation Center allows people to stay and learn more about Elephants, just a few hours away from Luang Prabang.
Crystal clear waters cascade over multilevel limestone formations, forming pools surrounded by tropical trees and plants. An ideal place for swimming and relaxing and also a great place to get away from the crowd. The nearby river and the lush green surrounding is just another beautiful place around town that cannot be reached by road. You might use a boat from Ban En or book one of the day trips that might include Trekking and Elephant rides.
The fantastically located Lao Spirit Resort & Zen Namkhan Resort is just a few min. away from the waterfalls and can be accessed by small local boats on the Nam Khan river. Visiting Tad Sae also offers you options on local Elephant Bathing and short 30 min. Elephant rides, but also a Tree Top Zipline and others. Many of our highly rated Daytrips around Luang Prabang include a visit to Tad Sae Waterfall.
Places to stay around Tad Sae are Lao Spirit Resort, The Zen Namkhan Resort, local homestays and the Shangri Lao Tented Explorer camp. We arrange individually designed tours from all of these locations. If you base yourself in one of these superb resorts, you truly base yourself in the heart of some great adventures around Luang Prabang...
Visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center, which features information and exhibits of clothing, handicrafts, baskets and religious artifacts from 7 different ethnic groups of northern Laos. The Center has a museum shop where you can buy a community handicraft and the Patio Cafe where you can browse books on anthropology and culture while sipping an espresso grown in Laos. Guided tours and seminars are also available.
Wat Pa Phon Phao
A forest temple famous for the teachings of Ajahn Saisamut. When he died in 1992, his funeral was the largest that Laos had seen in decades.
It’s Santi Chedi (Peace Pagoda) was built in 1988. This large yellow stupa contains three inside levels plus an outside terrace with a view of the surrounding plains. The inside walls are painted with many Buddhist stories and moral admonitions. You can easily reach this temple with a bike or tuk-tuk. It is on the way to the Luang Phabang Airport .
Ban Panom Weaving Village
This village, populated by Thai Lue (a tribe with its origins in Southern China), is well known for cotton and silk hand-weaving. Most of the women come into town for the popular evening market in town, but at daytime, you can see them weaving with silk and cotton. Beautiful scarves and newer patterns can be seen in Ban Panom.
Henry Mouhot Gravesite
This is the tomb of the French explorer who showed the famous Angkor Wat to the world. Henry Mouhot perished of malaria in 1861, and the French erected a tomb over his grave six years later. The last entry in his journal was ‘Have pity on me, oh my God’. Neglected for decades, his engraved tomb was found by foreign aid staff in 1990. Today it is a nice half day trip along the riverbank of the Nam Khan and mountain bike tours, as well as kayakers, pass by for a shortstop while exploring Luang Prabang nature. Tiger Trail also combines this site with some other adventure package tours around Luang Prabang
Whisky Village near Luang Prabang
Ban Xang Hai means jar-maker village. At one time that was the industry here. Now the jars are brought in, and the small community fills them with white whisky (Lao Lao) made in the village. Archeologists have excavated pots beneath the village that could be 2000 or more years old. If you want to try some of the finest and strongest Lao Lao shots you should go there not to early in the morning.
Pak Ou Caves north of Luang Prabang, on the Mekong
This is an all-time favorite,...travel by boat about 25 km upstream from Luang Prabang on the Mekong River to the famous Pak Ou caves (Buddha Caves), in a limestone cliff at the mouth of the Nam Ou River. Already the boat ride on the mighty Mekong is a special Lao travel experience and the landscape around the cave is simply unique. These two caves are crammed with a huge number of Buddha images of all styles and sizes. Both caves are accessed by stairs. The lower cave, known as Tham Ting, is naturally lit and offers wonderful views over the Mekong and the surrounding landscapes. The upper cave, Tham Phum, is deeper, - bring a torch or rent one there. After a visit to the Pak Ou caves, take your time to explore a nearby village, or eat at one of the riverside restaurants just across the Mekong on the other side.
Best mountain view from Luang Prabang
Mount Phousi and Wat That Chom Sii
Situated 150m and 300 steps up above the peninsula with spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside. The climb might be tiring, the view is certainly worth the effort. Looking out into the countryside you can see great mountains, the Mekong river and the great location of the former kings residence. You can also see the old Royal Palace, now the Museum, the old houses, and surrounding villages. The temple has a gold spired stupa that can be seen from most parts of the city.
It is surely the most favorite sunset spot but also worth seeing in the early morning - with fewer people.