10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang Laos

Luang Prabang is awesome! Yes, it is a bit touristy and popular destination for backpackers but not without reason! Luang Prabang is a beautiful and laid back place and there are many things to do! I spent 5 days in in this amazing village and have made a list of my favorite things to do…

10 things to do in Luang Prabang

1. Cross the rickety bamboo bridge

things to do in luang prabang

This bridge is rebuilt every year when the rainy season ends, usually in a couple of days! During the dry season you can use this bridge to cross the Nam Khan River. Once the rainy season starts again, the bridge is flooded and destroyed by the massive amounts of water in the mighty Mekong River and its tributaries.

Crossing the bamboo bridge costs 7000LAK per person.

2. Climb Phu Si Mountain

10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

For a beautiful view over Luang Prabang and the surrounding area (and for a sweaty workout) you can climb to the top of the 100 meter high Phu Si Mountain. At the top there is a Buddhist temple called Wat Chom Si. But you climb the ‘mountain’ mostly for the stunning views!

Don’t decent the same way you can from (the entrance across the Royal Palace), take the path leading down the other side of the mountain where you come cross a lot of Buddha statues.

10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

Climbing Phu Si Mountain costs 20.000LAK per person.

3. Mountain bike to the Kuang Si waterfalls

Luang Prabang Laos mountain bike Kuang Si WaterfallsKuang Si Waterfalls mountain bike Luang Prabang Laos

I can definitely recommend mountain biking to the Kuang Si Falls if you are into outdoor activities and have a reasonable level of fitness. As a Dutchie, I am used to cycling every day. However, the Netherlands are completely flat and the mountainous surroundings of Luang Prabang were a bit a challenge. Particularly since the temperature was around 35 degrees Celsius (end of April)…

A word of advice: get up early to avoid cycling at the hottest moment of the day.

It’s about 30km to the Kuang Si Falls from Luang Prabang and there are some steep climbs involved. But the scenery is gorgeous and in the little villages children give you high fives as you pass by on your bike.

As we walked to the waterfalls at Kuang Si Park, we came across the Tat Kuang Si rescue center first. Around 20 moon bears who have been rescued from poachers live there. I am always a little apprehensive when it comes to animal centers, but the bears seemed well cared for. They looked pretty chilled out in their hammocks and were happily playing with their toys.

Tat Kuang Si rescue center Kuang Si waterfalls Luang Prabang Laos

The water of the Kuang Si Falls is a stunning green blue color (because of the limestone particles) and the multilevel waterfall is an impressive sight! I recommend hiking all the way to the top for the best views over the mountains.

Kuang Si waterfalls Luang Prabang Laos how to get there

Renting a mountain bike costs 40.000LAK, the entrance fee for Kuang Si Park is 20.000LAK.

4. Chill out at Utopia

Good music, a great view, a whole bunch of fellow backpackers and a decent menu. Chilling at Utopia for an afternoon is definitely an excellent idea. Utopia also has some nice suggestions for more activities you can do in Luang Prabang.

10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

5. Get sweaty and steamy in the Red Cross sauna

Get hot and sweaty and support the Red Cross by going to the sauna. The complete opposite of the sauna I was used to in Europe (where the air is very dry), this sauna was literally steaming hot, I couldn’t see my hand if I held it 10cm in front of my face!

Man and women have their own saunas, you have to wear bathing clothes and you are expected to use one of the towels provided to cover yourself. You can also get a massage the the Red Cross!

Entree for the sauna is 10.000LAK.

6. Stroll around the night market

10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

It’s hard to resist buying things at the night market of Luang Prabang! You can find the usual items such as hippie pants and wallets but there are local products as well, such as beautiful weavings.

7. Admire the beautiful temples

Temple Luang Prabang LaosHow Much Does It cost To Travel Laos For 14 Days?
10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang10 Things To Do In Luang Prabang

There are so many temples in Luang Prabang, all different, all pretty and all sparkling. Just stroll around, you’ll find them. Or check the Lonely Planet for an extensive list.

8. Watch the sun set over the mighty Mekong River

Sunset over the Mekong river in Luang Prabang Laos

Yes you can watch the sunset from Phu Si Mountain but it’s usually very busy. Instead, go for a walk along the Mekong River and enjoy the sunset in silence…

9. Eat a peanut butter ice cream at Joma

JoMa Bakery Luang Prabang
Check out some of the delicious things on their menu… Nomnom!

Joma has too many delicious things… Yes, it’s rather expensive for Southeast Asia, but it’s also really really tasty! We usually had coffee at Joma in the morning and received a coupon for a 50% discount on snacks and sweets (including ice cream) after 2pm. So I may have had 2 scoops on several visits…

One scoop of delicious peanut butter ice cream costs 9000LAK, if you want a cone you pay 4000LAK extra. 

10. Visit the UXO museum

Laos UXO museum Luang Prabang

Unfortunately the UXO museum was closed when we were there so we went to the COPE museum in Vientiane instead. Nevertheless, I feel this small museum about the effects of UXO’s on Laos is definitely worth a visit. It’s good to learn about the history of the country you are visiting, plus, you can support education programs about and the responsible removal of UXO’s by making a donation to the museum.

Visiting the museum is free but of course you won’t leave without supporting this museum in its mission to free Laos of UXO’s.

Where to find these top 10 activities in Luang Prabang?

You can download the activity map below. Check my other posts about Laos if you are interested in the average daily costs of traveling in Laos or if you are looking for a 2-week Laos travel itinerary.

Looking for more travel planning resources? Check out the Phenomenal Globe Travel Planning Library and my Travel Resource page!

Have you been to Luang Prabang?
What was your favorite thing to do?

Luang Prabang is a popular destination for backpackers and not without reason! It's a beautiful and laidback village in Northern Laos. From climbing Phu Si Mountain to getting hot and steamy in the Red Cross sauna and from strolling over the night market to crossing a rickety bamboo bridge, there are lots of things to do!Luang Prabang is a popular destination for backpackers and not without reason! It's a beautiful and laidback village in Northern Laos. From climbing Phu Si Mountain to getting hot and steamy in the Red Cross sauna and from strolling over the night market to crossing a rickety bamboo bridge, there are lots of things to do!

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4 Comments

  1. February 4, 2016 / 4:09 am

    This looks fantastic! There are so many places I haven’t been to in Asia, it’s almost embarrassing. I really should check out the neighboring countries. 😉

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 4, 2016 / 8:36 am

      Haha no worries Liz, there are plenty of places in Europe I haven’t been either;-) But I can definitely recommend going to Laos!

  2. July 23, 2016 / 5:16 am

    Hey,
    Great list! I’m heading to Laos in a few days and am very ignorant about where to go and what to see. This is very useful, thank you 🙂

    • Lotte
      Author
      July 23, 2016 / 8:30 am

      Glad I could help :-). Have a great time in Laos!

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