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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Top things to do in Luang Prabang – 5 Top Experiences you don't Want to Miss
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Top things to do in Luang Prabang – 5 Top Experiences you don't Want to Miss

The former capital of the ancient kingdom of Laos, Luang Prabang is filled with beautiful French heritage buildings and surrounded by lush jungles. Here are 5 of the top things to do in Luang Prabang.

1

Kuang Si falls

Located just 29km south of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. The falls are actually made up of several levels of shallow pools which lead to the main falls that flow down into natural pools of clear turquoise water. The surrounding tropical jungle adds to the stunning beauty of the falls, and acts as shade to the pools, leaving the water icy cold. The pools are safe for swimming, but if you don't fancy a freezing dip, you can settle yourself on any of the large boulders and simply take in the amazing scenery. Travelling to the falls will take you through scenic rice fields and local villages where you can buy handmade crafts. There are a few trails around the falls that lead you to the top where you can view the stream that feeds the falls. If you plan on doing any hiking, do wear good footwear as the trails are slippery, and are not recommended for young children.

2

The almsgiving

Every morning, usually around 6 am, Buddhist monks will leave their temples and walk along a daily route, carrying simple bowls which people will fill with food. Known as an almsgiving, it is an important part of life in the city. However, do note this is definitely not a tourist attraction and should be treated respectfully as it is a spiritual ceremony for locals. If you want to watch, do so at a distance, especially if you want to take photographs. You can also participate in the ceremony if you like. Do check what kind of food is accepted by the monks before offering alms, as many of them don't eat meat.

3

Mount Phousi

Rising high above the city, Mount Phousi is a popular place for watching sunrises or sunsets over the Mekong River. From the summit, you can enjoy clear panoramic views over the city, its gleaming temple, and surrounding landscapes. There are steps that lead all the way up to the summit, however, the climb is relatively easy if you are fit. The climb up takes a couple of hours if you factor in stopping at the nearby temple to offer prayers and resting under the shady trees. To make it a little more challenging you can climb up one side and go down from the other. Locals believe if you set a bird free at the summit, you will enjoy good luck and joy in the future. If you're looking for adventures things to do in Luang Prabang, this is definitely one of them.

4

Night market

Conveniently located near the city centre, close to several hotel chains like the AVANI Hotels and Resorts; Luang Prabang's night market takes places daily from 5 pm to 11 pm, along Sisavangvong Road and stretches all the way to Settathilat Road. The whole road is closed off to vehicles during this time, as tribe traders take to the road with the handlooms, ceramics, lamps, bamboo crafts, silk scarves and much more. Prices are quite steep when compared to prices in shops for the same things, so do politely haggle for a better price.

5

The Living Land Company

If you've ever wanted to learn more about local produce, especially rice in Laos, head over to the living land company, a community-run organic farm which supplies fresh vegetables, herbs, and rice to eateries and hotels in Luang Prabang. Visitors to the farm can earn hands-on about farming, plus take in the beautiful rice terraces.