The wonderful Luang Prabang, guide of what to see and do
The city of Luang Prabang is located in northern Laos. It is situated between the Mekong River and the Nam Khan River, is surrounded by mountains and is full of beautiful temples that are worth visiting.
With more than 50 temples, Luang Prabang is the main religious and spiritual center of the country. In terms of population, it is the third largest city in Laos, after Vientiane and Savannakhet. In 1995 UNESCO named Luang Prabang as the first World Heritage Site in Laos.
Luang Prabang surprises you with its tranquility, its temples and its people. The pearl of the Orient, according to the Lonely Planet, is one of those cities that you have to visit if you go on a trip to Laos and that you can even change your travel plans to stay a few days longer.
What to see in Luang Prabang? The best temples:
1. Wat That Chomsi Temple
The Wat That Chomsi, located in the middle of the city, next to the night market and at the top of Mount Phou Si. It is perfect for watching the sunset over Luang Prabang and enjoying the view, although be prepared to climb stairs. Free admission.
2. Van Xieng Thong Temple
The beautiful Van Xieng Thong, built in 1559, is the most famous in the city and one of the most important temples in all of Laos. It is a place of worship for monks, a sanctuary for Buddhist relics, a space for the celebration of religious rites and a sample of traditional architecture. It was the place where the kings of Laos were crowned until the monarchy was overthrown in 1975. The entrance costs 2 euros and it is in the center of the city.
3. Wat Wisurant Temple
The Wat Wisurant, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang dates from 1513 and is characterized by its rounded stupa. It is located in a quiet park where one can relax for a while and enjoy watching the ceremonies of the Buddhist monks. Free admission.
4. Haw Pha Bang Temple
Haw Pha Bang, was started in 1963 and finished in 1990. It is adorned with a beautiful exterior and inside is a golden Buddha. It is next to the night market and the Wat That Chomsi temple. The entrance fee is only 1 euro.
But actually, if you really want to enjoy the temples, the best thing is to go to the little ones. There you’ll be more relaxed and you’ll be able to have a good chat with the monks.
What else to do in Luang Prabang?
1. Walking around the Night Market
Apart from the temples, at night, the Night Market is held in the center of the city. It’s definitely the best night market I’ve seen so far, and there are many… In the market, you can find mostly Laotian style clothes and very original and curious decorations. Right next door, we find in an alley a curious buffet. For one euro you could eat anything you could put on your plate.
On the outskirts of the city, about 30 km away, there are two quite famous waterfalls. We didn’t visit them because it was dry season, but if you go during the monsoon season it’s surely worth a visit.
2. Doing Yoga in Luang Prabang
We enjoyed the days in Luang Prabang as well because we found a place near the river to practice yoga. The classes were free and organized by the Utopia Bar. This bar, at night, was transformed into a chill out bar full of tourists, where you could also play beach volleyball. We liked to go there for a drink, but we would soon cheer up and end up in a or a famous bowling well known in the city or in a Laotian nightclub.
Next Destination: From Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
At the moment, I only have good words to describe the people of this country. Always polite, kind and treating us with a lot of sympathy. When we used up our days in the pearl of the east we went to Vang Vieng, a city famous for its caves and the tubing festival.
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