Laos - Asia Travel & Leisure

Asia Travel & Leisure

Luang Prabang Info

Nestling in a slim valley shaped by lofty, green mountains and cut by the swift Mekong and Khan rivers, Luang Prabang exudes tranquility and casual grandeur. A tiny mountain kingdom for more than a thousand years and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, Luang Prabang is endowed with a legacy of ancient red-roofed temples and French-Indochinese architecture, not to mention some of the country’s most refined cuisine, its richest culture and its most sacred Buddha image, the Pha Bang.

Pak Ou Caves

A river excursion to the Pak Ou Caves, 25km north of Luang Prabang at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, is one of the best quick trips you can make out of the town. Although you can make most of the trip by road, boat is the best way to go even though it does take nearly an hour (or more if the river is low) to make the trip up river.

Kuang Si Waterfalls

One of the must-see sightseeing in Luang Prabang is Kuang Si Waterfalls, with a series of crystal-blue pools. The road to the falls winds through hills with spectacular natural views, including terraced rice fields, which make the trip a memorable one. On the way to the waterfalls, there is a Hmong village where the old ladies still wear Hmong traditional costume. It is famous for its hand-woven handicrafts. It's worth to stop by to see the village, its handicrafts or the way of life of the villagers.

Phousi Hill

Mount Phousi is the geographical as well as spiritual centre of the town. Believed to have once harboured a powerful naga who dwelt in its bowels, the hill is also seen as a miniature Mount Meru, the Mount Olympus of Hindu-Buddhist. At the base of the long peninsula on which the old town of Luang Prabang is sited is a small hill, just 100 meters (325 feet) high. The sides of the hill, as well as the top, is studded with many small temples and shrines.

Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is the most historic and enchanting Buddhist monastery in the entire country. It is also called “Temple of the Golden City” - a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture from the sixteen century, impressing visitors with its golden facades and mural paintings. The temple is one of the most important temples in Laos and was used for the highest royal ceremonies and to temporarily house the bodies of deceased kings.

Wat Mai

This Temple was built in 1796 with Laotian traditional model. In the entrance of the Temple, magnificent wood carving and gold-leaf murals can be seen on the main pillars and portico entrance to the temple.
Wat Mai served as a temple for the royal family and long has been the residence of the Pra Sangkharat, the patriarch of Lao Buddhism. In 1887 the Haw spared this temple. Historians say it was because they found it too beautiful to destroy. If so they get zero points for consistency given what they did decide to set fire to.