Awesome Things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos

Beautiful sunset view from Mount Phousi, in Luang Prabang Laos. A View from heaven, looking out towards the mountains with a glow across the evening sky | Buy My Morning

This beautiful UNESCO protected town of Luang Prabang is one of our favourite places to relax in the world, surrounded by endless forests, countryside and mountains. Luang Prabang is a must-stop destination when you visit Laos. 

Awesome Things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos

We visited for the first time in March 2018 stayed for just two days and loved it so much that we returned again in November 2018 for a week.

Located on the banks of the Mekong River you get a sense of how important this has been throughout its history. The River links Luang Prabang with the capital city before it continues through Thailand, Cambodia and then into Vietnam. All of that whilst not forgetting that it starts in China, and it is used to determine the border between these countries, as well as Myanmar! 

Luang Prabang town, and setup, isn’t that big at all but you have so much to explore in the surrounding areas, but we really do recommend you use some of your time in this town to just relax and unwind. 

What to do inside Luang Prabang town

The Alms Ceremony

The monks early morning procession, or Tak Bat, is not a tourist attraction this is local life and it’s a huge part of it too, but you have the opportunity to observe the ceremony. The morning ceremony is when the monks collect food that they will later eat, being their only meal of the day.

The morning ritual is conducted in silence and has become a really popular attraction for tourists. For more details speak with your hotel / hostel.

Sunset view from Mount Phousi

Come on another sunset recommendation … yes, this one is from a mountain top and look at what awaits you. The colours on display for us were truly awesome too. It’s a small area up the top so you do need to get there early and reserve your spot, these photos were taken with us standing along the wall at the top.

Beautiful sunset view from Mount Phousi, in Luang Prabang Laos. Looking out towards the mountains with a strong orange / red glow across the evening sky | Buy My Morning

Big Brother Mouse

Big Brother Mouse is a local English school set up close to the night market area, opened to teach anyone interested. Most evenings they run a drop-in session for all students to come and speak with English speakers, so this activity is all about you giving back.

So what do they need from you? Just turn up after 17:00 and talk to one or more locals in English and help them practice their English, but more importantly, learn about their lives and dreams for the future. This experience (which wasn’t planned at all) had such a positive impact on us and in those moments I felt like we had something to give that makes a real difference to the lives of so many. We must have spoken to 10 locals between us, from kids to adults and even Buddhist monks. Topics ranging from London, Europe, travelling and just life in general.

Find out more on their website: Big Brother Mouse

Wat Xiangthong

Located close to the river side Wat Xiangthong is great to walk around and just experience, taking your time to stroll through the buildings and items on display.

Getting on the Mekong River

Dan and Fani standing (posing) on the last steps on the edge of the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos | Buy My Morning

Another travel couple called this “sailing on the milky chocolate river”, and we just love that comment, so true. It’s also quite scary how fast-flowing it is too, not a place you would want to swim in.

Cross the bamboo bridge!

Awesome view straight down the bamboo bridge in Luang Prabang Laos | Buy My Morning

Pay a very small fee, to the family that sets up the bridge, and enjoy a walk across and a few photo opportunities too … just be careful where you place your camera!

The bridge gets taken down just before the raining season, as the additional water volume and power would make it impossible (or dangerous) to cross.

Walking street market Night market

Handcrafted unique items are on display, but you will also find a mixture of some other more typical Asia market items.

Even if you aren’t after any gifts or accessories take a stroll around the markets and speak with the locals.

The beautifully laid out Luang Prabang night market, just after the sun has set | Buy My Morning

Get a Massage

There’s a great place just down from the night market, on the same road too its called Silver Naga Spa and Beauty.

We tried this out and were really happy with our massages, something we really recommend whilst you travel around Asia is to take advantage of getting cheaper massages. Probably best to go for recommendations in some areas, just to make sure you’re getting the best professional service in the area.

What to do outside Luang Prabang town

Kung Si Waterfalls

Photos just don’t do this place justice its such a perfect setting throughout the extensive area, but with super cold water.

Truly beautiful Kung Si Waterfalls just outside Luang Prabang | Buy My Morning

Access to the waterfalls is from about 50,000 ($5.75 USD) each which includes your transport, but you’re likely to arrive with a few others at the same time and it can get a little overcrowded!!

If you are confident on a bike, we recommend hiring a bike to get yourselves down there taking the trip at your own leisure, getting there when the gates open and paying the 20,000 ($2.30 USD) entry price.

With the entrance fee you’ll get to see the bear centre, as you walk up the tracks towards the first part of the waterfall.

Fani by the truly beautiful Kung Si Waterfalls just outside Luang Prabang | Buy My Morning

Ideal time is the dry season this is when you see the. Instagram style posts, you’re not going to be able to swim in the wet season.

Where to Eat! in Luang Prabang

Food

  • Utopia – set back from the roads and along the smaller river embankment to the south of the town. It’s a must-visit place, designed with huge sticks of bamboo and exists with nature surrounding it in a way that compliments both.

    The food is great with a big selection for all, including vegans, and all prepared and served by locals. Two trips to Luang Prabang and this place is still a favourite of ours. Also a great place for just grabbing a drink in the evening and chilling out!
  • Street food – Close to the night market you are going to find a food alley, that caters for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters. You need to try the small circular coconut pancakes too.

Cafe / Breakfast or Brunch

  • Saffron Cafe – Probably one of the best cafes in the world for us. The atmosphere is great, the views from the window ledge or waterfront are awesome … and the setup is to use and promote sustainability with local produce.

    You even have the option to donate $1, which is used to buy a coffee plant for Lao farmers. The owner even arranges tours to the coffee areas to find out more and meet some of the families.

    Oh and final thing … food is well worth the money too Dan’s recommendation is the cherry bagel. Must stop writing about this before we book another ticket to Luang Prabang!!

Where to stay in Luang Prabang – Accommodation Tips

Luxury – Maison Dalabua – You only need to look at the photos and we both think you will be sold on this stunning hotel. If you have enough in your budget this is our top luxury recommendation.

Mid-Range – Luang Prabang Hotel – Really great traditional setup with a huge room in such a beautiful building. The family running the place are so friendly and helpful, cannot do enough for you to make you comfortable. We stayed here on our first trip to Luang Prabang.

Budget – One Tree Guesthouse – We stayed here on our most recent trip and had a big room and everything we needed for the night. The only random thing we had was being woken up one night by a girl singing in the shower. Whilst everyone in the hostel probably would have loved her voice … at 6 am it probably didn’t get the reaction she was hoping for.