Top Places To Visit in Luang Prabang
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Weekend Getaways from Luang Prabang
About Luang Prabang
Where: Laos What to do: Hike to Mount Phou Si, then take the steep staircase to the Wat Chom Si shrine that overlooks the network of rivers flowing through the city. Have a French style breakfast with delicious coffee at Joma Cafe, a popular local cafe chain in Laos. Wake up early to witness the fantastic morning market in its full fervour. Head to any of the many natural attractions, such as Kuang Si Falls, Tat Sae Waterfalls or Pak Ou Caves.
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The most arresting temple here houses the Pha Bang Buddha, Laos’s talisman for over half a millennium, and after which it is named (Luang Prabang means The Great Pha Bang). The temple is just a decade old! The old and the new come together seamlessly here, as this multi-tiered ornate new building that stands true to its architectural roots envelopes the most sacred item in all of Laos’s history.The Royal Museum is also a treasure to walk around - from an opulent throne room decked in wall murals to the more sparse and simple quarters of the royal family. This one way ramble around the palace also has many different exhibits and paintings that give you a full picture of Lao royalty and their beliefs.
Pak Ou Caves
The Pak Ou Caves overlook the Mekong River just where it is about to meet the Ou River. Situated in a mountain face, they have hundreds of Buddha statues in a myriad number of shapes, positions and sizes. A visit to the caves can be arranged, either by hiring a guide or soliciting the help of a local from Luang Prabang. Once at the caves, the entrance will cost you $1 and the boat ride, $10.
Luang Prabang Night Market
The night market at Laos is unique. It spreads over an entire kilometer along the main street and local vendors here stock products both handmade and made in Thailand and China. While the items are cutesy, it left me wondering about how this was a market set up exclusively for the tourists, because let's face it, no locals would buy at these prices even after all the bargaining!
The Royal Palace Museum
Built in the early 20th Century, the Royal Palace was the residence of the royals until the communists overthrew them in 1975. Subsequently converted into a museum, it is now a place to see glimpses of the history of Laos while also enjoying the lotus ponds, the art, the Crown Jewels of Laos, the Buddhas, and the plush furnishings and decor of the rooms in the old palace, which are still well preserved.