Luang Prabang Facts

Luang Prabang, also known as "Luang Pho Bang", is the capital of Luang Prabang province and the important town of Shangliao in Laos. It is also the famous ancient capital and Buddhist center of Laos. It is located at the confluence of the Nankang River and the Mekong River. The urban area of the city extends along the left bank of the Mekong River, with an average elevation of 290 meters. Luang Prabang is a veritable "Buddha state", a small city with numerous temples and monks.

In this city, the monks are in orange robes, the western-style buildings with white walls and red tiles, the red and blue night market, and the colorful sunset make up a wonderful picture. This is why Luang Prabang was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995.
 

Luang Prabang Facts

 

Best Time to Visit

Luang Prabang is divided into two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season is usually from May to October, during the rainy season, will encounter drizzling rain, muddy roads and swollen rivers, which cause inconvenience to travel; the dry season is from November to April, which is the tourist season with the cool and comfortable climate, the most lively New Year in Laos is also at the end of the dry season. Thus, visiting here at this period, could also deeply experience the ancient Buddhist customs. In general, Luang Prabang enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the whole year, with an average annual temperature of less than 30 ℃(86℉).

Luang Prabang Facts

 

Clothing Tips

Generally speaking, Luang Prabang is almost hot and humid all year round, with the annual average temperature below 30 ℃. Shorts and short sleeves can cope with most situations. However, it might be a bit cooler in November and February, when the temperature difference between day and night can be a bit larger, and the temperature can drop to single figures at night. It is recommended that tourists travel with trousers and thin coats.


When entering some temples and palace museums, the dress code does not allow the upper part of the body to show the shoulders, the lower part of the body not to show the navel, so it is best to bring or wear long pants, long sleeve coat.

 

Main Attractions

Most of the attractions in Luang Prabang are concentrated in the old city on the peninsula between the Mekong and Namkhan Rivers. It's easy to walk around the old city, but renting a bike is a better way to see the city and its attractions.


Wat Wisunarat

  • Location: Th Wisunarat, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Reason to Visit: The oldest temple in Luang Prabang
  • Entrance Fee: 20000KIP
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00


Founded in 1513, Wat Wisunarat is the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. In 1887, Yunnan Black Flag Army set fire to the temple; it was rebuilt in 1989. In front of the main hall of the temple stands a 34-meter-high lotus pagoda, also known locally as the watermelon pagoda because of its watermelon-like shape.
 

History of Wat Wisunarat

Luang Prabang has been known in the past as Monsha, which means "King City". It was only later that the name was changed due to the arrival of Buddhism. Then, Luang Prabang developed into a Buddhist shrine, with layers of temples built around the golden Buddha. In this small town, there are over 600 temples. In such a world, temples are clearly the most important component. The oldest temple in Luang Prabang is Wat Wisunarat, which was built in 1513, and most of the remaining main buildings were rebuilt after 1896. The main hall, with its high ceiling, is filled with wooden Buddha statues praying for rain, and the pylons of Luang Prabang in the 15th and 16th centuries.


♦ How to get to Wat Wisunarat

Wat Wisunarat is located in Luang Prabang, and it is recommended to take Tuk Tuk or taxi to get there.


Wat Aham

  • Location: Kingkitsarath Road, Luang Prabang 0600
  • Reason to Visit: The home of the supreme elders of Theravada Buddhism in Laos
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00


Luang Prabang Facts

Although the Wat Aham is a small temple with a very simple appearance, it's the home of the supreme elders of Theravada Buddhism in Laos. Two giant Bodhi trees stand silently inside the temple, but it is hard to guess what is hidden there. Other than that, there seems to be nothing special about the temple. But it is said that when the locals are upset, they will go there and talk to the tree. It's the most important spiritual shrine in Luang Prabang.
 

Wat Xieng Thong

  • Location: Khem Khong, Luang Prabang
  • Reason to Visit: The grandest temple in Luang Prabang, the grand hall is a typical example of the architectural style of Luang Prabang temple
  • Entrance Fee: 20000Kip (tickets can be used for two consecutive days)
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00


Luang Prabang Facts

Wat Xieng Thong is the most magnificent and beautiful temple in Luang Prabang, located near the Mekong River. It was built by King Setthathirat in 1560 and was the private property of the royal family until 1975. The main hall of the temple represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture style. The roof covered with Falun is supported by ornate wooden pillars, and the tree of life is especially spectacular with various colored glass inlaid on the rear wall, which is the biggest highlight of the temple.
 

Attention

  • In order to show respect to the Buddha, visitors should take off their shoes and go in barefoot.
  • No shirtless, off-the-shoulder halter tops or miniskirts are allowed, and female visitors are not allowed to enter the hall during their periods.


♦ How to Get to Wat Xieng Thong

  • It is about 20 minutes' walk from the city Centre.
  • Or go there by tuk-tuk, the fare is about 5000 kip/person.

 

Royal Palace Museum

  • Location: 27 Ounheun Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Reason to Visit: Rebuilt from the palace, the architectural style is magnificent, the Lancang kingdom relics and many precious cultural relics can be seen here
  • Entrance Fee: 30000Kip
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-11:30, 14:00-16:00, stop check-in at 15:30


Luang Prabang Facts

The Palace Museum is located on Th Sisavangvong Street. If you are interested in history, you won't miss it. The palace's converted museum displays a variety of royal religious artifacts in its grand entrance hall, as well as rare Buddhist statues collected from India, Cambodia and Laos. The room in the front right corner of the palace is open to the public and contains the museum's most valuable works of art, including PhaBang, the standing golden Buddha for whom the town is named.

The frescoes on the walls of the king's reception hall were painted in 1930 by the French painter Alixde Fautereau, depicting traditional life in Laos.


 Attention

It is important to note that no photos are allowed in the museum, and you must hand in your backpack to the staff. The dress code states that foreigners are never allowed to wear shorts, t-shirts or halter skirts.


♦ How to Get to Royal Palace Museum

The museum is located along the Mekong River, on the edge of Mount Pusi, and is within walking distance of the city center.
 

Wat Mai

  • Location: Th Sisavangvong, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Reason to Visit: The roof of Wat Mai is a typical Luang Prabang five-story wooden structure, with beautifully decorated wooden columns and ornate gilt relief walls.
  • Entrance Fee: 10000Kip
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00


Luang Prabang Facts

Wat Mai, built in the 18th century, near the Royal Palace Museum, is the most magnificent and beautifully decorated temple in Luang Prabang city. The roof of Wat Mai is a typical Luang Prabang five-story wooden structure, with beautifully decorated wooden columns and ornate gilt relief walls. An emerald Buddha statue is enshrined in the main hall, behind which is a thatched shed housing two racing boats. During the Laos New Year, the famous Luang Prabang Golden Buddha will be moved from the Royal Palace Museum to Wat Mai for public worship.


♦ How to Get to Wat Mai

Wat Mai is located in the center of Luang Prabang and is within walking distance.


Elephant Village

  • Location: Rte Luang Prabang, Vientiane
  • Reason to Visit: As an elephant sanctuary and resort, you can get up close and personal with Asian elephants.
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-21:00


Luang Prabang Facts

The elephants here are rescued in illegal conditions to free them from cruel logging work. The mission of the elephant conservation village is to help the elephants avoid abuse, get professional veterinarians to take care of them, and train them to live in a good environment. In addition to being an elephant conservation base, it is also a resort rich in recreational activities. Taking a basic Mahout training course, feeding the elephants, caring for them at the elephant hospital, trekking through the jungle and visiting the charming Tad Sae Falls are all great fun. Don't miss riding elephants through forests and rivers here. Moreover, there is a wealth of Lao cuisine, luxury accommodations; you could enjoy a pleasant and relaxing holiday trip.
 

How to Get to the Elephant Village

Better to hire a private car
 

Kuang Si Waterfall

  • Location: Rte Luang Prabang, Vientiane
  • Entrance Fee: 20000Kip
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30


Luang Prabang Facts

Kuang Si Waterfall, located 30 kilometers to the south of Luang Prabang, is a multi-layered and wide waterfall complex. The waterfall has a maximum drop of 100 meters, and the vegetation is lush in the scenic area. The three-story waterfall cascades down, creating pools of turquoise water. In addition, if you play in the pool, do not rush to land. There're a lot of fish in the pool that could eat dead skin, which will make you enjoy a natural free fish therapy.


♦ How to Get to Kuang Si Waterfall

  • Luang Prabang dual carpool 40000-50000 kip/person in the old town, about 50 minutes;
  • Motorcycle or self-drive bicycle, motorcycle rental 150,000-300,000 kip/day, about 50 minutes to arrive; Bike rental 40000-80000 kip/day, about 2 hours;
  • Book a private/group tour from the travel agency


Pak Ou Caves

  • Location: Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang
  • Reason to Visit: At the bottom of the riverfront limestone cliff in the Pak Ou Caves are two karst caves lined with Buddha statues of all sizes and styles
  • Entrance Fee: 20000Kip
  • Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00


Luang Prabang Facts

Located on the Ou River, a branch of the Mekong River, the cave is lined with Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes in two karst caves at the bottom of a limestone cliff facing the river. The cave is divided into upper grotto Tham Phoum and lower grotto Tham Ting. There are tens of thousands of Buddha in these two caves, of which 8,000 are registered, and they vary in size and shape. These statues are still guarding the Mekong and Ou Rivers in the heat and rain.


♦ How to get to Pak Ou Caves

  • Charter boat at the quay for 70000 kip/person, about 2 hours.
  • Motorcycle or bicycle self-drive, motorcycle rental 150,000-300,000 kip/day, bicycle rental 40,000-80,000 kip/day

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