Prabang is the jewel of Indochina, and a UNESCO World
Heritage Site since 1995. The ancient royal city is
surrounded by mountains at the junction of the Mekong and
its tributary, the Khan river. In the centre of the city
is Mount Phousi with stunning views of the surrounding
temples and hills. Luang Prabang is a
time seems to stand still. As part of the UNESCO plan,
new buildings have been limited and development must be in
keeping with this magical place.
is small, and just about everywhere can be reached by
foot. Walking and travelling by bicycle is the best way
to see this tiny city.
Luang Prabang - City Sites
Prabang has dozens of temples and religious sites, both
small. The best way to see these sites is by foot or by
bicycle. The biggest concentration of temples is in the
old quarter, much of which forms a peninsula between the
Mekong and the Khan rivers. In between temple visits,
there are many small restaurants perched high on the banks
of the Mekong where you can watch life go by at a very
Thong - is situated 300m south of the confluence of the
Mekong and Khan rivers and was built in 1560. The temple
is the most stunning in Luang Prabang, richly decorated
with coloured glass and gold.
Phousi and Wat That Chom Sii - situated 150m and 300 steps
up above the peninsula with spectacular views of the city
and surrounding countryside. The climb is tiring, but
the views from the top are certainly worth it. From the
top, you can see the old Royal Palace, now the Palace
Museum, the rivers and surrounding villages. The temple
has a gold spired stupa that can be seen from most parts
of the city.
Palace, now a museum houses a collection of artefacts
belonging to former rulers of the Kingdom of Lane Xang.
Photography is not allowed in the museum.
Luang Prabang - Out and About
Pak Ou Caves
upriver from Luang Prabang at the confluence of the Ou and
Mekong rivers are two caves, Tham Ting and Tham Phun,
that house countless numbers of Buddah images that have
been left over hundreds of years by devotees. The caves
are best accessed by boat from LuangPrabang, either a slow
boat, that takes about two hours to reach or by
most enjoyable way to visit the caves is to take your time
and enjoy a quiet lunch at the caves - there is a covered
rest area there where you can relax, enkoy lunch and take
your time overlooking the Mekong river.
Ban Xang Hai
Pak Ou caves, downriver towards Luang Prabang is the
village of Ban Xang Hai, famous for its manufacture of
rice whiskey. The villagers carry water from the Mekong
and use it to soak rice in large jars which sit for
several days. The fermented rice yields alcohol which can
be drunk as a cloudy liquid, or distilled to make a fire
30km south of Luang Prabang, passing through many ethnic
minority villages are the magnificent Kuang Sii
Waterfalls. There are trails all around the falls and
visitors can swim in the lower pools. The falls has a
covered area for eating and there are several stalls
serving simple Lao food and drink. A full day should be
allowed for a trip to the falls.
four km from LuangPrabang is a small village famous for
its weavings. There is a small market set up here, and
you can wander in the village and see village women
weaving underneath their homes