Luang Prabang, the cultural capital of Laos, lures travellers with its charming downtown streets and glittering pagodas. Go beyond this and discover a kaleidoscope of colourful hill tribes, stunning natural landscapes and mystical caves. Be immersed in a land deeply tied to tradition and enchanted by the gentle Laos people.
Learn about Laos’ diverse ethnic groups and their customs with a guided visit of the comprehensive exhibits at TAEC museum.
Spend a day in the pristine natural surroundings of Luang Prabang visiting rural villages, the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls and a rescue centre for Asian Sun Bears.
Wander through Luang Prabang to discover the architectural wonders and cultural traditions that have earned the city UNESCO heritage status.
Amazing Luang Prabang - 4 Days / 3 Nights
Welcome to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos!
Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure to explore Luang Prabang independently.
After breakfast at the hotel, transport will be provided to the pier for the day’s Mekong cruise. En route to the pier, stop for a brief visit to Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most famous temples in the city.
After boarding the boat, cruise up the Mekong River heading for the famous Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of all different sizes. During the cruise out, take note of the fishermen and local villages along the way. For many in the region, the Mekong plays a crucial role in daily life, representing one of the only means of transport and commerce.
After visiting the caves, cruise back to Luang Prabang. If time permits, stop on the way back at Ban Xang Hay, a village that specializes in making rice wine.
Once back in Luang Prabang, enjoy a selection of local favourites at one of the best Lao restaurants in town, Tamarind (Note: closed on Sundays).
In the afternoon, begin a guided city tour of Luang Prabang. Start at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, before continuing to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. Next, pay a visit to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities. (Note: closed on Monday).
Overnight in Luang Prabang
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Garavek Storytelling Theater
Head to an old colonial house that has been converted into a small theatre. Enjoy a one-hour performance during which time the mystical legends of Laos are presented by local actors. With space for just 30 in the audience, the folktales seem to come to life on stage.
The stories are presented in English and will explain the origin of Luang Prabang and its landmarks. As well it will introduce the traditional characters of Lao folklore and features classic jokes beloved by locals. The stories are accompanied by traditional music played on the khene, a bamboo mouth organ. This unique instrument is only found in Laos and Northern Thailand and is always played when folktales are being told.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Alms Giving
For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast visit Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city. Continue to Wat Aham followed by Wat That, where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa.
Continue with a drive through the Luang Prabang countryside to Kuang Si Waterfalls, soaking in the rice fields, hills and small villages along the way.
Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. For the adventurous, it is possible to walk to the top of the falls where stunning views await. Beautiful pools await at the base of the falls, which are perfect for swimming.
Note: when bathing please be respectful, wear a sarong and be careful not to show too much skin.
There is an optional visit on the way back to the Bear Sanctuary run by Free The Bears Fund Inc. 23 Asiatic Black Bears live in the sanctuary, which were rescued from poaching. Another optional visit is to the Kuang Si Butterfly Park, home to hundreds of Laos’s butterflies!
Return to Luang Prabang in time to climb the 328 stairs to the summit of Mt. Phousi for an amazing panoramic sunset. Afterwards, feel free to explore the nearby evening hill tribe market before returning to the hotel.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
After breakfast, enjoy some free time at leisure until transport (provided by guide and driver) to the airport for the departing flight.
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