Top 9 attractions to explore in Luang Prabang Province
Luang Prabang is exceptional for both its rich architectural and artistic heritage that reflects the fusion of Lao traditional urban architecture with that of the colonial era during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Pak Ou Caves, 25 km north of Luang Prabang, have a history dating back thousands of years. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. They are a group of two caves on the west side of the Mekong river, about two hours upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang, and are frequently visited by tourists.
Mount Phousi, standing at 100 meters above sea level, is Luang Prabang’s highest hill. It’s popular as a place to watch the sunrise or set over the Mekong River. From the summit, you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view across the city and its many temples, and over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance.
The former Royal Palace, now turned into a museum is situated on the banks of the Mekong river, facing the sacred Mount Phousi. Locally the Palace is known as the Haw Kham or Ho Kham, which translates to “Golden Palace”. The museum houses the Phra Bang, the country’s most sacred Buddha image, which is kept in a richly ornamented shrine. The Palace was built between 1904 and 1909 during the time of French colonial occupation as the residence of the Laos Royal Family.
Wat Manorom is a major Buddhist temple and monastery in Luang Prabang, Laos. There are several theories as to the date of its founding; it may have been founded in 1372 or 1375 by Samsenthai, but it may also date from the reign of Laasaenthai Bouvanaat around 1492. The great bronze Buddha, 6 meters high, in the nave dates from the 1370s.
The impressive Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham is one of Luang Prabang’s largest and most richly decorated temples. Both its interior and exterior are extensively adorned with black and red lacquer decoration and gold leaf. The temple, also known as Wat Mai, meaning “new temple” was founded around 1780 by King Anurat of the Luang Prabang Kingdom. Located next to the Royal Palace, the Wat Mai was the temple used by Laos Royalty.
Wat Pa Phon Phao is a Buddhist hill temple located across the Nam Khan River in the city of Luang Prabang in Laos. It was a retreat in the forest for meditation and spiritual learning for the Kings of Laos. This temple with a golden stupa is known for its unique octagonal-shaped architecture, picturesque location offering excellent panoramic views of the mountains and the surrounding Phanom village.
Wat Sen, Luang Prabang is also known as Wat Sene Souk Haram is a Buddhist temple (wat), located in Luang Phrabang, Laos. It was built in 1718 by King Kitsarath with 100,000 stones from the Mekong river. It literally means "Temple of 100,000 treasures". It was restored in 1957 commemorating the Buddha's birth 2500 years earlier.
The Wat Xieng Thong found at the tip of the Luang Prabang peninsula is one of Laos most beautiful and richly decorated temples built by King Setthathirath in 1559 on the banks of the Mekong river. It is one of the few temples that was not destroyed during the Black Flag Army invasion of 1887. The impressive structure is built in the Luang Prabang style, its sweeping roof extending almost to the ground. The roof consists of a large, 3 tiered central section flanked by several 2 tiered sections.
Map of attractions in Luang Prabang Province