Laos is one of my absolute favourite countries, a little gem nestled between 4 countries China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Despite there being so many things to do in Luang Prabang, there’s a slower more laid-back feel about the place compared to Vietnam where I travelled to Laos from. Even the temperatures are more comfortable. The locals are friendly but conservative, traditions are important. The scenery is spectacular, lush, green and mountainous with rivers and caves galore.
If you want to travel to Laos, read my Laos backpacking guide.
My favourite place to explore in Laos is without doubt Luang Prabang, a Unesco world heritage site. I could happily while away several weeks there exploring the colourful night markets, sipping cocktails overlooking the Mekong river and failing spectacularly at yoga!
What you can expect from this article...
Things to do in Luang Prabang
Give alms to monks
It’s worth getting up early at least once whilst you’re there to see the giving alms to monks and this was one of my favourite things to do in Luang Prabang.
At 05:30 the locals diligently get out of their beds prepare food and kneel on the streets waiting for the procession of the Buddhist monks through the town who they make offerings to of mostly sticky rice or fruit. Some children also kneel with empty baskets hoping for a donation to take back to their families.
It’s a peaceful, spiritual tradition dating back to the 14th century. Tourists can get involved as well as long as they follow the traditional rules of kneeling barefoot throughout the whole procession and women must not raise their heads above the monks!
Swim in Kwang Si Waterfalls
Another place which simply cannot be missed is Kuang Si Falls, listed in the top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in Asia. And you only need to browse Pinterest or Instagram to know there are a great many beautiful waterfalls in this part of the world!
There are a series of waterfalls and pools all a beautiful aqua colour. You can swim in the lower pools (there’s even a rope swing) but not the most scenic upper pools which at least allows the opportunity to get a photo without the crowds! Even then it’s not easy! I was waiting 30 minutes for the endless stream of tourists to finish taking selfies when a local I was with decided to speed things up by standing on a bench and shouting ‘get out get out!’ I’ve never seen tourists flee so fast (probably fearing a snake!) but I got that all-important photo! See below!
Visit the night Markets
Visiting the night markets is a popular thing to do in Luang Prabang. You’ll find everything from beautiful paper lanterns to elephants pants here and the atmosphere is amazing.
Take a trip into the hills
You can arrange day hikes and overnight trips into the nearby mountains to meet the tribes and do some mountain trekking.
Try some Yoga
One of the most popular things to do in Luang Prabang is to try yoga. It’s such a laid back town situated on the river that here is the perfect location to give yoga a try
I hope I’ve managed to persuade you that Luang Prabang and it’s nearby Kuang Si Waterfalls are definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Indulge in local traditions, holistic therapies and marvel at how stunningly beautiful it all is!
Please feel free to comment below! Have you been to Laos or do you plan to go? Where was you favourite place in Laos to visit?