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Tham Ting Caves (1/2 day)

LP Tham Ting 1
A great thing to do is a boat trip to Tham Ting caves. After a 25 km boat trip you will arrive at the caves, which are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small wooden figures are laid out over the wall shelves. The entrance fee to the caves is 20000 kip.

You can go there from Xienthong boat pier in the old centre of Luang Prabang. Actually this is not really a pier but there are many boatmen walking around and you can board a boat at the riverside.

On the way back you can make a stop at a village called Baan Sanghai, where you can buy handicraft and Lao liquor. You will get a better deal here then at the night bazaar in Luang Prabang.

LP Tham Ting 2
A boat tour to the will cost Approximately 500000 Kip for a private boat. After you left they will ask you if you like to change to a long tail speedboat, for the same price. They do this because the speedboats are not allowed to board passengers at the UNESCO town. If you like a fast ride, you can do this. It makes the boat ride only 25 minutes instead of more than an hour, so you have more time to spend at the caves or the handicraft village. On the way back the slow boat will be waiting for you to send you back to Luang Prabang the last kilometre.

Kuang Xi falls (½ – 1 day)

LP Kuangxi 1
One of the most beautiful places outside Luang Prabang is Kuang Xi Waterfalls. Not only the views on the falls are beautiful, it’s also possible to swim in these falls, so you can cool down on a hot day in Laos.

You can go to Kuang Xi by local taxi (1 hr ride), which will cost you about 17000 Kip per person. Another great way to go there is by private boat from Xienthong boat pier in the old centre. You will get a great view on the Mekong River during a one-hour boat ride. The boatman will drop you off at a village called Baan Singh and arrange a car with driver to bring you to the falls. This will cost you approximately 400000 Kip in total. The driver and the boatman will be waiting for you and send you back to the city.

LP Kuangxi 2
At the entrance of the waterfall park, you have to pay a small entrance fee. And then you’ll see these beautiful waterfalls, which begin in shallow pools atop a steep hillside. These lead to the main fall with a 50-meter cascade. The water collects in numerous turquoise blue pools as it flows downstream. Most of the pools are open for swimming. If you like something to drink or to eat at the falls, you’ll have to bring it or buy it at the entrance of the park.

Alms giving to Buddhist monks (1 hr)

LP Monks
If you are able to wake up very early, you have to see the procession of the alms giving to the Buddhist monks. Luang Prabang has approximately 16000 inhabitants and around 1200 monks, almost ten percent of the total population. Every morning around 6 am the monks of several monasteries walk through the streets collecting their food.

Of course you can watch the ceremony, but even better is to join it. Buy the food in the food stalls in the street, kneel down and give your alms to the monks while they pass by. The monks represent Buddha, so this ritual is to respect Buddha.

Buy the food (sticky rice and fruit for example) only from reliable food shops in the street itself, or prepare the food yourself, to avoid giving food from unknown quality. Also remember to be very respectful and don’t touch the monks. Watch the ceremony in silence, dress properly and don’t disturb the ceremony because you like to take pictures. Remember this is a local tradition and not a tourist activity.

Wat Xieng Thong temple and monastery (1 hr)

LP temple
In the old centre of Luang Prabang you have to visit the most famous and oldest temple, Wat Xieng Thong. The temple is located at the most northern tip of the peninsula and was built in 1560.

The temple is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily and visitors pay an entrance fee of 20000 Kip. The main entrance is at the road along Mekong River, opposite Xieng Thong boat pier.

Luxury place: Le Palais Juliana (1 - ? days)

There are many nice and cheap places where you can stay in the old centre of Luang Prabang. But if you like it more luxurious you should stay in Le Palais Juliana, just outside the city.

LP Palais Juliana
This 5-star boutique resort is only 10 minutes drive away from the old centre.
The rooms are beautiful and most ground floor rooms have direct access to the wonderful pool. It is a very clean hotel and you will feel very relaxed after a long day of sightseeing and absorbing culture.

National museum (2 hrs)

LP Museum
Built by the French colonial government for King Sisavangvong between 1904 and 1909 on the foundations of a much older palace building, the former Royal Palace was taken over by the revolutionary government in 1975 and reopened to the public as a national museum in 1976.

Located in the centre of town opposite Mount Phousi, the building features a blend of French and Lao architectural styles. The collection of the museum will show you a lot about Lao history, Lao monarchy and Buddhism.

It is not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. You must leave your bag in lockers provided near the entrance, need to be dressed conservatively and also need to remove your shoes before entering. The entrance fee is 30000 Kip. The museum is open daily from 8.30 am to12.30 pm and from 1.30 to 4 pm.

Rent a bicycle (1 - ? days)

Getting around in the city centre of Luang Prabang is great with a bicycle. It’s silent and it’s good for the environment.
There are many shops in Sakarine Road where you can rent a bicycle. It is very easy because the whole city of Luang Prabang is UNESCO world heritage, so there's hardly any traffic in town.

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Language of the world

Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Luang Prabang.