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Things to do in Luang Prabang

Our most recommended things to do in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls Cruise

1. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls Cruise

Enjoy a private or shared group boat tour to the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls departing from Luang Prabang. You will be picked up at your accommodation and travel straight to the pier. Hop onboard a long tail boat for a relaxing journey aong the Mekong River. Enjoy the views from the water as you pass by local villages and fishing communities. After the first hour and a bit, the boat makes its first short stop at the popular Ban Xang Hai, also known as ‘the whiskey village’. Explore the village, see the process of making Lao Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey, and taste the finished product. Continue by boat traveling slowly along the Mekong in the direction of the glorious Pak Ou Caves. Arrive at a small boat landing dock where stairs lead you straight up to the cave. These limestone Buddhist caves have been a place of worship for thousands of years, over this time a collection of Buddha statues and idols have filled these spiritual natural caves Enter the Ou River to visit the limestone cliffs. Then, after a 30-minute boat ride down the Mekong River, arrive at Manifa Elephant Camp for lunch. Enjoy a full buffet-style lunch at the restaurant overlooking the Mekong river and free-roaming elephants. After lunch break, travel by car to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Enjoy 2 hours of free time to explore the three-layered Kuang Si Waterfalls. Walk the trails of the nature reserve and swim in the refreshing turquoise water pools and visit the bear rescue center. Depart for Luang Prabang, with a short stop at Ban Na Uan Hmong village on the way. Return to the city with drop-off at your hotel.

Luang Prabang: Countryside Mountain Bike Tour with Lunch

2. Luang Prabang: Countryside Mountain Bike Tour with Lunch

This mountain bike trip combines great cycling with the chance to discover authentic Lao rural life. Leave the beaten path and find your own adventure outside of town. Get geared up and ride out of town along the Mekong River. After crossing the old communist bridge, make a stop to visit Xieng Lek Village, famous for its mulberry paper and weaving. Follow the Nam Xuang River past villages before offroading into the countryside, up and down hills, past rice paddies and local villages. Ride through vast rice paddies and Lao Leum, Hmong, and Khmu villages with locals tending to the daily activities of Lao agrarian life. The last leg of the ride will take you along the Nam Khan River. Before entering Luang Prabang City enter the beautiful Wat Phon Phao, with its huge golden stupa and an incredible view overlooking all of Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang: Private Sunset Cruise and Hot Pot Dinner

3. Luang Prabang: Private Sunset Cruise and Hot Pot Dinner

Enjoy the best views of Luang Prabang at sunset on a private cruise on the Mekong River. Experience a traditional tuk-tuk ride, sail along the Mekong, and enjoy a delicious hot pot dinner. After getting picked up from your hotel by tuk-tuk, head to the boat jetty behind the Royal Palace and set sail for a 2-hour cruise along the Mekong River. Listen to your local guide explain the history of the Mekong and its residents as you sail. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase. The cruise is timed to catch the sunset, so you can relax on the boat terrace and take in views of the sun setting behind Luang Prabang and Chompet. You can also have your photo taken by the guide. After dusk, return to land and hop back on the tuk-tuk for a quick drive to your dinner venue, Sin Dat Hot Pot and Barbecue Restaurant. Have fun cooking your own meal for dinner as the locals do before getting dropped off back at your hotel in the evening.

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls Kayak Tour

4. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls Kayak Tour

Discover Laos' varied and scenic landscapes on this guided tour. After getting picked up from your hotel in Luang Prabang, head north to the Nam Ou Riverside where you will begin your kayak tour. This is an easy river for kayaking where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the tranquil countryside and see naturally-formed limestone cliffs.  Kayak your way towards Pak Ou, where you will visit the famous Pak Ou Caves – 2 linked caves crammed with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Enjoy a guided tour of the caves before starting the second section of your kayak on the Mekong River. Paddle down the Mekong for 30 minutes to reach your lunch destination. Sit down to a delicious buffet lunch as you admire breathtaking views of the Mekong. After lunch, continue to the Kuang Si Falls and enjoy some free time to explore these unique 3-layered falls. You could go for a walk through the trails of the surrounding nature trails, take a dip in the refreshing turquoise water pools or pay a visit to the bear rescue center. Finally, begin the journey back to Luang Prabang. Stop at Ban Na Uan hmong village and get the chance to experience Hmong village life, meet some of the local people and see their traditional embroidery crafts. Get dropped off back at your hotel at the end of the day.

Luang Prabang: Kuang Si Bike Ride & Long-Tail Boat Cruise

5. Luang Prabang: Kuang Si Bike Ride & Long-Tail Boat Cruise

Get picked up from your hotel in Luang Prabang in the morning. Choose a great bike at the local partner's bike shop in Luang Prabang before setting off on a scenic, 30-kilometer paved-road ride along the Mekong River to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall. Enjoy the medium-grade ride which lasts 2-3 hours with some hills, making several stops to explore the local villages along the way. When you arrive, marvel at Kuang Si Waterfall which spans a large area through some of the lushest jungle around Luang Prabang. Explore the easy walking trails which wind past numerous pools and water cascades where you can relax and swim. Enjoy a provided lunch at the waterfall as you soak up the scenic views and tranquil atmosphere. Make use of the small private changing rooms near the waterfall allowing you to change into your swimming suit. You can also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall. After plenty of recreation time at the waterfall, hop back onto the bikes for a fun downhill ride to the Mekong River. Then, board a long-tail boat for a 1.5-2 hour scenic cruise up the Mekong River back to Luang Prabang. Finally, ride the short distance back to the bike shop to wrap up a great day.

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

6. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

Visit the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfall on a full-day tour, with a scenic drive up and down the length of the Mekong River. Start with early morning pickup and relax on the 40-minute drive to Pak Ou Village. Admire locally-produced crafts, before crossing the mighty Mekong River in a small boat to the base of a limestone cliff. Enter the impressive Pak Ou Caves, filled with Buddhist statues and relics. Take your time to explore this incredible place, scented with burning incense and overlooking the impressive landscape. Climb a winding set of stairs, grab a flashlight, and find another fascinating cave to visit. After enjoying the caves, stop for lunch at the base of the caves. Cross back over the water and drive downriver for 1.5 hours, to reach the famous Kuang Si Waterfall. Stop at the popular Whiskey Village along the way, to sample local Lao Lao. Admire the rushing turquoise waters of the falls, surrounded by beautiful jungle scenery. Visit the bear sanctuary while there. We drop you back in Luang Prabang where your tour ends.

Luang Prabang: Private Must-See Sights and Mount Phousi Tour

7. Luang Prabang: Private Must-See Sights and Mount Phousi Tour

Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, Luang Prabang is lauded as the heart of Laotian culture. After being picked up from your hotel, you will begin exploring at the Royal Palace Museum. There you can take in the palace's unique architecture, which is a mix of French Beaux-Arts style with Laotian touches. You can also get a glimpse into everyday life in the 1930s with the help of some carefully preserved artifacts and murals. Next, you will head to some of the oldest temples in the area, including Wat Xiengthong, which features a stunning tree of life mosaic and intricately carved walls. At the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center, you will get introduced to the diverse cultures of the country's many ethnic groups. Following lunch with your guide, who will further detail your day with anecdotes and facts, you will climb to the top of Mount Phousi. As you reach the summit, you will be able to watch the sun set over the Mekong River, illuminating the gilded stupa of the mountain's Wat Chom Si Temple. On your way back down, you will stop at Luang Prabang's night market before heading to your hotel to discover the troves of vibrant, handcrafted treasures that are on display.

From Luang Prabang: Thin Pha Trail & Tad Sae Falls Trek

8. From Luang Prabang: Thin Pha Trail & Tad Sae Falls Trek

Start with a morning transfer from your hotel in Luang Prabang 25 minutes out of town to the adventure camp. Cross the Nam Khan River by boat to the trailhead and begin the hike through rice paddies and middle canopy. Your first stop will be a Khmu village named Ban Houay Fai where your guide will introduce you to the local life and customs. Continue along ridges, limestone grottos, and rocky slopes for lunch at a Hmong village known as Ban Thin Pha, which gives this trail its name. Experience a variety of flora and fauna in the mountains and valleys, and weave your way through paddies and countryside. Stop, look, listen, and ask your guide about the life teeming around you. Chat with villagers and ask questions about life in Laos before ending the trek in the riverside village Ban Houay Yen. There, a boat will be waiting to take you down a beautiful stretch of the Nam Khan with a stop at the Tad Sae Waterfall. Relax and soak in Tad Sae Falls before returning by boat and vehicle to Luang Prabang. By choosing this adventure, you are contributing funds to support the local communities you visit. The total trekking distance is about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), which takes about 4-5 hours through deciduous forest and farmland with elevations of 300-900 meters (984-2953 feet). During the low water season from February to July, the itinerary is the same with the exception that the Tad Sae Waterfall can be very low or dry and may be omitted. You can choose to take the tour in a public, small group or in a private group.

Luang Prabang: Cooking Class, 4-Course Lunch, & Guided Hike

9. Luang Prabang: Cooking Class, 4-Course Lunch, & Guided Hike

Immerse yourself in Lao culture through its gastronomy and landscapes with this cooking class and hike combo tour. Visit a local farm for a 4-course cooking lesson, hike to Kuang Si Falls, and meet rescued bears at a bear sanctuary. After getting picked up from your hotel in a traditional tuk-tuk, enjoy a 40-minute drive towards the home and farm of a local family in the village of Ban Pak Si. Upon arrival at the farm, join your host for a stroll in the gardens to select the fresh ingredients for your cooking class. Then, under the guidance of your host, learn how to prepare a traditional four-course Lao lunch. Cook your own salad, pork laab, sticky rice, and more, then sit down to enjoy the rewards of your efforts with lunch at the riverside. Refreshed and reenergized after lunch, enjoy a 2-hour hike towards Kuang Si Falls, following a path used daily by local farmers. Upon arrival, swim in the falls' turquoise waters or simply relax and enjoy your surroundings. Next, pay a visit to a nearby sanctuary that cares for and rehabilitates bears rescued from animal traders and deforested habitats. At the end of the day, return to Luang Prabang, stopping for photos of the Lao countryside and villages before arriving back at your hotel.

Luang Prabang: Private Old Town Food Walking Tour with Lunch

10. Luang Prabang: Private Old Town Food Walking Tour with Lunch

Join this private food walking tour around Lao with your guide and discover all the tasty food spots that the locals love. Sample traditional snacks, learn about monks' Buddhist traditions and visit a food market and a temple. Start your walking tour at your accommodation, your guide will meet you on foot. Walk through Luang Prabang morning food market to learn about the ingredients of Lao food. Smell the sweet aroma of spices and freshly cooked food as you walk around. Learn all about the rich, spicy flavor of Lao food from your guide. Taste one of Lao's special specialty dishes; the Luang Prabang. Need a morning coffee Don't worry, kick start your day with a Lao hot coffee. Visit a temple in the UNESCO town to learn about Buddhism from a Monk. Next head for a good feast and eat a delicious lunch of Papaya salad with sticky rice and, of course, enjoy a Beer Lao.

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Frequently asked questions about Luang Prabang

What top attractions are a must-see in Luang Prabang?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Luang Prabang?

The best day trips and excursions from Luang Prabang are:

Kuang Si Falls

What are the best outdoor activities to do in Luang Prabang?

What are the best indoor activities in Luang Prabang for rainy days?

Other Sightseeing Options in Luang Prabang

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What people are saying about Luang Prabang

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 175 reviews

Great package to be able to get an early morning head-start of some of the town's most popular sites and scenes BEFORE the crowds. Our guide MisterPon was so much fun, and most informative. We enjoyed history, culture, craft, daily life, hiking....and FOOD!!! Highly recommend as an excellent primer to the beautiful town of Luang Prabang.

Hosts were really polite and professional - they checked in with me beforehand to coordinate things, and the entire experience was so well-run. It was an excellent look into Lao culture, and I highly recommend it. The only area for improvement would be to mosquito-proof the area, but insect repellent helped.

Sai was incredibly helpful and gave us an unforgettable experience. He made sure we had a great time in Luang Prabang and went above and beyond for us. We loved this experience!

Great tour with real local people and life. You can learn a lot of culture, tradition, etc.

Waterfall and boat trip are excellent, be prepared for a long minibus journey