What to expect in Luang Prabang?

There is so much to explore for day trips from Luang Prabang. The city is brimming with traditional cultural heritages that are rich in authentic Laotian essence. 

1. Wat Xieng Thong Temple

Renowned as the most beautiful ancient temple in Luang Prabang, this sacred site showcases sophisticated and elaborate architecture. Wat Xieng Thong Temple carries profound meanings tied to heritage conservation, religious devotion, and the artistic expression of Laotian culture. Each year, it draws many local pilgrims and tourists to visit.

  • Address: Khem Khong, Luang Prabang
  • Opening time: Daily from 8 AM - 6 PM
  • Ticket: 20,000 Kip ( 1 USD)

2. Royal Palace Museum

This was once the residence of the last monarch of Laos until the 1975 revolution. The museum exhibits numerous national treasures and artifacts. The structure vividly portrays the layout of the royal palace’s departments during the final years of the monarchy.

  • Address: 27 Ounheun Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Opening time: 8 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 4 PM
  • Ticket: 30,000 Kip (1,5 USD)

3. The Old Quarter

Day Trips From Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Old Quarter - a place to visit 

This spot is ideal for enthusiasts of vintage cultural vibes. Exploring this neighborhood on foot reveals intriguing details about Laos's featured architecture and Buddhist temples like Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Sensoukharam. 

You can stop at any roadside vendor for a break and enjoy watching the passing crowd. The Old Quarter is very beautiful at night with brimming light. There is no entrance fee, and you are welcome to visit here at any time. 

4. Local market

There are several local markets in Luang Prabang City. Here are some options to visit and see the flow of local life:

  • Morning Market: The morning market near the Royal Palace Museum opens at 5 AM. Local vendors display various daily necessities and fresh food along the roadside stalls.

  • Night Market: This renowned market opens at 5 PM. It features a variety of products, souvenirs, and enticing street food. The night market is a perfect destination to spend your nighttime.

  • Phosi Market: This is the largest market in Luang Prabang, offering a wide range of everyday items. The market opens at 5 AM. To get to Phosi Market, you will need to take a tuk-tuk as it is on the way to Kuang Si Falls.

5. Almsgiving Ceremony: This is the daily ritual starting around 5:30 - 6:30 AM, where monks leave the pagodas to receive alms from the early-rising locals preparing for the day.

6. Riverview Park: The park is situated on a tranquil peninsula. If you want to take a stroll while enjoying views of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, this is a perfect place to visit.

Day Trips From Luang Prabang

The bamboo bridge of Riverview Park

7. Wat Sensoukharam: This is also a notable temple in Luang Prabang, showcasing the cultural beauty and traditional Laotian architecture. Visitors can witness the almsgiving ceremony taking place here every morning.

8. Whisky Local Village (Ban Xang Hai): In this place, residents from the village demonstrate the local method of distilling spirits and present different kinds of snake and scorpion-infused drinks. Additionally, visitors can witness other handcrafting activities such as weaving.

Alongside the cultural heritage, there are remarkable natural sites that captivate travelers:

9. Kuang Si Falls: The cluster of stunning turquoise waterfalls is a must-visit, ideally from November to April. The entrance fee is 1 USD (20,000 Kip). It also covers a visit to the Bear Conservation Center. Kuang Si Falls is a must on the plan of your day trips from Luang Prabang.

  • Opening time: 8 AM - 5 PM.

Day Trips From Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang City from the top of Phousi Mount

10. Pak Ou Caves: This is a unique and fascinating attraction in Luang Prabang, Laos. The caves are home to thousands of Buddha statues, which were hidden here by locals during the 19th century to protect them from war. Visitors can take a boat to the caves, which are located about two hours from the city center.

11. Phousi Mount: Phou Si is one of the highest mountains in Luang Prabang. From the top, you can see the entire city and its rivers. On the way up, you will pass by several temples. I recommend the best time to visit Phou Si Mount is in the afternoon when the sun is setting. So that you can see the beautiful sunset scene in Luang Prabang.

  • Opening time: Daily from 6 AM - 7 PM 

  • Ticket: 20,000 Kip (1 USD)

12. The Mandalao Elephant Conservation: This elephant sanctuary provides a safe and natural home for elephants. Visitors can learn about elephants and even get up close with them by feeding and walking with them. 

  • Opening time: Daily from 8:30 AM - 9 PM

  • Fee for 1 pax/day: 150 USD.

My Suggested Itineraries

With all that said, Luang Prabang is no doubt one of the top travel destinations in Laos. In the following section, I will introduce you to three popular day trips from Luang Prabang that are not only recommended by me but also by many other travelers for their day plans.

Day Trips From Luang Prabang

Mekong River Cruise - day trips from Luang Prabang

Mekong Cruise Tour 

  • Pak Ou Caves

  • Kuang Si Waterfall

  • Local Villages

The Mekong River is a lifeline for Laos and Luang Prabang. It provides transportation, irrigation, and food for the people of the region. Along the river, you can see a variety of landscapes, from bustling cities to lush forests. 

Mekong River tours can be customized to fit your interests and budget. Half-day tours typically include a visit to Pak Ou Caves or Kuang Si Waterfalls. Full-day tours can include visits to multiple destinations, such as Pak Ou Caves, Kuang Si Waterfalls, and Whisky Village. Prices range from $20 to $45 per person, depending on the length of the tour and the services included.

City Tour & Kuang Si Waterfalls

Day Trips From Luang Prabang

Visit the Royal Palace Museum on your day trips from Luang Prabang

  • Morning: Alms Giving Ceremony, Morning Market, Wat Xieng Thong & Wat Sensoukharam visit, Royal Palace Museum

  • Afternoon: Kuang Si Falls & Bear Conservation

  • Night: Night Market & The Old Quarter

This is one of the typical day trips from Luang Prabang that includes a visit to the city's most popular attractions, as well as some natural beauty and shopping. I highly recommend you try this. The price for this 1-day plan can be between 10 and 50 USD per person.

City Heritage Tour 

If you want to spend a whole day in the city and don't need to travel far, you can refer to this program:

  • Morning: Almsgiving Ceremony, Morning Market, Riverview Park, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Sensoukharam

  • Afternoon: Royal Palace Museum, Mount Phousi

  • Night: Night Market & The Old Quarter

Day Trips From Luang Prabang

Best days trip from Luang Prabang for your choice

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang City with its blend of old Laotian architecture and the hospitality of its people is a destination that can not be missed. With my suggestions for day trips from Luang Prabang above, I wish you a wonderful and memorable travel time. You can share your journey with New Asia Tours so we can recommend and provide you with excellent travel experiences in Laos.