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Luang Prabang

Culture & history

Our most recommended Luang Prabang Culture & History

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: Evening Cooking Class & Local Baci Ceremony

2. Luang Prabang: Evening Cooking Class & Local Baci Ceremony

On this activity, you will learn how to make a traditional home-cooked Lao dinner, as well as attend a Baci ceremony to celebrate a special event, a marriage, a homecoming, a birth, or one of the annual festivals.  Begin by meeting your driver at the lobby of your hotel in Luang Prabang at 4:00 PM. Stop at the local food market to learn more about the fresh ingredients and herbs that local people use in their daily cooking. You will then learn how to cook 5 typical dishes using the local ingredients, before eating together with the locals in the traditional Lao style. After your dinner enjoy a show of traditional music performs by local musician in the Hmong traditional costume. As you listen to the music, admire the breathtaking views of the rice fields surrounding the building.  Then, you will witness a "Baci" ceremony, which is a local custom performed when a mother has recovered from childbirth, when a sick person has been cured, or when monks are entering the temple. The ceremony can take place any day of the week and all through the year, but preferably before noon or before sunset. After this final experience is finished, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Luang Prabang: Local Village & Kuang Si Falls Private Tour

3. Luang Prabang: Local Village & Kuang Si Falls Private Tour

Catch a ride directly from your hotel and spend the first part of your morning watching quiet monks take part in an alms giving ceremony, processing through town requesting donations from faithful residents. Afterward, browse the produce-packed stalls and vocal vendors at Phosi Market, where you can barter for dried buffalo skin and loose leaf tea. Swing by the villages of Ban Ouay, Ban Ou, and Ban Thapene to explore the cultural differences between each ethnic group. Continue on to Kuang Si Falls in the afternoon. Plunge into aquamarine pools and snap photos of the tumbling cascades of this stunning waterfall before heading down forested trails that lead to a nearby bear sanctuary. Check out exhibits housing rescued Asiatic black bears and listen as your guide explains how these cuddly creatures are being protected from the illegal wildlife trade. As the sun begins to dip toward the horizon, return to the city and the stupa at Wat Siphouthabath where you can grab a seat and watch the setting sun illuminate this sacred site in golden light before you head back to your hotel.

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

4. 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: Guided Tour of Kuang Si Waterfall by Tuk-Tuk

5. Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Kuang Si Waterfall by Tuk-Tuk

Enjoy a half-day Luang Prabang waterfall tour which lasts for 5.5 hours. Get picked up at your hotel at 8:30 AM and climb into a Tuk-Tuk, one of the most popular forms of transport in Laos. As you ride through the incredible scenery, take in the sights and experience real Laos culture and customs from your guide. First, enjoy a local coffee at a viewpoint of the Mekong River. At 10 AM, visit a lovely Luang Prabang village, one of the highlights on the tour and learn more about local life. At 11 AM, head over to Kuang Si Waterfall, the main highlight of the tour. At 1:15 PM, stop for lunch with your guide as you learn about the cuisine of the local people. Finish the tour at 2 PM after you're dropped off back at your hotel.

Luang Prabang: Buddhism Tour with Guide on a Vintage Tuk-Tuk

6. Luang Prabang: Buddhism Tour with Guide on a Vintage Tuk-Tuk

This tour is an introduction to local Buddhist customs, and no prior knowledge is required to enjoy it to the fullest! Discover the most influential Buddhist destinations in the city, discuss the history of Buddhism and experience Buddhist rituals with locals. You will be picked up from your hotel at 5:00 AM and will travel with your guide on a vintage tuk-tuk to the Alms Giving Ceremony. Join the locals in the Alms Giving Ceremony, and see Buddhist monks. This sacred tradition will bring you luck and happiness. After head to the local market to learn more about local culture and enjoy breakfast and coffee. At 8:30 head to the Luang Prabang Buddhist temples to explore and learn more about the religion, architecture and historical significances of the temples. At 10:00 AM you will return to your hotel.

Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Mt. Phousi with Local Cuisine

7. Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Mt. Phousi with Local Cuisine

Experience the stunning beauty of Luang Prabang's natural scenery on a half-day motorbike tour, choosing between the sunrise or the sunset options. Choose the sunrise option to start your tour early when you’re picked up from your hotel at 5 AM. You’ll be taken to Mount Phousi to admire the best views of Luang Prabang as the sun rises at 6 AM before cruising down the Mekong River on a local boat. At 7:30 AM, enjoy a local breakfast to learn more about traditional cuisine in Laos. Finish the tour at 8:30 AM when you’re dropped off back at your hotel.  Alternatively, choose the sunset option and start the tour in the afternoon. Get picked up from your hotel at 4:30 PM and head off on the back of a motorbike to Mount Phousi to admire the best views of Luang Prabang at sunset. Learn about the city's rich history from your expert guide and try some local cuisine in Luang Prabang. Sample delicious dishes like Or Lam, Khao Soy, and Nam Van before being dropped off at back your hotel at 8:30 PM.

Luang Prabang: 4-Day Explorer Tour

8. Luang Prabang: 4-Day Explorer Tour

Day 1 Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport meet and greet your local guide at the exit of the arrival hall. Drive to the hotel where you can get some rest and relax at your own pace. Day 2 Enjoy a short but thorough guided tour of the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong. With its roofs sweeping low to the ground, it embodies classical Laotian architecture. Then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, and take in a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as exploring the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, 2 linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, you will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai where they make the local rice wine and Ban Xangkhong a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. On return, visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. You'll then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River.  Continue to explore the night market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by Luang Prabang locals. Return to the same hotel in Luang Prabang. Day 3 Wake up to the beautiful morning in Luang Prabang, and if you are an early riser, participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (sticky rice) from the residents. This tradition is unique to Laos, the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. After breakfast, drive about 15km out of town to journey to the elephant village in Ban Xienglom. En route stop at a famous and well-known village, Ban Phanom, where almost all of the villagers are weavers. Next, stop at Henri Mouhot, the explorer who discovered Angkor Wat, a monument at Kaeng Noon.  Once at the Elephant Village Camp, get up close and personal with elephants while you feed them. Visit the elephant hospital, museum, gallery, and dung paper making facility.  Return to the town visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. Returning to Luang Prabang by afternoon, you'll be back in the city in time to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath Tai. Day 4 Enjoy your breakfast and free time to pack in the morning before check-out, you will then be transferred to the airport to catch up with your flight.Enjoy your breakfast and free time to pack in the morning before check-out, you will then be transferred to the airport to catch up with your flight.

Luang Prabang: Mountain Trek & Local Villages Overnight Tour

9. Luang Prabang: Mountain Trek & Local Villages Overnight Tour

DAY 1 Start the tour with hotel pickup at 8:00 AM and head off for the Longhurst trail, one of the most spectacular trails in the area. The trail has steep jungle-covered mountains on one side and a spectacular view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River on the other side. You'll cross the Nam Khan River by boat and begin the ascent into the mountains. The trail is an invigorating and sometimes challengingl hike going through canyons to remote villages and small lakes. The full-day hike spans 13km, normally taking 6 hours with breaks included. Under wet conditions, the hiking can be 7-8 hours. You’ll arrive at the Khmu village in the evening for an authentic cultural homestay and a well-earned meal prepared by your guide. Enjoy exploring the village with your guide, have a drink with the locals, and enjoy this incredible night deep in the mountains. DAY 2 Enjoy breakfast and set out for a 1.5 to 2-hour trek through the rice fields and forest. Then make your way up the hillside to a Hmong village of "Ban Tin Pha" , a wonderful place with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.  Afterward, continue the trek downhill to a village along the river, "Ban Houay Yen". Here you will board a local boat for a relaxing ride on the Nam Khan to the Tad Sae waterfalls.  Lunch will either be served at the village before the boat ride or at the waterfall as preferred. If you want to cool off after all the trek, take a swim in the pools at the base of the falls or relax in the shade. End the tour by taking the local boat to a camp and then driving back to the town.

Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

10. Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

Set off into the Mekong River after being gathered from your hotel, passing scenes of fishermen and wildlife on the way. Once you arrive at the Pak Ou Caves, head to Tham Ting, the first cave. The smaller cave is illuminated from the entrance, making it a popular place to burn incense and offer prayers. As your guide leads you through the dark cave with a light, catch sight of the Buddha icons, numbering in the 1,000s that fill the place.  After your excursion through the caves, hop aboard your boat and make your way to the village of Ban Xanghai. Here, you can witness the traditional method of making lao-lao, the local rice wine. A short drive then takes you to Ban Phanom, which is famous for its handwoven textiles. Watch the craftsmen deftly work at their looms, weaving silk and cotton into intricate patterns. Conclude your day of adventure with a leisurely boat trip back to Luang Prabang.

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What people are saying about Luang Prabang

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 5 reviews

Our small group enjoyed a great day at the waterfall, visiting Pak Ou Cave and cruising on the Mekong. Between we were treated to an excellent Lunch on the River at an Elephant rescue. A fine way to enjoy a day in Luang Prabang. Highly recommended.

Overall it’s a fun and cool experience with the tour. Our tour guide, Mr Thin is very friendly and he explained and shares with us the histories of the places we visited. He also speak fluent English and accommodate our needs well! :-)

Best hike ever in Luang Prabang through the jungle and villages. Nam khan boat ride was just amazing. My guide Som sack was really informative and the driver Chan was really friendly. Really worth this tour.

That was a particularly nice and round tour and more than worth the money!

very good quality of service. very complete and uniquely landscaped