Luang Prabang has dozens of temples and religious sites, both
large and small, with the biggest concentration in the old quarter.
Wat Sen and Wat Xieng Thong, the latter built in 1560 and richly
decorated with coloured glass and gold, are the most spectacular of
the temples. The Royal Palace is now the National Museum, and is
well worth a visit. In the centre of the city is Mount Phousi.
Climb the steps to the top for stunning views over the city and the
In between temple visits, visit the local markets or relax at
one of the many small restaurants and cafés perched on the banks of
the Mekong and watch the world go by. The countryside around Luang
Prabang is dominated by the slow, snaking rivers, paddy fields and
green hills. A cycle ride through the fields and villages is the
only way to absorb this beautiful scenery and the traditional way
of life of the people who still work the land here.
Journeying some 25km upriver from Luang Prabang are the Pak Ou caves, situated at the confluence of the
Ou and Mekong rivers. Here, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha
statues are crammed into two caves carved out of a towering
limestone cliff. The images of Buddha range in size from a few
centimetres to full human size, and have been placed here over the
centuries by devotees, turning the caves into glittering
The caves can be reached by boat on a day trip from Luang
Prabang, or you can spend the night at nearby Kamu Lodge.