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LUANG PRABANG

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Megan the Travelin Writer

This quiet town is peaceful and timeless, where peace and serenity reign. Luang Prabang is a magical city that offers visitors a unique cultural experience, stunning natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine. From exploring the city's temples and markets to cruising on the Mekong River and hiking to the Kuang Si Falls, there is no shortage of activities to do in this vibrant and exciting city. You'll leave fulfilled and inspired. So, if you are planning a trip to this beautiful town, read on for the best things to do in Luang Prabang.

Best Things to Do in Luang Prabang

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HOIAN 

things to do
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1. Kuang Si Falls

Kuang Si Falls is a stunning three-tiered waterfall located just outside Luang Prabang. The hike to the falls is a bit challenging, but the stunning scenery and refreshing waterfalls make it worth the effort. The main waterfall has a beautiful turquoise pool where you can swim, and there are also several smaller waterfalls and pools that are perfect for a relaxing swim. Don't forget to bring your camera, as the Kuang Si Falls offer some of the most stunning natural landscapes in Laos.

Located about 30 km south of the city, the waterfalls consist of a series of cascades and pools of blue-turquoise water. You can take a trek to the waterfalls, passing through lush forests, rice paddies, and traditional villages along the way. Once you arrive, you can swim, picnic, or simply soak in the beauty of the nature around you.

Tickets

Tickets

are $37 for 1 day, $62 for 3 days, or $72 for 7 days,

and can be bought online.

Try fish and chips, shop local, and watch the sunset in Kalk Bay

After swimming with the penguins, head just 20 minutes north along the coast to Kalk Bay. Your first stop is Kalky's for the best fish and chips in Cape Town. The long queues are well worth the wait for the R75 fish and chips they’ve been serving since the 1950s.

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Tip:

They don't take cards and the ATM doesn't always work, so bring cash.

After lunch, walk around Kalk Bay, shopping and supporting local, before grabbing a coffee and watching the sunset at Dalebrook Tidal Pool. (Lekker, Dalebrook, and Salt are all firm coffee standouts.)

 

If you're feeling artsy, visit Soul Design Jewelry to make your own beaded jewelry or buy their Africa-inspired designs.

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2. Explore the temples

Explore the Temples: Luang Prabang is known for its stunning temples, with over 30 temples to explore in the city and the surrounding areas. The most famous temple is Wat Xieng Thong, which is known for its ornate architecture and intricate mosaic work. Other must-visit temples include Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, Wat Sensoukharam, and Wat That Luang. A visit to these temples will not only allow you to appreciate the city's rich culture and history, but also offer a sense of peace and serenity that is hard to find elsewhere.

Luang Prabang has been a Buddhist spiritual center for centuries. At the heart of the city, you will find several magnificent temples, each with its unique history, architecture, and cultural significance. One of the most iconic is Wat Xieng Thong, known for its intricate gilded carvings, sweeping rooflines, and serene garden. Another must-visit is Wat Mai, with its striking five-tiered roof, ornate facade, and vibrant painting. The most sacred temple is Wat Phu Si, located at the top of a hill that provides sweeping views of the city and the Mekong River.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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3. Witness the alms giving

There’s no better way to get to know the city than from the Red Bus. Hop on at the V&A Waterfront or Long Street, and take in the sights from the top deck. Buy your Red Bus and Table Mountain tickets together online to save money and skip the queue.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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4. Visit the Night Market

Every night, the main street of Luang Prabang comes alive with the vibrant and colorful night market. Here, you can find a wide range of handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry, and local food. This is a great place to experience the local culture and interact with the friendly locals. The night market is a must-visit for all tourists, and you will not be disappointed by the unique and beautiful items on offer.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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5. Try Laotian cuisine

Laotian cuisine is delicious and unique, and Luang Prabang has some of the best restaurants and street food vendors in the country. Some of the must-try dishes include laap (a spicy meat salad), tam mak hoong (a green papaya salad), and khao soi (a coconut curry noodle soup). The local night market is also a great place to try some of the local street food, with many vendors selling grilled meats, noodles, and fresh fruit smoothies.

Laotian cuisine is a fascinating and delicious blend of local ingredients, French influences, and Southeast Asian flavors. Luang Prabang is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, offering a range of traditional and fusion dishes. You must try specialties such as laap (minced meat salad), sticky rice, and spicy papaya salad. You can also visit a local cooking class, where you can learn how to prepare authentic Laotian dishes and take home some new recipes.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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6. Explore the countryside

Renting a scooter is easy in Laos, offering stunning views of the countryside and is an unforgettable experience.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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7. Visit the Morning Market

If you want to experience the authentic local life in Luang Prabang, you must visit the Morning Market. As the name suggests, the market opens early in the morning and offers a bustling and colorful scene of vendors selling fresh produce, meat, fish, spices, and handicrafts. You can join the locals in tasting exotic fruits, trying your bargaining skills, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. One of my favorite things to do was soaking in the quiet morning with a coffee and chocolate croissant in hand.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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8. Ba Mu Temple Gates (Tam Quan)

There’s no better way to get to know the city than from the Red Bus. Hop on at the V&A Waterfront or Long Street, and take in the sights from the top deck. Buy your Red Bus and Table Mountain tickets together online to save money and skip the queue.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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9.  Banh Mi - the capital of Vietnam!

There’s no better way to get to know the city than from the Red Bus. Hop on at the V&A Waterfront or Long Street, and take in the sights from the top deck. Buy your Red Bus and Table Mountain tickets together online to save money and skip the queue.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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10. Coffee Tasting

There’s no better way to get to know the city than from the Red Bus. Hop on at the V&A Waterfront or Long Street, and take in the sights from the top deck. Buy your Red Bus and Table Mountain tickets together online to save money and skip the queue.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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9.  Lantern Making Class

There’s no better way to get to know the city than from the Red Bus. Hop on at the V&A Waterfront or Long Street, and take in the sights from the top deck. Buy your Red Bus and Table Mountain tickets together online to save money and skip the queue.

Tickets

Tickets:

R245 for one of five routes and R655 for the Table Mountain combo, or

R320 in the afternoon and R390 in the morning for just Table Mountain

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