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Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong) Tours and Activities

Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)
The UNESCO World Heritage list identifies no fewer than 34 Luang Prabang temples. If you have to pick just one, opt for 16th-century Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong), the largest and best-known Buddhist monastery in all of Laos. Highlights include a tree of life mosaic, a royal funeral chariot, and the stunning ordination hall (sim).

The Basics
Under 1 mile (1.3 kilometers) from the Royal Palace Museum, Wat Xieng Thong is easy to explore on a self-guided walking or cycling tour of Luang Prabang, and this is how many visitors choose to experience it. There is a reasonable entrance fee in line with other Luang Prabang attractions.

Given its significance in Lao culture and sheer beauty, the Golden City Temple is an essential stop on many Luang Prabang tours, including temple tours, cultural tours, and tuk-tuk tours. If you’d like to learn more about Lao Buddhism or to explore the site in depth, consider hiring a private guide.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Golden City Temple is an essential stop for anyone with an interest in the history, religion, or culture of Laos.
  • There is sufficient gold and color for children to appreciate the aesthetics of the site.
  • The Golden City Temple is a religious site, so dress appropriately. Both men and women should cover their shoulders, chests, and their legs to the knee. Leg-covering skirts can be rented on arrival.
  • While the site of Wat Xieng Thong is flat, steps lead up to the entrances of the various structures.

How to Get There
Wat Xieng Thong sits less than a mile (1.3 kilometers) east of the Royal Palace Museum, towards the north of the Luang Prabang peninsula. As such, it’s easily visited independently, whether by strolling, riding a bicycle, or flagging down a tuk-tuk. Visitors with limited time may opt for the convenience of a tour that bundles the Golden City Temple with other Luang Prabang attractions and includes door-to-door transport.

When to Get There
Open from sunrise to sunset seven days a week, Wat Xieng Thong (also written Wat Xiengthong) can be visited throughout the year. Particularly during high season (November to January), it’s worth rising early to see the site before the big crowds arrive; late in the afternoon is another feasible option to beat the crowds.

Lao Temple Etiquette: a Beginner’s Guide
Luang Prabang is a city of temples, or wat. Besides dressing respectfully, avoid touching monks or sacred objects, ask permission before photographing devotees or monks, and don’t enter the sim (ordination hall) if monks are meditating. Avoid public displays of affection, drinking alcohol, pointing your feet towards the Buddha, or doing yoga poses or selfie jumps in front of the Buddha.
Address: Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
Admission: Varies
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17 Tours and Activities to Experience Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)

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Private Luang Prabang City Tour & Joint in Kuang Si Waterfalls Tour

Private Luang Prabang City Tour & Joint in Kuang Si Waterfalls Tour

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A full day tour in Luang Prabang. In the morning we visit major highlights of Luang Prabang Heritage area with an experienced local guides. After lunch break in Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Center, we join in a superb afternoon excursion to Kuang Si waterfalls. The national museums and temples are not well curated. It should be better to go through with a guide. Otherwise, you will just be looking at object without really knowing their importance or origin. All our guides have experienced over 10 years in Luang Prabang tourism industry. Feel free to ask as many as possible. City tour start at 8:30 (or 5:30 if you choose to participate in the Alms giving ceremony), Lunch break at Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Center (12:00-2:00), Kuang Si Falls (2:30-5:00), Return to the city at 5:30-6:00 Entrance fees for temples and national museum are NOT included.
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  • 12 hours
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$69.75
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From
$69.75
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Half day Private Luang Prabang city tour

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Explore the culture and history of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on this private half day tour. Luang Prabang, the former royal capital, is situated on the Mekong River and surrounded by beautiful green mountains. The town itself is picturesque and offers a wonderful mix of ancient temples and French-Indochinese architecture. This tour’s destinations include the main highlights of Luang Prabang center-town such as Buddhist temples, Royal Palace museum, local market. It is simply the must do Luang Prabang tour for any first time visitors to the country. ※Choosing option 5:30 start, you have a fantastic opportunity to witness the captivating centuries old daily tradition of the alms giving ceremony and visit local morning market.
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$57.44
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Private Tour: Half-Day City Tour of Luang Prabang

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Marvel over the sacred temples and UNESCO-listed wonders of Luang Prabang on this private half-day tour of Laos’ spiritual center. Discover Laos’ royal history at the Royal Palace Museum; visit Wat Sene, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple; and admire the striking architecture of Wat Xiengthong. Then, learn more about the city’s religious heritage as you peek into Wat Visoun and pose for photos by the shrine of Wat Aham.
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  • 5 hours
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$84.17
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Private Tour Full Day Luang Prabang Heritage City Highlights

Private Tour Full Day Luang Prabang Heritage City Highlights

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Visit the main highlights of Luang Prabang heritage area with an experienced local guide. Ask your guide as many as possible. National museum and temples are unfortunately not curated well. Recommended gone through with a guide. Otherwise, you will just be looking at object without really knowing their importance or origin. This tour’s destinations include the main highlights of Luang Prabang center-town such as Buddist temples (Wat Mai, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Wisunarat, Wat Pa Phon Phao), Royal Palace museum, local market, ethnological center etc.. It is simply the must do Luang Prabang tour for any first time visitors to the country.
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  • 12 hours
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The Essence of Luang Prabang

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Immerse yourself in the sensory delights of Luang Prabang during this 4-hour city tour exploring the city’s unique architecture, museums and monuments. Wander the temple grounds of the peaceful Vat Xieng Thong and the ornate Vat Mai before climbing to the top of Mount Phousi to take in the city views. A stop at the National Museum helps add context to this UNESCO-listed town.
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  • 4 hours
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Luang Prabang Sightseeing & Vegetarian Food Tour by Vintage Tuk Tuk

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As its name, you will have chances to discover many beautiful destinations in Luang Prabang. The guides will take you to these sites below: - Enjoy the stunning view from local cafe. - Learn the history of Mekong River while going around. - Visit the Nam Khan old bridge to discover the other sight of Luang Prabang. - Visit Wat Xieng Thong Temple to learn Laos history. The Laos vegetarian food to enjoy: - Vegan buffet. - Local coconut cakes. - Namvan soup.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
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$82.06
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Luang Prabang – 4000 Islands

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Start in Luang Prabang and end in Pakse! We will arrive in the core of Laotian culture - Luang Prabang - where sparkles with its flickering verifiable and strict destinations just as broad regular magnificence. As an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is an appealing goal that you can't miss on your Laos visit. Next destination, 4000 Islands is a beguiling little jewel of a spot settled at the foot of Laos on the Cambodian border, and as the name recommends, comprises of bunches of small islands dissipated in the huge Mekong Delta.
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  • 1 day 8 hours
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  • 8 days
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3-Day Laos Classic Tour

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Experience classic Laos on a 3-day tour from Luang Prabang to the region’s most iconic sites. Walk the atmospheric streets of Luang Prabang’s old town, then explore the National Museum, 16th-century temples and a hilltop stupa with views of the broad Mekong River. Experience the hushed beauty of the local monks’ early-morning procession, and navigate the Mekong River to sacred caves and a rural village; leave the colonial city behind for the serenity of Kuang Si Waterfall, and get a glimpse of life in local Hmong and Khmu communities.
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  • 3 days
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$601.30
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Panoma Indochina 14days/13nights

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Visit some of the most popular sites in Vietnam Luxury junk cruise on the legendary Halong Bay Discovery the poetic city Hue & The ancient town Hoi An Exploring the royal city of Luang Prabang in laos is also known as the “ city of the Golden Buddha ” Discover the splendid Angkor Temples
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  • 14 days
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$2,139.24
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Small Group: Luang Prabang's Must-See Sights Including Mount Phousi

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• Enjoy a day exploring a city rich in culture and tradition • Visit temples and sites that have been around for centuries • Learn about the different ethnic groups that live in and around Luang Prabang • Climb a mountain to see breathtaking views of the city below • Learn about how the locals produce their handicrafts with a visit to the Luang Prabang Night Market
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$121.80
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$121.80
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Luang Prabang Vegetarian Food Tour by Vintage Tuk Tuk

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On Luang Prabang Vegetarian Food Tour by Scooters we will take you to five different restaurants to try the following vegan/vegetarian dishes: - Laos Local Vegan Salad: one of the most popular vegetarian foods in Luang Prabang is this local salad made with fresh papaya and mango. - Mango Sticky Rice With Coconut: this sweet dish is a favorite in both Laos and its neighbor Thailand. It is made out of sticky rice, coconut milk, and freshly sliced mango. - Vegetarian Noodles of Laos: these noodles are a vegetarian take on a popular local vegan noodle soup. Instead of pork, the noodle soup is made with vegetarian broth and an assortment of local vegetables. - Local Coconut cakes: these cakes are one of our favorite vegetarian foods in Luang Prabang at I Love Asia Tour. They are a tasty treat that are amazingly delicious. - Laos Sweet Dessert: this sweet dessert soup is the perfect way to finish a long day of eating on the Tour! It is made with many different types of sweet beans.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$71.80
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From
$71.80
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An Unforgettable Journey through Luang Prabang

An Unforgettable Journey through Luang Prabang

Get a comprehensive look at Luang Prabang on a full-day sightseeing tour. A guide and driver take you to multiple temples to marvel at the charms of this central Laotian town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. You'll learn about the ancient capital and see the sunset from Mt. Phousi, aka Sacred Mountain. Lunch and hotel transport are included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$107.70
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$107.70
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Private Luang Prabang Tour by Tuk Tuk and Dyeing Experience

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Discover the charm of Luang Prabang by riding our unique, authentic tuk-tuk! Get a hands-on experience and learn more about the natural and traditional process of dyeing Lao silk. Participate to the development of sustainable tourism in Laos by supporting a social enterprise.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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$140.00
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Pedalling Leisurely through Luang Prabang

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A bespoke example that explorations of a Luang Prabang kind are seen in a different light when hopping onto a bike and be guided along the most venerable sights and landmarks of Laos’ contribution to UNESCO Heritage. Time to bike and be amazed! • A wonderful Luang Prabang exploration on two wheels • Explore the town’s most famous temples • Learn about the country’s history at a museum • Cycle around on well-maintained bikes • Return transfer from and to your hotel are included
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$56.42
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From
$56.42
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)?