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How to Spend 1 Day in Luang Prabang

How to Spend 1 Day in Luang Prabang

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architectural wonders, Laos’ No. 1 tourist destination delivers orange-clad monks, gilded temples, vibrant night markets, and startling sunsets. Even if you only have a day in Luang Prabang, you can see the city’s signature sights and enjoy a river cruise to the Pak Ou Caves. Here’s how.

Morning: Temple Touring

Start your day in Luang Prabang the local way, with an early morning ritual: giving alms to the Buddhist monks who study at the city’s many monasteries. Soak up the atmosphere at a bustling morning market, get a handle on Lao cuisine and ingredients, then explore some of the city’s signature sights. Travel back in time to the world of Lao kings at the Royal Palace Museum; soak up the spiritual atmosphere at sacred sites such as Vat Visounarath and Wat Xieng Thong (Golden City Temple); and admire colonial architecture and heritage timber houses.

Afternoon: Caves and Falls

Next, discover the mighty Mekong, one of the world’s great rivers, on a cruise to the Pak Ou Caves, a pair of riverside caves crammed with thousands of Buddha statues. Many cruises stop at traditional villages along the way: Sample lao lao (Lao whiskey) at Whisky Village (Ban Xang Hai) or learn the art of making paper or weaving at craft villages. Alternatively, spend the afternoon at beautiful Kuang Si Falls, home to rope swings, a butterfly park, and a bear-rescue sanctuary. Or, if you’d rather stay in the city proper, take the opportunity to explore Lao food with a hands-on cooking class.

Evening: Mekong Sunset

The beauty of the setting sun reflected in the Mekong will stay with you for a lifetime. Make the most of your Luang Prabang sunset, perhaps by scaling Mt. Phousi in the heart of the city for views across the river to the mountains, or embarking on a sunset river cruise with drinks included. As night falls, head to the city’s glorious night market and graze on street food as you shop for paper crafts, silk, embroidered bags, and elephant slippers—plus the whole array of Southeast Asia backpacker fashion. Wrap up your night with a stroll along the tranquil waterfront.

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5 Tours and Activities | All Luang Prabang Tours

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Luang Prabang World Heritage Half Day City Tour

Luang Prabang World Heritage Half Day City Tour

star-4.5
8
See some of Luang Prabang’s highlights, from colonial-era architecture to elaborate temples, on a half-day tour that’s a great orientation to local history and culture. With an itinerary that features the Royal Palace Museum, Wat Choumkhong, Heuan Chan Heritage, and more, the tour also explores a bit of daily life in Luang Prabang, from the morning market to temples where locals come to pray.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$61.54
Price varies by group size
From
$61.54
Price varies by group size

Mekong Sunset Cruise from Luang Prabang

Mekong Sunset Cruise from Luang Prabang

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32
Sunset imbues the Mekong River with a beauty not seen at any other time of day. Ensure you capture this special moment on a sunset cruise from Luang Prebang, a romantic experience that provides excellent photo opportunities. Hotel pickup is included, and there’s the option to upgrade to include convenient hotel drop-off and a selection of beers and drinks to make your cruise extra-special.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.00
From
$18.00

Full-Day Luang Prabang Highlights Tour Including Kuangsi Waterfall

Full-Day Luang Prabang Highlights Tour Including Kuangsi Waterfall

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7
Visit the top attractions in Luang Prabang on this highlights tour that showcases the best of this incredible city. See iconic temples, traditional architecture, European colonial influence and more as you make your way through streets and landscapes with your local guide. This memorable tour also includes a stop at Kuangsi Waterfall, which is known for its stunning beauty.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.62
From
$84.62

Private Tour: Half-Day City Tour of Luang Prabang

Private Tour: Half-Day City Tour of Luang Prabang

star-4.5
2
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.17
Price varies by group size
From
$84.17
Price varies by group size

Morning Almsgiving and Market Tour in Luang Prabang

Morning Almsgiving and Market Tour in Luang Prabang

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1
Wake with the sun and partake in one of Luang Prabang's most unique and beautiful ceremonies. Follow your friendly guide and line the streets as local monks studying at wats wander on foot collecting alms. Tak Bat--known as almsgiving--is an essential Luang Prabang experience. Visitors can watch monks in brilliant orange robes carry large empty drums as they make their way from one of the 80 Buddhist temples through the winding roads of this iconic city. 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$37.95
From
$37.95