Places of Interest
Kuang Si Falls
The Kuang Si Falls, sometimes spelled Kuang Xi or known as Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls, is a three tier waterfall about 29 kilometres south of Luang Prabang in Laos. These waterfalls are a favourite side trip for tourists in Luang Prabang.
Picnic spots, public toilets and changing rooms are available. Swimming is permitted only in marked areas and modest swimsuits are most appropriate, with local people swimming fully clothed. Food stalls outside the park entrance sell baguettes, fruit shakes and skewers of grilled meat -- the perfect fixings for a picnic -- plus there are a handful of small restaurants and souvenir shops.
About halfway between the park entrance and the waterfall is the Asiatic Black Bear rescue centre, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers. The bears are in large enclosures with trees and some simple toys like tire swings. An elevated viewing platform has been built near the enclosure so visitors can observe these endangered animals.
Elephant Village Sanctuary
"Elephant Village" is a privately owned elephant camp and tour destination approved by the Laos government and operated by International specialists and volunteers who focus on protection and rehabilitation of elephants in Laos.
Tad Sae Falls
Tad Sae waterfall is stunning as this wide stream of turquoise water tumbles through the jungle and over limestone rocks in the pools on water in which both locals and tourists alike frolic.
It's the swimming that many tourists come for and it truly is a great place for a dip, much like Kuang Si. It's difficult to suggest one over the other as they each have their charms, but you will see a greater proportion of tourists at Kuang Si than Tad Sae.
Often at the entrance there are a group of elephants you can ride and feed, convenient if you can't be bothered going on a formal tour to one of the nearby elephant camps.
Mount Phou Si
For sweeping panoramic views of this World Heritage City. Mount Phou Si is located in the center of town. Climb the 300 steps to the summit, where golden-spired Wat Chom Si sits, in the late afternoon to watch the sunset over Luang Prabang and the Mekong.
Pak Ou Caves
Near Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) the Tham Ting (lower cave) and the Tham Theung (upper cave) are caves overlooking the Mekong River, 25 km to the north of Luang Prabang, Laos. They are a group of two caves on the west side of the Mekong river, about two hours upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang, and have become well known by tourists.
The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves. They take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana).
Golden City Temple (Wat Xieng Thong)
Wat Xieng Thong (or Temple of the Golden City) is a Buddhist temple (wat), located on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Phrabang, Laos. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art. There are over twenty structures on the grounds including a sim, shrines, pavilions and residences, in addition to its gardens of various flowers, ornamental shrubs and trees.
UXO Lao Visitor Center
The UXO Laos Visitor Center features a simple but very informative exhibition about the existence of UXOs (unexploded ordnance) in Laos and the efforts done to clear them. In just under an hour, you’ll gain a good sense of how the UXOs affected and still affect the life of Lao people.
The exhibition includes well-summarized and informative posters and dioramas of the different kinds of UXO bombs that were cleared and extracted throughout Laos. By the end of this visit, you’ll learn a lot of interesting (and disheartening) facts about the UXO problem in Laos.
Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
Today, the Centre is engaged in a broad range of museum and community engagement activities, reflecting its commitment to supporting living ethnic minority communities to preserve and promote their cultural heritage while looking towards the future. Explore our website to learn more about our work:
- Developing engaging and professional permanent and temporary Exhibitions;
- Fostering learning and awareness through Education and Community Outreach;
- Documenting masterpieces of material culture in our Collection;
- Supporting sustainable income-generation opportunities through our Advocacy and Livelihood programmes
- Conducting and facilitating Research in and with ethnic communities.
Just a few km outside Luang Prabang is the weaving village of Ban Xang Khong. For anyone interested in Lao textiles it’s a great way to spend a morning. There are a number of homes to visit where you can see weaving and dyeing but the largest and most interesting is the Lao Silk Handcrafts – Weaving, Dyeing & Silk Centre (Ms Boualay Douang Dara) Many weavers in action and the owner on hand to give personalised mini-tours and explain all the steps in the silk making process. Samples of a wide variety of natural dyes and the colours obtained are on display, as are all the steps from feeding the silkworms through reeling the silk thread from the cocoons, cleaning, degumming, spinning and finally to weaving. They have an extensive selection of weavings on display and most are for sale.
Luang Prabang Handicraft Night Market
More than 300 handicraft vendors sell their hand-made products here every night. The market showcases an extensive variety of handicrafts made by local ethnic groups. On display are many types of textiles, exquisite ceramics,antiques, paintings, coffee and tea, quilts, shoes, silver, bags, bamboo lamps of different shades and sizes, and even rare spices. Shopping fans will be pleased to know that they are also helping the local people when they spend their money. Buying stuff here will not only help the traders to earn a living, but it will also empower the local families who produce goods to further develop their skills and help them get out of poverty.