alms giving ceremony luang prabang morning 2

Situated 300 km north of Vientiane (capital of Laos), Luang Prabang has ancient features with moss-covered houses like Hoi An (a famous ancient town in Vietnam) as well as winding mountain passes with cool climate like Dalat (a well-known highland city of Vietnam). Visiting this ancient capital – the world’s cultural heritage of Luang Prabang, tourists have a chance to experience Laos old design through a lot of exciting activities within a day trip.

alms giving ceremony luang prabang
Giving alms to monks in Luang Prabang in the morning

05:30 am: Taking photos of early morning alms giving to the monks

Monks luang prabang

Luang Prabang attracts visitors with many ancient temples of high artistic value which were built over many dynasties. There are still the remains of a place that used to be the center of Buddhism of Laos – known as the land of millions of elephants.

On every early dawn, the image of monks on alms at Phon Heuang Street is always of intriguing for foreign tourists. Whenever a monk passes, the local people kneel down in front of the porch and reverently offer him food.

 

alms giving ceremony luang prabang morning 2
Credit: Alain Secretan (ASITRAC)

alms giving ceremony luang prabang morning 2

alms giving ceremony luang prabang morning 2

alms giving ceremony luang prabang morning 2

07:00 am: Enjoying a morning grill

grill breakfast luang prabang

With the chilly air of the mountains in the morning, there is nothing more enjoyable than steaming baked barbecue such as grilled pork, grilled chicken served with sticky rice in Laos style that tourists can find at any popular eateries on the street corner.

08:00 am: Discovering Pak Ou cave with more than 4,000 Buddha statues

The entrance to Pak Ou
The entrance to Pak Ou

After breakfast is the best time for tourists to begin the journey of exploring Pak Ou cave as the weather is ideally cool. The cave is located in the north of the ancient capital, along the Mekong River and approximately 30 km from the center. Tuk tuk (a kind of taxi) will stop by the river, tourists will then buy a boat ticket taking them to the other bank of the river.

Pak Ou consists of two limestone caves, Tham Theung (Upper Cave) and Tham Ting (Lower Cave). There are more than 4,000 ancient Buddha statues dating 300 years back which were rowed to the caves to hide during night by Laotians when their capital was attacked by foreign invaders.

Tham Ting (Lower Cave) Photo: Travellingtonito
Tham Ting (Lower Cave) Photo: Travellingtonito

pak ou caves luang prabang 2

pak ou caves luang prabang 2

pak ou caves luang prabang 2

pak ou caves luang prabang 2

02:00 pm: Experiencing the ancient image of Laos through Wat Pa Huak Temple

National Museum of Luang Prabang (formerly known as the Royal Palace). Photo: Getaboutasia
National Museum of Luang Prabang (formerly known as the Royal Palace). Photo: Getaboutasia

Along the main avenue of the peaceful and quiet town located the ancient temples. Tourists will be attracted right away as walking into Pa Huak temple by the wood sculptures and 19th-century walls, that, mostly, describe the Buddha or the historical context.

Standing in the front yard of the temple, looking across the street, tourists will have a beautiful view overlooking to the National Museum of Luang Prabang (formerly known as the Royal Palace); In the bottom lay the souvenirs stores – where they could spend hours admiring the souvenirs or choosing and buying them as gifts.

wat pa huak temple luang prabang 2

wat pa huak temple luang prabang 2

wat pa huak temple luang prabang 2

wat pa huak temple luang prabang 2

03:00 pm: Worshiping at the most sacred pagoda in Luang Prabang and listening to Buddhism lectures

Wat Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang Photo: laostoursism
Wat Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang Photo: laostoursism
Golden outer wall of Wat Xieng Thong Photo: wikipedia
Golden outer wall of Wat Xieng Thong Photo: wikipedia

Wat Xieng Thong built in 1560 by King Setthathirath is considered the most sacred pagoda in Luang Prabang.

With the patronage from the Royal family, the pagoda owns many ancient statues showing the Buddha image in nirvana. Some antiques in the pagoda were brought to Paris (France) for exhibition in 1931 and were only returned to Laos after 30 years.

There is a big golden Buddha statue in the main shrine of Vatmay Souvannapoumaram Pagoda, surrounding by many other small Buddha statues. Buddism classes are also held in this pagoda. Tourists who are interested are welcome to attend the class and listen to sermons in Laos’s language.

Golden Buddha statue in the main shrine of Vatmay Souvannapoumaram Pagoda
Golden Buddha statue in the main shrine of Vatmay Souvannapoumaram Pagoda

05:00 pm: Taking a panoramic view of the ancient capital from Phousi hill

phusi mount phousi hill luang prabang
Panoramic view of Luang Prabang from Phousi hill Photo: tourguideblog

One of the most ideal activities that can take up hours of tourists’ time in Luang Prabang is taking a panoramic view of the town lighten up while standing on top of Phousi hill.

The interesting thing is all roads in Luang Prabang lead to Soukkaseum road along the Mekong River where Thammothayaram pagoda is situated. The pagoda is on Phousi hill, taking 338 stair steps to go up which there is Buddha statue on nearly every of them. Moreover, there has a Buddha footprint right in the pagoda which is an original detail tourists should not skip in their trip to this place.

phu si hill luang prabang phousi mount

phu si hill luang prabang phousi mount sunset watching
Watch Sunset on Phu Si Hill

07:00 pm: Going for a stroll around the night market

Once tourists come here, an activity not to miss is wandering around in the night market. The stalls are displayed on the ground along the pedestrian street of Sisavangvong. There are mini savory pancakes served with coconut milk right around the corner while just crossing across the street sold a lot of other snacks.

Luang Prabang Night Market. Photo: Indochina Experience
Luang Prabang Night Market. Photo: Indochina Experience

Tourists can enjoy stuffing themselves with all the rustic cuisine of Laos in a cheap and delicious way.

Laos rice-noodle with thick broth added a bit of seasoning such as sauce, lemon, and chili is fantastic and worth trying. At the end of the day, a vegetarian buffet with just 10,000 KIP ($2.3) will definitely a satisfaction. Especially with this buffet, tourists are allowed to get food only one time; therefore, they all try to fill the dish as full as possible with fried rice noodle with cabbage and carrot, pan fried bean sprouts with tofu, cucumber, pumpkin; vegetable spring rolls; deep fried string beans, etc.

Vegetarian Buffet in Luang Prabang
Vegetarian Buffet in Luang Prabang

You also see more Luang Prabang travel guide at here.

Vietnamese girl enjoys travelling the world, learns about different unique cultures and cuisine.

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