Laos Memory Lane: Luang Prabang

Continue from Laos Memory Lane: Vientiane. We stayed with my aunt in Paksan and she asked one of her son in-laws to be our tour guide.  He was from Xieng Khouang and I really wanted to visit the Plain of Jars but Luang Prabang was on my number one list and I didn’t have the heart to ask him to take us to both places.  Perhaps on my next visit I will get to visit the Plain of Jars.

Photo source.

I read so much about Luang Prabang prior to my visit.  It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the best preserved city in the south-east Asia.  In 1995 it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.  I think I would be happy living here, the only problem would be my Lao Southern accent which doesn’t have that melodic chime of the Luang Prabang accent. As for Bo, his accent is beyond the Lao Southern accent, he certainly would not fit in. I posted some random photos and the Old Charming Town of Luang Prabang from my trip.

We only had 1 day for sightseeing and I wanted to visit Pak Ou Cave. My dad and cousin didn’t think it was a good idea since the only way to get to the caves was by boat and they didn’t want anything bad to happen on this trip.  Since we only had one day, I didn’t mind so much, there is always the next time.

According to wikipedia, the caves are noted for their impressive Lao style Buddha sculptures assembled over the centuries by local people and pilgrims. Hundreds of mostly wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the floors and wall shelves. They take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana). Tham Ting contains approximately 2,500 Buddhas, while Tham Theung contains approximately 1,500 Buddhas.

Photo source.

Before we headed to Luang Prabang, my little cousin told me that the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang is Wat Xieng Thong and she showed me the picture from her cell phone.  I do have to agree with her, I believe no other temple can compare to this mystical looking temple, a post from my trip.

We drove from Paksan to Luang Prabang and got there around 6 PM.  The road was treacherous (my post: What Lies Behind This Curvy Road?) and I got motion sickness from so many twists and turns. But that didn’t stop me from visiting the night market.

The next morning I got up early to photograph the morning Alms giving, a post from my trip.

When we drove in that night, we saw the golden That Phousi lit from a distance.  My cousin told me that it’s Mount Phousi which is right at the center of the old town of Luang Prabang where we stayed. It is bordered on one side by the Mekong River and on the other side by the Nam Khan River. The view from the top is absolutely beautiful and I heard that the sunset view is breathtaking, this I didn’t get to do.

If you plan to visit, do prepare to climb the steps, see my post: Climbing the 328 Zig Zag Steps of Mount Phousi

Across the street from Mount Phousi is the former Royal Palace, or what is now known as the National Museum, a post from my trip.

Wat Visoun is a very old temple in Luang Prabang  that houses many Budda images. My post: Wat Visoun, That Makmo and the Calling for Rain Style Buddha Images

Wat Pa Phonphao was built in 1962, the temple looks somewhat modern in my opinion, but still has a touch of traditional craftsmanship at the windows and entrance of the temple, a post from my trip.

We didn’t get to visit the Kuang Si Falls, I heard that it’s beautiful.

Photo source.

Continue at Laos Memory Lane – Southern Laos


  1. Nye – Too bad you didn’t get to see Thard Kuang Si Waterfalls yourself. One of the trip, my cousins and I are hiking to the top of the falls. Out of no where, I got bitten by some insect and within few minutes my thigh turned reddish to the size of softball. The accident cut that trip short but the following year I got a chance to redeem myself.

    • Seeharhed, there is always the next time. It’s too bad that LP has turned into a tourist town. I guess it’s good for the Lao economy. I often wonder what it was like 50 years ago, I would have loved to visit during that time, but then again, that’s before I was born. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much Nye!!! How beautiful!!! I would love love love to visit Xieng Khouang and the Plain of Jars! Those two places (although if I am i n the Plain of Jars I’ll be in Xieng Khouang) are on my top to visit sites. According to my mom if I remember it correctly, my family is from the Xieng Khouang area.

    • mozemoua, you are welcome. As for us, the distance to Xieng Khouang and Luang Prabang is the same and we didn’t have an extra day to visit the Plain of Jars. I think if I were to travel with a tour group, I would have visited all on my list and not having to feel guilty. I’m seriously thinking about that on my next trip.

  3. Nye, you can always take a personal tour guide or plan the trip ahead. Write down all the places you wish to travel and allocate the amount of days you wish for each site that way you may be able to visit more places than just going there without considering exactly where you want to go. I hope to one day visit the Plain of Jars!!

  4. Hi Nye,

    I almost missed this post. It sounds like you had quite a trip here. I would also love to see the Plain of Jars too.

    Luang Prabang does look like it has many pretty neat places to visit.

    One of my aunt is from Luang Prabang. In some instances, I almost could not comprehend her “melodic chime”. 🙂

    • Cambree, I had to translate the Luang Prabang accent for AnuShawn before, and I had to wink some of it. 🙂

      I would have loved to spend a week at Luang Prabang, the weather is nice and cool there. I think you would love this charming town. 🙂

Comments are closed.