is a city that never rushes its travellers. The moment you arrive, it lets you embrace the rhythm of relaxation every step of the way. Peppered with tranquil Buddhist temples and monasteries, this UNESCO World Heritage Site provides serenity to its travellers.
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If you’re ready to go off the grid, here are eight reasons why you need to book a flight right now
1. Enjoy a cool dip at Kuang Si Waterfalls
Credit: Christian Bowman
The first step in appreciating the serenity of Luang Prabang
is making a day trip to Kuang Si Waterfalls. Known as the largest waterfall in Luang Prabang
, locals and travellers visit this place to experience a cool dip after a long day ?
Once you’ve arrived, swim in the lower pools and head further up where there are generally lesser crowds. But remember to visit the main waterfall that is located above the lower pools. Due to the strong currents, visitors are not allowed to swim in the main waterfall. Still, its beautiful cascade and clear blue pools are not to be missed! ?
The admission fee is 20,000 kip per person (SGD 3.20)
2. Savour delicious Muslim-friendly cuisine
It may be challenging to find halal Laotian food in Luang Prabang
, but don’t worry! Look out for Muslim-friendly food when you’re out and about. Go for the crispy river weed with chili paste (Kaipen), coconut custard cake (Khao nom kok) and lotus flower cookies (Kanom dok bua). You can also try their famous sticky rice (Khao niaw) and tapioca fruit jelly in coconut milk (Nam vahn) ?
For Muslim-friendly dining options, Luang Prabang
has a few restaurants that are perfect for lunch and dinner.
Wat That Restaurant
Head over to the Wat That Homestay for their in-house restaurant, which serves Laos and Malaysian cuisine. Sample the Luang Prabang salad, Lao curry and pad kapou.?
Location: Mekong Riverfront, Ban Wat That, Luang Prabang, Laos
Opening hours: Daily, 8AM-8PM
Halal status: Muslim-owned
Situated opposite the Sanctuary Hotel, Nisha Restaurant is known for serving Indian halal cuisine. Flip the menu and fill up your table with chicken tikka masala, vegetarian samosa, Palak paneer, chapati and more.
Location: Kingkitsalat Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
Opening hours: Daily, 9AM-10PM
Halal status: Muslim-friendly, vegetarian
: Most restaurants in Luang Prabang
serve pork and alcohol. Do check their menu beforehand and dine at your own discretion. You can also stick to seafood and vegetarian dishes as a rule of thumb!
3. Go hiking at Mount Phousi
Catch Luang Prabang
’s best sunset view at the peak of Mount Phousi, which is a favourite among hiking enthusiasts. Make the best of your trip by climbing the steps from one side of Mount Phousi and descending from the other.
What you’ll love most about the climb are the temples you’ll discover along the way. The one you should look out for is Wat Chomsi that is located at the top of the hills. Locals would complete the climb by buying flowers for blessings or freeing a caged bird to signify eternal happiness ?
Note: Halfway up Mount Phousi, visitors need to pay an admission fee of 20,000 kip (SGD 3.20).
4. Shop at Luang Prabang Night Market
Next, go for a shopping trip at the Luang Prabang Night Market! Just hire a tuk-tuk and let it take you to Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham temple on Sisavangvong Road, where the famous night market is situated. Bring your canvas bag for the affordable clothes, ceramics, handcrafts and silk scarves that you’re about to find. Remember to haggle with a smile to score the best price.?
For quick bites, look out for a stall with the banner ‘all-vegan buffet’ where you can enjoy fried tofu, local noodles and other vegetarian dishes. Also check out for fruit juice stalls to quench your thirst. With so many things to do, go ahead and book your flight ticket right now
: For more shopping, there are many shop houses along the street market. Take home some souvenirs, local coffee beans and trinkets.
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5. Find serenity in a Buddhist temple
A visit to Laos’ Buddhist temples and monasteries is a must for every traveller! There are approximately 35 temples in Luang Prabang
, so you should catch a glimpse of their stunning architecture and serene atmosphere when you’re in town.
The main temple you should look out for is Wat Xieng Thong, where the exteriors are detailed with golden stencils and red lacquer. Another temple to visit is the Haw Pha Bang, previously established to house the country’s most respected Buddha image named Phra Bang in the 14th
century. Today, you can find the Phra Bang at the nearby Royal Palace Museum.?
6. Experience farm life for a day
Planting and harvesting rice is an important part of Luang Prabang
’s agriculture. To experience farm life for a day, head over to Living Land Farm in Ban Phong Van. Situated in a countryside landscaped by mountains and rice terraces, it’s an experience not to be missed!
Guided by the Living Land Farm team, you can learn a variety of farming activities within a day. Some of which includes planting seedlings, threshing rice as well as cutting and bundling rice. Prepare to work together with the resident water buffalo, Rodolphe to plough the paddy field.?
7. Enjoy a boat ride to Pak Ou Caves
There’s more to Pak Ou Caves than just limestone cliffs. A highly respectable holy site in Laos, the cave was first discovered by one of the countries’ renowned kings, King Setthathirath. To get there, you need to take a leisure boat ride along the Mekong River, which was also known as the longest river in Southeast Asia!?
Just hop into a longtail boat and let the riverside life of the Mekong River provide your early introduction. When you reach the point where Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers meet, that’s where you’ll find the Pak Ou Caves. Besides admiring the limestone formations, check out the ancient Buddha relics and images found in the caves. Excited to see it for yourself? Fly to Luang Prabang right now
8. Witness the alms giving ceremony
When in Luang Prabang
, immerse yourself in the cultural experience of the popular alms giving ceremony, which is also known as Tak Bat.?
Between 5am and 6.30am, the Buddhist monks will step out from every main temple in the city to receive offerings from the locals. The offerings are made in the form of rice, bananas, fresh fruits and traditional sweets.
To witness the alms giving ceremony, the most popular site to go is the Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham temple on Sisavangvong Road. Remember to keep a respectable distance because it remains a spiritual ceremony for the locals. Additionally, avoid using camera flashes and never follow or disrupt the procession.
Ready to explore Luang Prabang? From now to 5 March 2019, fly with Scoot
and enjoy fares from just SGD 98 (one-way including taxes)
, for travels from 1 April to 26 October 2019. Hurry!
If you’re dreaming of a relaxing vacation in Luang Prabang
, there’s no better time to book your flight than now!
? Whether you’re planning to catch the sunset on Mount Phousi or shop till you drop at Luang Prabang Night Market, you can do it all in Southeast Asia’s best-kept secret.
This article is brought to you by Scoot.