Luang Prabang in 4 Days: Discovering the City’s Charms

Us Tuk tuk food tour Laos

Visit Luang Prabang– Top Attractions

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Day 1: Belle Rive Hotel, Saffron Coffee, and Tuk Tuk Food Tour

On Day 1 of our visit to Luang Prabang, we checked into our hotel opposite the Mekong River called the Belle Rive. We were upgraded to a two-bedroom suite because the balcony suite we booked was no longer available. Even though we wanted a balcony, the room was beautiful and had a view of the river and street below.

After a brief introduction to the hotel and its amenities, we walked down to the Saffron Coffee’s Espresso, Brew Bar, & Roastery for a coffee before our tuk-tuk food tour later that evening. I booked the tour on Viator.com. It started slow at a food stall I was iffy about. But it got much better. And we ate at many places– tapping out because we were full. We ended the night with some ice cream before returning to the Belle Rive.

Itinerary

  • Arrive in Luang Prabang and Grab a local SIM card at the airport
  • Check into the Belle Rive Hotel by the Mekong River
  • Have coffee at the Saffron Coffee’s Espresso, Brew Bar, & Roastery, a popular spot that serves delicious coffee and sandwiches
  • Take a food tour via tuk tuk via Viator.com.
  • Grab some snacks at a market for a night cap
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Day 2: Alms Giving Ceremony, Kuang Si Waterfalls, Butterfly Garden with Fish Spa, Cafe Hopping, and Night Market

On Day 2, we woke up early to take part in the alms giving ceremony, a traditional Buddhist ritual in which locals offer food to monks. I found this experience truly rewarding as it allowed me to give back to the community. The hotel had thoughtfully prepared the alms for me, provided the necessary sash, and gave clear instructions. I quickly ran out of food, but local women were on hand to provide plenty of offerings for those who wished to continue participating.

For breakfast, we headed to the hotel’s restaurant, which was located on the banks of the Mekong River, just across from our accommodation. The restaurant offered an extensive menu featuring both Western and Asian options, and the food was delicious.

No visit to Luang Prabang would be complete without exploring its most popular attraction. After lunch, our driver dropped us off at the breathtaking Kuang Si Waterfalls, known for their vibrant turquoise pools. The surroundings were truly awe-inspiring, with stunning views of the countryside and traditional villages. At the Kuang Si Waterfalls, I had the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the clear waters, hike to the top of the falls for stunning vistas, or simply relax and soak in the area’s natural beauty.duffelbagspouse.com

On our way back, I decided to visit the serene Butterfly Garden, where I learned about the life cycle of these beautiful insects and enjoyed a relaxing fish spa experience. It was a peaceful and rejuvenating way to conclude the day before heading back to the hotel.

The remainder of the day was left open for us to explore the city at our leisure. We could choose to visit charming cafes, embark on a scenic cruise along the Mekong River, explore temples, or indulge in some shopping at the night market.

Itinerary

  • Wake up early to participate in the alms giving ceremony, a traditional Buddhist ritual where locals offer food to monks
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Take a trip to the Kuang Si Waterfalls, located about 18.6 miles from Luang Prabang
  • Swim in the crystal-clear waters of the waterfall’s pools
  • Visit the Butterfly Garden with Fish Spa near the waterfall and see a variety of beautiful butterflies while enjoying a unique fish spa experience.
  • Have a snack at Two Little Birds Cafe, a cozy spot that serves delicious coffee and avocado toast
  • In the evening, explore the night market for a cheap dinner and shopping
  • Have a beer/ cocktail at a local bar

Day 3: Monk Chat/ Yoga, Massage at Angsana Spa, Lunch at Manda de Laos, and Private Sunset Cruise.

On Day 3, I rose early to capture photographs of the almsgiving ceremony, followed by a delightful breakfast at the hotel restaurant. The welcoming ambiance and friendly staff set a wonderful tone for the day.

After breakfast, Steven and I borrowed bikes and pedaled to the Orange Robe Tour I had previously arranged. I arrived at the charming Wat Pa Phai Temple, just a stone’s throw away from the Mekong River, about 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time. The temple’s courtyard, filled with the fragrant scents of lavender and frangipani blossoms, provided a serene backdrop for my monk chat experience in Laos. The tour, which lasted approximately 2 hours, included a yoga session held within the beautiful temple. We also explored the Royal Palace Museum, offering valuable insights into Laos’ history and culture. The museum’s intricate architecture and exquisite gardens were truly captivating.

MyBanLao Hotel: A Luxurious Oasis with a Rich History in Luang Prabang

Spa Day

Following this, Steven and I went our separate ways for a few hours. I opted for a bike ride to Angsana Spa, where I indulged in a relaxing full-body massage. The spa featured a charming floating lily pond, where I enjoyed some ginseng tea and cookies. Afterward, we headed to the night market to savor local street food and do some shopping. Later in the evening, we strolled to a nearby local bar, where the vibrant atmosphere and friendly locals created an unforgettable experience.

A must-visit during your stay is the Manda de Laos Restaurant, renowned for its delectable assortment of local dishes. Its location on the edge of a vast water lotus garden enhances the dining experience.

In the afternoon, we embarked on a picturesque boat ride along the Mekong River, which was included in our hotel package and came with a complimentary alcoholic beverage. The views of the surrounding countryside and traditional villages were stunning. We concluded the day with dinner at the downtown night market.

Iinerary

  • After breakfast in the hotel, climb to the top of Phousi Hill for a breathtaking view of Luang Prabang
  • After lunch, Take the riverboat to the Pak Ou Caves, located on the banks of the Mekong River
  • Explore the caves and see the thousands of Buddha statues that line the walls
  • Have lunch at Manda de Laos, a beautiful restaurant located on a koi pond that serves traditional Laos cuisine
  • Ride a bike to Angsana Spa for some well-deserved pampering- a full-body massage
  • In the evening, explore the night market for a cheap dinner, shopping, and a nightcap

Day 4: Climb Phousi Hill, Pak Ou Cave Cruise, Lunch at Yuni Yupoun, Coffee at My Ban Lao Resort, and Night Market

On Day 4, we began our morning by ascending Phousi Hill. It’s a beautiful hill crowned by a temple at its summit that offers magnificent views of Luang Prabang, along with captivating caves and statues. After our ascent, a quick shower prepared us for breakfast at the hotel restaurant. It was always a great start to each day in Luang Prabang.

Lunch today was at Yuni Yupoun, a pretty cafe near Phousi Hill’s base. It is on a popular street with several bars, cafes, and restaurants. We chose it for the buffalo burger and chicken satay.

In the afternoon, we arranged for a boat to transport us to Pak Ou Cave, a historic cave nestled on a mountainside, adorned with thousands of Buddha statues. Following our exploration of the cave, we made a stop at the Ban Xang Hai Village, a traditional community known for its production of rice wine and handmade paper. Here, we gained insights into the traditional methods employed in crafting these products and had the opportunity to sample some of the rice wine.

We decided to explore another resort for a potential future trip—the Ban Lao Resort, which boasts a stunning pool and surroundings. Before bicycling back to our hotel, we also savored delicious cakes and coffee at its charming cafe. For dinner, we returned to the night market.

Itinerary

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • I love temples. Visit some of Luang Prabang’s most famous temples, such as Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Mai, and Wat Visoun. The intricate details and vibrant colors of these structures were truly breathtaking.
  • Check out the Luang Prabang’s Cafe scene
  • Enjoy a private sunset cruise on the Mekong River with cocktails and snacks.
  • I enjoyed the vibrant night market in the evening. Vendors sold various goods, from handicrafts to local street food. evening.

Note: This 4-day itinerary is just a suggestion and can be adjusted to your preferences and interests. Check the latest travel restrictions and guidelines due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic before planning your trip.

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