48 Hours in Luang Prabang – the Buddhist Paradise

20, November, 2019

48 Hours in Luang Prabang – the Buddhist Paradise

Are you planning to visit some Asian countries, especially Southeast Asian? Then why not go to a UNESCO world heritage site? Luang Prabang is a man-made marvel located in the north-central of Laos. It has numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries and is a Buddhist follower’s paradise with immense tourism potential.

It is a town that can ignite your imagination, with glittering temples decorated with murals and artistic sculptural works. You can enjoy the beauty of this ancient city, especially if you can spend some time in the UNESCO Heritage town, immersing in the colonial architecture, lush greeneries, and a calm environment.

Apart from the cultural heritage, it beholds life by the river, as the city located in the confluence where the river Nam Khan and the Mekong meet. A cruise along the river of Mekong and enjoying the serene beauty of Luang Prabang will indeed stamp memories you can cherish throughout life.

Luang Prabang offers so much to see and enjoy.  You can find many tour operators offering exclusive tour packages ranging from 24 hours, 48 hours, and even week-long entertainment programs.  Let us check what the best you can chart out on a 48 hours tour program is and what are the best possible experiences; you can enjoy during a short trip.

Find your way to Luang Prabang:
Reaching to Luang Prabang is relatively very easy. You can find many direct flights from Singapore, Bangkok, and Hanoi.  The Luang Prabang airport is 4 kilometers away from the heritage site, and frequent transport services are available.

Day one:
•    Enjoy the spirituality: You can begin your day early at around 5.30 am. For a religious person, the experience of almsgiving will be surreal. Early at 5.30 am onward monks throng the city to collects alms. Devotees are ready to give alms, and the tourists too can witness this activity. It is a splendid view as the number of monks is large, and the city roads get painted in saffron robes worn by the monks, and the entire area immerses into a vibrant religious feel.It is an unusual experience to be part of the vibes and absorb the positive spirituality.

•    Magnificent Kuang Si Waterfall: It is about 29 km from the city and of the most beautiful destination in Luang Prabang.  The waterfalls are actually a clubbed-up waterfall made by many small multi-layered waterfalls. The pale turquoise waterfalls are so beautiful that you can stay there as long as you wish to enjoy this view.

The mesmerizing blue waters fall and flow through a series of limestone layered pools before joining the river. Flora and fauna are breathtaking; you can also get a chance to see moon bears in the vicinity.  You may also choose to do some boating. Take a tuk-tuk ride to reach the spot and immerse in the natural beauty.  

•    Visit Pak Ou Caves: These centuries-old caves are situated 25 km in the north of Luang Prabangon the banks of Ou River.  It is a sacred place, loaded with more than 4,000 Buddha statues.  The only way to reach the caves is by crossing the river by boat; no other accesses are available.  Devotees throng to these caves in April during the beginning of the new year. Otherwise also throughout the year, there are ample visitors to this place.

•    Wat Xieng Thong: On your return to the main city, you can visit Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most decorated temples having elaborate artistic designs. It has survived over 500 years and numerous invasions. The richness of Laos kings isevident from the gold decorated statues, lavishly erected in the premises. Even the inscriptions on the door are in gold. Photographers can have a great time here.

•    Night Market: You may end the day by strolling through the night market. Your tour will be incomplete if you don’t visit the Luang Prabang night market. The night market is open from 50:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Day two:
•    Kuang Si Butterfly Park: Get ready for your second-day tour bit early and move to the Kuang Si Butterfly Park. You can stroll around in the park and see colorful blossoms everywhere, surrounded by numerous pretty butterflies. If you are a silent watcher, then you will be lucky enough to see even the rarest varieties of butterflies here. The park started functioning since 2014 and is a breeding sanctuary for Lao’s myriad butterflies. The park is open for public and a pleasant place to walk around and also offers an exciting experienceto get nibbled by miniature fish while having a foot spa. It is just a walking distance of 300 meters from the Kuang Si Waterfall

•    Tad Sae Waterfalls: Next, move to theTad Sae Waterfalls, which is 18 km from the central city. A trip to Tad Sae can best enjoy during the rainy season as you can see the massive stream of waterfall, which may not happen during the non-rainy season. You can enjoy swimming and relax by the sides of this waterfall. The water ends up falling over limestone formations. They are not deep and is an ideal location for swimming, sunbathing, and diving.

Many locals visit this location than international tourists. Surrounded by plants and trees, it is an ideal place for relaxing freeing yourself from all the worldly worries.

•    Royal palace:  Finally, it is time to return to the city and make your trip a big bang by visiting the Royal Palace, which is presently the national museum, a unique palace built-in 1904 for King Sisavang Vong by the French colonial rulers. The design envisages following the culture and Indo-Chinese traditions. The entrance of the palace will greet you with the beautiful sculpture of Hindu God Indra, riding on a three-headed elephant Airavata in gold sculpture, surrounded by snakes, the Naga serpents.   You can find a lot of Buddha statues in the entrance hall and also a gold throne, which was used by the Lao’s Buddhist Patriarch. Beautiful murals depicting the life of Luang Prabang is another visual treat waiting for you here.

•    Mount Phousi: You must try to visit Mount Phousi, which is a good place for adventurous activities, located at the center of Luang Prabang.  The only way to go to the top is by climbing 300 steps, which is a challenging task, but worth to engage. The hill is also equally important for Buddhist religious activities, and you can find many temples and shrines scattered around the area.  Enjoy the sunset on top of the hill and immerse in the 360-degreepanoramic view of Luang Prabang.
Some of the other locations, you can try visiting or try to accommodate during a tight 48-hour schedule are as follows:

•    Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden: Here, you can participate in the bamboo handicraft workshop and try the bamboo sculpturing.

•    Traditional Art and Ethnology Center: Enjoy the unique experience of watching handcrafted items making in front of you. You can also learn to do weave and embroider from the local craftsmen.

•    Rice Farming: Get some hands-on experience in rice farming. Your tour operator can organize you to participate in farming activities, which is a newfound experience, worth to invest time and energy. These options can incorporate into your itinerary on the way visiting the waterfalls.

The almsgiving is a significant cultural identity of Luang Prabang. It is a ritual started by the kings and queens, and the legacy continued by the new generation, which radiates a unique experience for the visitors. The city is a beautiful amalgamation of urban and rural life. While staying in the luxuries of the metropolitan city, you will still get the nuance of the rural life and also have a chance to be a part of it.

Luang Prabang offers something for everyone. Religious or adventurous, whatever may be your interests, you can have a lifetime experience here.