Walking with a local guide and hearing many unique local stories about Luang Prabang, from the history of the temples and the city to the Buddhist narratives and legends painted all over the temple walls. The Luang Prabang community shares such stories and collective memories, and the locals are still firmly connected through sharing them. Tour Luang Prabang with a local guide and gain insight into Luang Prabang’s culture.
The tour begins early in the morning (5:15 am in March to October and 05:45 in November to February). We pick you up from your hotel and you have a fantastic opportunity together with the locals to witness the captivating centuries old daily tradition of the alms giving ceremony. Following that, we visit local morning market.
Sai Bat (Morning Alms) is a longstanding tradition in Laos Buddhist culture. In observing it, the devoted offer food to monks throughout the Luang Prabang every morning. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession.
The morning market lining a couple of quiet streets near the Royal Palace, starts early and is over by mid-morning. It sets up along a couple of side-streets next to one of the city’s many Wats. A butcher and some of the more touristy stalls have actual tables for their wares. But most of the vendors, selling anything from rice, to fresh vegetables, to steamed fish, frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground.
You return to your hotel for breakfast around 7;00. We will pick you up again at 8:30 and take you to a small park on the peninsula tip. You will have a brief introduction to Luang Prabang, standing where the Nam Khan River meets the Mekong River. From there, walk to the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple. For centuries, the temple was considered the ceremonial gateway to the city and was the arrival and departure point for foreign dignitaries. We will walk up the stairs to the main gate and enter the temple like ancient dignitaries.
Riverview Park is a lovely park with many flowers overlooking the junction of the two rivers.
Wat Xieng Thong, once known as “The Temple of the Golden City”, holds great cultural, historic and architectural importance. It is serenely situated near the tip of the peninsula at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, with a grand staircase leading up from the Mekong. For centuries it was considered the ceremonial gateway to the town, with visiting dignitaries and soon-to-be-crowned kings arriving via these steps. (Entrance fee 20,000 kip)
Next, we will go temple hopping in the neighborhood. At Wat Sene, where there is a school for novice monks, you may meet again with novice monks you met on the morning alms. We will drive to Heuan Chan Heritage. There we will see a well preserved traditional Lao house and take a short break in their gardens. Finally, we will visit the Royal Palace. The tour will end in the city center or you will be transferred to your hotel.
Heuan Chan Heritage is a traditional wooden house dated back to 19th century. In Lao language, Heuan means house and the owner of this house was Mrs. Chan – that is how the name derived from. Situated in the heart of Luang Prabang peninsula, Heun Chan is a very rare surviving example of a pre-colonial Lao style aristocratic mansion. It shelter a museum and its surroundings promotes the Luang Prabang Way of Life. (Admission Fee: 1.85US$/person)
The Royal Palace, which is today the national museum and built by French colonialists between 1904-09, displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture. (Entrance fee 30,000 kip)
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