How many days to spend in Luang Prabang?

Sebastien Chaneac

We spent over a week in Luang Prabang during our trip to Laos, but most of this time was spent catching up with our blog. It’s a great base in Laos for working: Wi-Fi works quite well and is a little bit cheaper than Vientiane.

We stayed at Singharat Guesthouse, paying $23 a night, which included a hearty breakfast. For those with a higher budget, treat yourself to a romantic boutique hotel such as Satri Secret House.

To make the most of this beautiful city, you should try to dedicate 4 days for it. We've put together a 4 days detailed itinerary to Luang Prabang which will allow you to hit the main sights and attractions. If you're tight with time, you could do it in 3 days but keep in mind that there will be very little time for relaxation…

Travel advice for LGTBQ community

Advice for LGBTQ travellers to Luang Prabang

Laos is generally a gay friendly country to visit. The Laotians are very welcoming and curious towards all foreigners, particularly in Luang Prabang, which is the most touristic place in the country. The guesthouse we stayed at knew we were a gay couple and had no qualms about us sharing a double bed. Be sure to check out Lao Lao Gardens which is the heart of the LGBTQ community of Luang Prabang, owned by our dear friend Somphorn who sadly passed away from a battle with liver cancer. You can read Somphorn's story in our interview with him about gay life in Laos.

Stefan posing with his Lonely Planet guide
Stefan posing with his Lonely Planet guide during our boat trip on the Mekong River

Day 1: visit the Kuang Si Falls

  • The Kuang Si Falls were the highlight of our stay in Luang Prabang. This is a series of waterfalls around 23km from the town centre.
  • You can swim and dive at the waterfall made even more special by the surrounding jungle and the young monks who join in:
Diving monks at the Kuang Si Falls
Diving monks at the Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang
  • The Kuang Si Falls are located around 45 minutes tuk tuk ride away and a round trip costs around 200,000 kips (around £17 / $25).
  • The cost can be split between a group of people.
  • The tuk tuk driver will wait there for you.
Our tuk tuk selfie
Our tuk tuk selfie before heading out to the Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang
  • You can also arrange minivans to take you to the Kuang Si Falls via travel agencies (upwards of 60,000 kips (£5 / $7) per person, but you have to wait for a particular time before they depart and departure time from the falls is set, minimising your time there.
  • Entrance fee at the Kuang Si Falls is 20,000 kips (around £1.60 / $2.50) and it is open from 9am.
  • There are places in the nearby village to eat an inexpensive lunch or take a packed lunch.
  • The bear rescue park you pass along the way is really nice to stop and visit and it is included in the entrance fee.
A bear standing in the park near the Kuang Si Falls
A bear standing in the park near the Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang
  • At the Kuang Si Falls, you can also visit the Butterfly Park, which is around 300m before the entry to the waterfalls. Entry to the park is 30,000 kips (around £2.50 / $3.70).
Sebastien enjoying the street food in Luang Prabang
Sebastien about to go face down into the barbecued meats at the night market in Luang Prabang

Day 2: harvest rice at the Living Land Farm

  • Sticky rice is one of the most distinctive things about Laos. One of the unique facts about Laos is that they are the highest consumers of sticky rice in the world.
Sebastien planting rice
Sebastien knee deep in the mud, planting rice
  • The best part of this tour is that you eat the rice produce for lunch, which includes the yummy sweet rice wine!
Eating the rice produce
The final stage of harvesting rice (stage 14) is eating the tasty yummy produce
  • The tour at the Living Land Farm costs 344,000 kips (around £28 / $42) per person and they pick you up and return you to your hotel.
  • The farm is around 20 minutes drive from the city centre.
Learning how to harvest rice
Learning how to harvest rice in Luang Prabang
  • An evening spent at the night market and street food dinner can never be repeated too many times in our opinion!
Noodle soup freshly made
Sebastien about to tuck into a freshly made noodle soup freshly made

Day 3: sightseeing in Luang Prabang

  • One day should be set aside for general sightseeing in this UNESCO city.
Our Laos ethnic hats selfie
Learning about the different ethnicities of Laos at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre in Luang Prabang
  • The entrance fee is 25,000 kips (£2 / $3) per person and opening hours are 9am-6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays.
  • Although a small museum, it is extremely interesting. The highlight was the documentaries you can watch about various aspects of Laotian village life.
  • We spent hours there and think it’s one of the best ways to get a feel for Laos.
Sebastien admiring a dress of the Hmong Du tribe
Sebastien admiring a dress of the Hmong Du tribe at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre in Luang Prabang
  • The Haw Kham is the former royal palace and now a museum. Entrance is 30,000 kips (around £2.50 / $4), Wednesdays to Mondays. It gets very busy here, so come as early as you can to avoid the crowds.
  • Lunch can be taken at the nearby night market, which during the day has numerous colourful stalls each selling a variety of yummy baguette sandwiches (from around 10,000 kips (£83p / $1) as well as a variety of fruit juice and iced coffee.
Our favourite baguette stall in Luang Prabang's night market
Buying yummy baguette sandwiches at the night market in Luang Prabang
  • The entrance is free (donations are welcome) and it is open 8-11:45am and 2-4pm Monday to Fridays.
The UXO Laos Visitor Centre
The UXO Laos Visitor Centre in Luang Prabang
  • The small hike up the Phou Si / Chomsy Hill near the night market is worthwhile for the beautiful views over the city, particularly at sunset. The entrance fee is 20,000 kips (around £1.70 / $2.50) per person.
  • For dinner, if you're fed up with street food, check out the excellent (and very gay friendly) Lao Lao Garden and try their delicious buffalo Or Lahm stew.
  • We buddied up with the charismatic owner called Somphorn, who told us about gay life in Laos.
Stefan and Somphorn
Stefan and Somphorn at Lao Lao Gardens bar in Luang Prabang

Day 4: Cooking course

  • We did a cooking course with the Tamarind Cooking School and learnt to make the Laotian staples of sticky rice, laap, jeow pastes and a few other yummy prizes.
Stefan with buffalo laap and sticky rice
Stefan showing off his freshly made buffalo laap and sticky rice
  • This coursre is incredibly popular and gets booked up really quickly, so we advise booking as soon as you arrive in Luang Prabang to avoid disappointment.
  • We paid 285,000 kips (around £24 / $35) per person and the food you prepare you eat for lunch. This also included a tour of the local market.
Laotian aubergine jeow recipe
Laotian aubergine jeow recipe: Seb enjoying it with sticky rice
  • The afternoon is best spent relaxing at the swimming pools of La Pistoche at Ban Phong Pheng Village (open 10am to 10pm, entrance: 30,000 kips – £2.50 / $3.70).
  • For dinner, another favourite restaurant we recommend is the highly rated Phang Luang who do excellent pizzas. It is located across the river via the Southern bamboo bridge.
  • A final walk through the night market for some souvenirs to take home is a nice way to burn off the day’s large food intake!
Street food in Luang Prabang
Sebastien admiring the street food in Luang Prabang

You can read more about our experiences discovering food in Laos and watch our Laos travel video.

 

Happy travels are safe travels

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Sebastien Chaneac

Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of nomadicboys.com. He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

14 thoughts on “How many days to spend in Luang Prabang?”

  1. We’re about to plan our next holiday and I came across this info for Laos. I just wanted to say thanks for your travel info – we are a family of four with 2 rising teens and your recommendations appeased us all for our last adventure in Cambodia and we had an amazing experience. Happy day to you all! 🙏

  2. After 30 trips to Bali with my mate of 30 years he said,…NOT AGAIN…..I’ve been trying to find a place to visit that is Different,Asian,Peacefull,Your Blog is spectacular and we are now heading to Luang Prabang and have booked into Satri House and Busari Heritage,,we will visit your mate at Lao Lao Gardens and say hi…My Sincere Thanks to you for your writings….Leslie Coles from Sydney.

  3. love it boys! it is incredible how much you guys are putting in! so happily jealous to see you fulfill it properly!
    but ooohhh mai! hasnt S.E Asia gone expensive? the prizes are really much higher than I ever would have expected from a communist country!
    any way, you guys make good reading and wonderful pics watching! thank you

    • Thanks Jean-Marie. Guess it depends where you go exactly. Vientiane is expensive (in comparison to other places in SE Asia). But overall, Laos turned out to be our cheapest country to date.

  4. what a great post. Exactly what I needed to know about planning a trip here – which was 100% inspired by your pictures of the diving monks. I think that was some of the most beautiful and evocative travel photography I’ve seen. (Yes….even better than all the “pounding” you boys have been doing ;).

    happy travels boys

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