Time Out Singapore - - Travel -

Wat Xieng Thong

If you only visit one tem­ple, make sure it’s Wat Xieng Thong. This el­e­gant tem­ple is one of the most im­por­tant monas­ter­ies in Lao Bud­dhism. It also fea­tures some of the best pre­served tra­di­tional tem­ple art, par­tic­u­larly the glass mo­saic works.

Daily mar­kets

The morn­ing mar­ket is best for sam­pling lo­cal dishes, such as the nem kao (steamed rice roll with meat and herb fill­ing; sim­i­lar to chee cheong fun) and the rich lo­cal cof­fee that’s served with a weak tea chaser. If you’re look­ing for the eth­nic tex­tiles and crafts Luang Pra­bang is known for, you’ll find a colour­ful va­ri­ety at the night mar­ket.

Par­tic­i­pate in the morn­ing alms-giv­ing rit­ual

This Bud­dhist alms­giv­ing cer­e­mony is a highly revered tra­di­tion where lo­cals make of­fer­ings (usu­ally food) to the monks. It’s im­por­tant to be re­spect­ful. Al­ways kneel while giv­ing alms, and never in­trude or in­ter­rupt the pro­ceed­ings. The daily rit­ual usu­ally starts at the break of dawn, just be­fore 6am.

Kuang Si Falls

The multi-tiered Kuang Si Falls are known for their un­usual turquoise wa­ter. The cas­cad­ing stream col­lects at sev­eral shal­low pools which are per­fect for swimming. Best ex­plored as a half-day trip; don’t for­get to visit the bear sanc­tu­ary on your way in.

Pha Tad Ke Botan­i­cal Gar­den

A new at­trac­tion in Luang Pra­bang, the botan­i­cal gar­den is a show­case of the coun­try’s rich flora. It also serves as an ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre on lo­cal medic­i­nal plants and herbs, and there’s an idyl­lic café on site. The ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes a leisurely boat ride along the Mekong river, which shut­tles you back and forth from the re­cep­tion cen­tre in town.

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