Explore the city by Tuk Tuk. The Tuk Tuk (a motorized-rickshaw) was brought to Southeast Asia in 1934 from Japan, and has since then become an icon of the region. The classic Tuk Tuk is a sheet-metal roof covering an open frame which rests on three wheels. They’re one of the most popular forms of transportation in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, and this Southeast Asian emblem is the perfect vehicle for an open-air tour of Luang Prabang.
Departing from the hotel at 08:30, get on the Tuk Tuk to the open-air Morning Market in the old town. There are only a few large grocery stores here—instead, food is still produced by small farming families and villages and brought to Luang Prabang from the surrounding rural areas. Guide will explain the common vegetables and fruits that are in season and pick up some snacks for later.
A short walk from the market is Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham (“New Monastery ''), the National Museum (Royal Palace) and Hor Phra Bang. After the museum, travel again by tuk tuk through more of the picturesque town to Wat Visounnalath. Continue to Heuan Chan Luang Prabang for a short activity and learn how to make Banana Leaf and Flower.
Another short tuk tuk ride along the Nam Khan River to Wat Xieng Thong. End the day’s tour on top of Mount Phousi.
This small market is the Laotian "supermarket" where they come to buy their fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, which are offered in showcases which are not always the way we used to see in most of our countries. Some products are coming from the jungle around, and will be for sure highly exotic for travelers from western countries.
WAT MAI SUWANNAPHUMAHAM
The impressive Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham is one of Luang Prabang’s largest and most richly decorated temples. Both its interior and exterior are extensively adorned with black and red lacquer decoration and gold leaf. The temple, also known as Wat Mai, meaning “new temple” , was founded around 1780 by King Anurat of Luang Prabang Kingdom.
NATIONAL MUSEUM (ROYAL PALACE) AND HOR PHRA BANG
Set in a spacious, well-tended garden just off one of Luang Prabang’s main boulevards (Sisavangvong Road), you will find the fascinating Royal Palace Museum, which is also known as Hor Kham. The museum is well worth a couple of hours of your time if you want to learn more about Lao history and culture. Originally the residence of the king, the museum was designed in the French Beaux-Arts style, with many tasteful accents of traditional Lao culture. When the communists came to power in 1975, they took over the palace and sent the royal family to re-education camps. The palace was converted into a museum that was opened to the public in 1995 after careful renovation, and remains in good condition. The grounds contain a number of other buildings including a new exhibition hall and a chapel (Hor Phra Bang), and a statue of King Sisavangvong.
Founded in 1512 during the reign of King Visounnalath (1501-1520), this temple was a symbol of the Kingdom’s unity. The carved wooden railings in the temple’s windows are reminiscent of the Wat Phou temple in Champasak, in the far South of Laos. Inside you can admire ancient statues and steles. Also located on the grounds of this temple is the That Pathoume, also known as That Mak Mo (the watermelon stupa) because of its shape.
WAT XIENG THONG
Founded at the tip of the Luang Prabang peninsula is one of Laos most beautiful and richly decorated temples. This temple is a Royal temple built by King Setthathirath in 1559 on the banks of the Mekong river. It is one of the few temples that was not destroyed during the Black Flag Army invasion of 1887.
Rising 150 m above the center of town, Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure on the Luang Prabang skyline. The hill is popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set over the Mekong River. From the summit, enjoy a spectacular 360 degree outlook across the city and its many temples, and out over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance. For a complete experience, go up Mount Phousi on one side and use the other set of steps to make your way down again.
The tour will end with a tuk tuk trip back to the hotel.
Overnight in Luang Prabang