Located: Northern Laos (Northern Provinces)
Total area: 16,875 square kilometers
12 Districts: Luang Prabang, Xieng Ngeun, Nan, Pak Ou, Nambak, Ngoi, Pakxeng, Phonxay, Chomphet, Viengkham, Phounkhone & Phonthong
Capital of the province: Luang Prabang, listed since 1995 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for unique architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Luang Prabang is best known today for its protected, unique juxtaposition of temples, traditional architecture, and colonial buildings and for the natural beauty of its surrounding province. And even as the city warmly welcomes visitors from all over the world, it remains a vital political, educational, and trade hub for the diverse cultures of Northern Laos.
Some of the most visited sites in Luang Prabang Town are Wat Xieng Thong, Mount Phou Si, Wat Visounnarath, the former Royal Palace and Wat Manolom. Equally beautiful are the lesser known temples across the Mekong River in Chomphet District. You can take a 1,5 hour walk through the hills and forest opposite the main town to explore the old temple sites and peaceful environment. Just outside of the main town are the beautiful Tad Kwang Si Waterfall, Tham Ting Caves, Ban Xang Hai Village and the tiered waterfall Tad Sae. Further out is muang Ngoi Kao, a quiet village located on the banks of the Nam Ou River surrounded by high karst mountains and sheer limestone cliffs. You can visit these sites on your own or use the services of one of the many tour operators based in town.
Luang Parbang celebrates all of the major Lao Festivals in style. The largest, Pi Mai Lao or Lao New Year takes place officially from 13-15 April, but in Luang Prabang the festival often lasts a full week with a trade fair, “Miss Lao New Year” contest, parades and religious ceremonies. In late December is Hmong New Year. This is a time where the Hmong show off their finest traditional clothing, hold musical performances and other cultural ceremonies. In Luang Prabang, the annual boat races are held in late September, one month earlier than Vientiane and most other places in the country.
While in Luang Prabang, you may observe the morning alms giving ceremony where monks walk through town in single file carrying their alms bowls to give laypeople the opportunity to offer alms and gain merit. Offerings by the people are usually comprised of sticky rice, fruit or simple traditional snacks. Know as “Binthabat” in Lao, this is a sacred religious ceremony. Tourists may participate in and photograph the ceremony, however, the people of Luang Prabang, especially the monks, ask that this is done is a respectful way and visitors do everything they can not to disrupt this ancient tradition.
Copyright 2021 Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2021 Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province.
All rights reserved.