Located in north central Laos on the Mekong River, Luang Prabang is a charming town that offers the perfect balance between exploration of its attractions and quiet reflection for absorbing all of the amazing things you are guaranteed to see and do while you are there. Below are my favourite Outdoor Activities to do in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Why visit Luang Prabang for adventure?
A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a French historic influence, there is beautiful natural scenery to discover, the river to walk along and watch locals go about their days, markets to peruse, temples to visit and more delicious food than you think is capable of consuming in the time you choose to spend there.
Outdoor Activities to do in Luang Prabang, Laos
Tat Kuang Si Park and Kuang Si Falls
This is a picturesque spot 30km out of town and makes for a great half day trip. As you ascend through lush forest, you pass a series of pools where crystal clear water cascades over to create a multitude of beautiful waterfalls. Once you reach the last big one at the end of the path, don’t be daunted by the final arduous muddy climb to reach the top of it.
The spectacular view makes the climb worth it and afterwards you can reward yourself by taking a dip in the refreshing water; either by launching yourself off the rope swing or by sitting under the waterfall and feel it beating down over your back.
If you forget to pack a picnic lunch, make sure you pick up a delicious baguette from one of the stalls at the park entrance. Cheap and filling!
Travel Tips for getting to Tat Kuang Si Park
A shared rickshaw will cost about US$5 each (30 minutes from the centre of town)
Entrance to Tat Kuang Si Park is 30,000 Kip.
Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
Before you leave the waterfalls at Tat Kuang Si Park, you will pass the ‘Free the Bears’ sanctuary which is a rescue centre. They provide rehabilitation to Asiatic Black Bears that have been illegally taken from the wild as cubs to be sold on the traditional medicine black market. Don’t forget to make a small donation if you stop to take photos and gaze at their cute antics.
The organisation doesn’t receive any fees from the ticket price to enter the park so they rely solely on donations from visitors to maintain care for these animals.
Getting to Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
It is a short walk after you pass through the entrance to Tat Kuang Si Park.
Cost of doing the adventure activity
Free but donations are welcome.
Watch the sunset from Phousi Hill
Make sure you leave the park by 4pm so you have time to get back into town and catch the stunning sunset over the Mekong River. The best vantage spot is from Phousi Hill which looms over Luang Prabang. While there are many steps to the summit, they are perfectly manageable and there are many relics and including Wat Chom Si and Wat Tham Phou Si that you can explore on your way up to help break the climb up. It can get incredibly crowded up at the top so make sure you give yourself ample time to get a good spot.
Travel Tips for getting to the adventure activity
Simply ask your rickshaw driver to drop you off at the base of Phousi Hill and walk the short 10-15 minute up the summit.
Food Street and Night Markets
As dusk descends, it is time to satisfy any hunger pangs by visiting the extensive Food Street where you will be overwhelmed by the vast array of culinary treats. The real piece de resistance is the vegetarian buffet where you can heap your plate for just 10,000 Kip. If you still have room afterwards, you can select some sweet morsels from the number of stalls that sell beautifully made pastries and cakes; a nod to the town’s French influence.
Afterwards you can walk off your meal by wandering around the night markets. The goods on offer is pretty stock standard stuff by south east Asian standards but the stall owners tend to leave you to your browsing which makes for a more pleasurable shopping experience.
Travel Tips for getting to the adventure activity
Just a short five minute walk from the base of Phousi Hill.
Cost of doing the adventure activity
As much as you are convinced to spend at the markets and on delicious culinary treats.
Best time of the year to visit Luang Prabang for adventure?
Year round although Laos is more popular outside of monsoon season.
Finally, the reason I love Prabang for adventure is because…
Luang Prabang is one of those places that you instantly fall in love with. You plan on staying just a couple of days but it quickly worms its way into your heart and you find yourself staying longer than anticipated. There are so many great cafes and restaurants and it is easy to just spend leisurely days walking, eating and chatting to locals.
Alaina McGregor, from Jandals & A Backpack, is a nomad Kiwi who likes to share her tips for backpacking on a budget. She counts hefting her backpack around the globe as part of her regular fitness regime and has a passion for volunteering, collecting passport stamps, sampling local beers in every country and visiting some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Have you visit Laos before? What are your favourite outdoor activities to do in Luang Prabang?
Tips For Unwinding While Travelling
People often don’t get the most out of their travelling experiences, and often the reason is a surprising one. People slam themselves with unrealistic schedules and try to do too much in too short of a time, and this winds up deteriorating the quality of the experiences that you want to have. So we have come up with a quick little guide with the help of our friends to help you get that needed decompression on your vacation:
Here are three key ways to savor that vacation many times more than you normally would just by running like a chicken with its head recently cut off. Note that all of them require time, and while time is precious, that’s actually why it’s that much more important to use it wisely.
Stay Inside For One Day:
Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend every waking moment of every vacation out there tramping around checking items off of a list. Whether you realize it or not, this is a lot like work, and can be very stressful.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a day to do next to nothing. Casinos online are an excellent way to pass the time in a fun fashion, or any other sort of game that catches your fancy. Also, get your food ordered in for once. Get a reset. The rest of your vacation will be 1000% better.
Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal:
Go out and find the restaurant wherever you are where you most want to go. If you’re in a group, vote on it, but make sure everybody’s happy to go there. If you’re alone, this is that much easier. Either way, pick an excellent restaurant. Go there and absolutely take your time, meaning don’t even think about leaving that place less than 2 hours after you’ve gone in. Enjoy every aspect of the meal slowly, contemplating the ambience and the flavors of what you are eating. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing at the same time.
Watch The Sun Rise or Set:
This is especially something to do if you can find a great lookout point. One thing that really works is to go to the lookout point, and just chill with a camera, even your phone’s camera, and take pictures every 5 minutes or so and document the sun going up or down until it’s done.
It’s incredibly relaxing, and you will take with you a serious series of souvenirs that are eminently shareable with friends and loved ones. You can even turn the whole thing into one big time-lapse photo. And the act of calmly and quietly observing one’s environment is in and of itself so relaxing and rewarding in surprising ways.
Tips For Hitting The Orlando Area For Holidays
Planning on visiting the famous theme parks in and around Orlando soon? This is definitely something everyone should do at least once in their lifetimes, whether as a couple, with the whole family, or even solo. Here are some pro tips to make the experience the absolute best one possible:
Don’t Leave Anything for the Last Minute:
You have to understand that this is an extremely popular destination for tourists, so much so that if you don’t have things planned out beforehand, you could be shut out of a lot of things you actually wanted to see, because they actually fill up to capacity well in advance sometimes. Especially, make very sure to get your theme park tickets before you go. Doing so will save you so much potential headache and stress.
Think Carefully about When You Want to Go:
Orlando is in a particularly hot and humid part of this Earth, but it’s not that way all year round.
If your schedule permits, you may want to consider going during March and April. This is a great time because the summer heat hasn’t started slamming the area yet, and because it’s still during the school year, the place isn’t packed with tourists.
The second best time of the year to go would be September and October. The temperatures will be roughly the same as in March and April, and prices will be even lower and crowds even less. The one caveat is that this is technically in the middle of Florida’s hurricane season, and while Orlando is quite a ways inland, there still exists some risk, albeit a minor one.
November through the beginning of March is an excellent time to go for weather (although as of this writing it went below freezing in Orlando for the first time in 30 years, this is a very rare event; usually things in Orlando are quite balmy, even in the absolute dead of winter). The problem with this time of year is that a lot of people are on vacation, especially during Christmas break, Presidents’ Week, and Spring Break. This means crowds and marked-up prices everywhere.
Lastly is the summer. Unless you are a gecko or an iguana, you probably won’t like Orlando in the summer very much, as the heat and especially the humidity go practically off the charts. If all people concerned are very cold-blooded, this may be an option for you. The other downside is that people tend to come here despite the heat in the summer because that’s when their kids have their summer break from school.
What is Your Dream Vacation When You Have Won the Lottery?
For everyone that buys a ticket for a lottery draw anywhere in the world, the dream is always to win and win big. We all have things we would buy and stuff we want to do when we won the lottery and among that list is to take a dream vacation. But what are the types of dream vacation you could enjoy with all those millions in the bank?
Ultimate safari in Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and takes up a massive 22% of the planet. That means there is a lot to see across it and the ultimate safari would include the most important sights. From scaling Mount Kilimanjaro to seeing Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World there are so many things to do. You can visit one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Olduvai Gorge or the larger unbroken volcanic caldera at Ngorongoro Crater. Then there’s the wildlife – elephants, giraffe, lions and so much more to see during the 29 day private tour across Southern Africa.
Jet tours with National Geographic
If you want to see the most amazing natural wonders, there’s no-one better to do it with than National Geographic experts and this is something you can do for just around $80,000 a person. This 24 day adventure takes you from the Iguacu Falls in Brazil to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Easter Island and lets you see the most amazing places in the world while learning about them from the ultimate experts.
Luxury Antarctica Cruise
For the adventure fans, there’s nowhere more fascinating that Antarctica and a luxury tour of the frozen continent is a great way to see the most amazing sights while still enjoying all the best conveniences. Spot the penguins and elephant seals who are unafraid of human visitors while seeing the amazing icebergs floating through the glasslike seas.
Silk Road private train
The Silk Road is associated with some of the most famous figures and events in history from Alexander the Great to Marco Polo. Now you can take a private train and explore the 4000-mile length of the ‘road’. Stop at historic spots, see amazing modern towns and villages and enjoy the amazing scenery while recreating a route that brought many of the luxuries we take for granted today from the Far East in the first place.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
- Travel Tips6 months ago
Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage
- Adventure Travel10 months ago
Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos
- Europe12 months ago
Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence
- Travel Blogging Tips8 months ago
Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog
- Personal Musings9 months ago
From Four Jandals to Two Jandals
- Adventure Travel5 years ago
2012 Travel Adventures in Photos
- Europe5 years ago
Photo Essay from around Costa Brava
- Asia5 years ago
The Best of Istanbul – Photo Essay