After we arrived Luang Prabang by new innovative Hi-Speed train yesterday in the evening, we relaxed at My Lao Hotel and Spa which is located near to Luang Prabang Night Market. Today, it’s time to start our exploration the world heritage city by UNESCO. We woke up in the early morning and aimed to one of the most famous local breakfast restaurant, Prachaniyom Coffee (Thai/Laos : ร้านกาแฟประชานิยม). The recommended foods from this shop is rice noodle in pork soup with traditional hot milk coffee. They are very nice to recharge the energy of our morning.
Then, we are energized and ready to visit the first place in Luang Prabang, Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham. This is the buddhist temple what was built since 1796 (226 years ago) and it is only 400m from Prachaniyom Coffee. The temple is open daily, 8am – 17pm. The ticket cost is 20,000 LAK (3 USD). Due to this is religious place, the visitor has to wear properly clothes and respect the place.
Next, once we were satisfied the visiting of Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, we continued to the one of the landmark temple of Luang Prabang, Wat Xieng Thong. If you visit Luang Prabang but you never visit this temple, it means you have never been this city !
This temple was constructed in 1560 by King Setthathirat, once Laos was ruled by the monarchy. It is the religious emblem of Luang Prabang and one of the highest symbols of Buddhism in Laos. The temple is in walking distance from Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham (only 1,300 m, Luang Prabang Historic District is quite small and we can get around by walking as well as bike or scooter).The temple is open daily, 8am-17pm. The admission ticket cost is 20,000 LAK (3 USD).
At noon, we decided find some cafe to have quick lunch before move forward to another place. It has one specialty coffee shop which is not far from Wat Xieng Thong, Saffron Coffee’s Espresso, Brew Bar, & Roastery. It is located only 600m away. This coffee shop offers you the specialty Laotian coffee which is from the local farmers and plenty choices of western style bakery.
We enjoyed our lunch and relaxed for a while. Then, we headed to the one of important place of Luang Prabang what can tell us the history of this ex-capital of the nation, Royal Place (Haw Pha Bang / Haw Kham). it is located just near to Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham. This palace was built since 1904 during the time of French colonial occupation as the residence of the Laos Royal Family. It was turned into the museum in 1975 by the communist Pathet Laos party came to power the country and ended the Laos monarchy. The Laos royal family was forced to leave to palace. The museum opening time is Wednesday – Saturday, 8am-11am and 13.30pm-15.30pm. The admission fee is 30,000 LAK (4 USD). It does not allowed to take photo in the museum and the sanctuary (but we can take photo at outside building and the garden). The locker for stuff deposit is just next to the ticket counter.
In the late afternoon, at the opposite of the royal palace, it has one hill with the pagoda at the top, Phousi Hill. After we finished visiting of Royal Place, we took a rest for a while and prepare our mental to beat the 355 steps stair to the hill. If you are ready, grab a bottle of water. It is time to get exercise. But, please do not forget to buy the ticket at the beginning of the stair, it is 20,000 LAK (3 USD) 😛
At the top of the hill, we can see the bird-eye-view of Luang Prabang which is surrounded by Mekong River and Nam Khan River. It is looked like we are in the heaven. It made us forget about the exhausting.
The hill is 100m height. The pagoda was built by King Anourat in 1804.
In the evening, we back to the hotel to take a rest from long walking today and recharge the energy to go out again. It has one interesting activity to do in Luang Prabang after sunset, Night Market.
The market is open daily at Sisavangvong Road, 5pm – 11pm. It has local food stalls and souvenir shops along with 500m length. We had local BBQ and beer for our dinner. And, we could grab some souvenir from traditional street shops too.
We spent almost 2 hours at this shopping street before back to the hotel for resting. It was such a tired day as we walked more than 15km. But it was one of our happy day as we have seen the new culture and atmosphere what we never see in our life. It was the terrific chapter in our life what we will remember forever. Good night…..Sleep tight……It has one more adventure tomorrow 🙂
Written By : Shipy Siwarit Tiasuwattiseth