Luang Prabang was the most interesting city that I visited in Laos. It has lots of gorgeous temples, interesting markets, and interesting sites in the vicinity. It is located in the northern parts of Laos at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, approximately 300 km (190 miles) north of Vientiane. It was the capital of the Luang Prabang kingdom (1707-1946). After that it was the capital of Laos till the communist take-over in 1975. The Old Town Center of Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more information see the Wikipedia pages for Luang Prabang.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Luang Prabang

View Luang Prabang
View of Luang Prabang. (806k)
Street Scene Luang Prabang
Street scene in Luang Prabang. (722k)
Street Scene Luang Prabang
Street scene in Luang Prabang. (691k)
Street Scene Luang Prabang
Street scene in Luang Prabang. (721k)
Bicycle Umbrella
On a bicycle with umbrella. (825k)
Monks Luang Prabang
Monks in Luang Prabang. (897k)
Giving Alms Monks Main
Giving alms to the monks on main street in the morning. (998k)
School Children Practicing Dancing
School children practicing dancing. (710k)
School Children Practicing Dancing
School children practicing dancing. (598k)
School Children Practicing Dancing
School children practicing dancing. (636k)
Sharing Meal Pak Ou
Sharing a meal at the Pak Ou Caves. (899k)

Kuang Si Waterfall

The Kuang Si Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall southwest of Luang Prabang. It is well worth a visit.

Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall. (937k)
Top Kuang Si Waterfall
Top of the Kuang Si Waterfall. (1172k)
Wooden Bridge Over Brook
Wooden bridge over the brook above the waterfall. (1244k)
Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall. (1080k)
Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall. (1055k)

Pak Ou Caves

There are two natural caves at Pak Ou. They house thousands of Buddha statues, from very small ones to life-size ones. Their number is decreasing due to theft and destruction of wooden statues by termites. Once a year, at Laos New Year, the locals come to perform the ceremonial washing of the Buddha. They use the Naga shaped Hang Hod for the ceremonial washing.

View Mountain Pak Ou
View of the mountain with the Pak Ou Caves from across the Mekong. (651k)
Lower Pak Ou Cave
Lower Pak Ou Cave. (888k)
Lower Pak Ou Cave
Lower Pak Ou Cave. (798k)
Shrine Lower Pak Ou
Shrine in the lower Pak Ou Cave. (975k)
Buddha Statues Lower Pak
Buddha statues in the lower Pak Ou Cave. (892k)
Buddha Statues Lower Pak
Buddha statues in the lower Pak Ou Cave. (941k)
Buddha Statues Lower Pak
Buddha statues in the lower Pak Ou Cave. (815k)
Buddha Statues Lower Pak
Buddha statues in the lower Pak Ou Cave. (773k)
Buddha Statues Upper Pak
Buddha statues in the upper Pak Ou Cave. (742k)
Buddha Statues Upper Pak
Buddha statues in the upper Pak Ou Cave. (740k)
Buddha Statues Upper Pak
Buddha statues in the upper Pak Ou Cave. (760k)
Close-up Buddha Statues Upper
Close-up of Buddha statues in the upper Pak Ou Cave. (655k)
Naga Shaped Hang Hod
Naga shaped Hang Hod for washing the Buddha. (792k)
View Pak Ou Cave
View from the Pak Ou Cave across the Mekong River. (624k)

Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. It was built in 1560. One of the buildings is the tomb of King Sisavang Vong, the last king of Laos. The temple has very interesting colorful mosaics on the temple walls, telling various fables. One the about a hunter who put a snare in the forest and caught a deer. The turtle freed the deer from the snare. The hunter in retaliation caught the turtle and put it in his satchel. When the other animals saw that, a bird distracted the hunter, the deer stole the satchel from the distracted hunter and ran away, then freed the turtle. This is a fable about cooperation.

Buildings Wat Xieng Thong
Buildings in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (1119k)
Buildings Wat Xieng Thong
Buildings in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (891k)
Buildings Wat Xieng Thong
Buildings in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (859k)
Temple Building Wat Xieng
Temple building in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (586k)
Roof Decorations Main Temple
Roof decorations on the main temple in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (741k)
Temple Building Wat Xieng
Temple building in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex with elaborate glass mosaics. (692k)
Roof Mosaic Wat Xieng
Roof mosaic on the Wat Xieng Thong temple, depicting the fable of the hunter, the deer and the turtle. (1096k)
Roof Mosaic Peacock Animals
Roof mosaic of a peacock and other animals on the Wat Xieng Thong temple. (1003k)
Roof Mosaics Wat Xieng
Roof mosaics on the Wat Xieng Thong temple. (983k)
Roof Decoration Wat Xieng
Roof decoration on the Wat Xieng Thong temple. (1311k)
Small Buddha Shrine Wat
Small Buddha shrine in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (892k)
Small Stupa Glass Mosaics
Small stupa with glass mosaics, glistening in the sun. (1099k)
Colorful Glass Mosaic-covered Lotus
Colorful glass mosaic-covered lotus representations in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex, glistening in the sun. (777k)
Colorful Glass Mosaic-covered Lotus
Colorful glass mosaic-covered lotus representation in the Wat Xieng Thong temple complex. (952k)
Mausoleum King Sisavang Vong
Mausoleum of King Sisavang Vong. (712k)
Mausoleum King Sisavang Vong
Mausoleum of King Sisavang Vong with the ceremonial barge that carried the remains of King Sisavang Vong. (785k)
Ceremonial Barge Carried Remains
Ceremonial barge that carried the remains of King Sisavang Vong. (896k)
Ceremonial Barge Urn Carried
Ceremonial barge with the urn that carried the remains of King Sisavang Vong. (841k)
Close-up Ceremonial Barge Carried
Close-up of the ceremonial barge that carried the remains of King Sisavang Vong. (853k)
Buddha Statues Glass Mosaics
Buddha statues and glass mosaics in the mausoleum of King Sisavang Vong. (1083k)
Buddha Statues Mausoleum King
Buddha statues in the mausoleum of King Sisavang Vong. (949k)
Small Buddha Statues Mausoleum
Small Buddha statues in the mausoleum of King Sisavang Vong. (841k)

Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham

The Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham temple was built in 1796. It is the largest and most richly decorated of the temples in Luang Prabang. It has an active monastery (like many temples in Laos).

Wat Mai Temple
Wat Mai temple. (777k)
Buildings Buddha Statues Grounds
Buildings and Buddha statues on the grounds of the Wat Mai temple. (705k)
Roof Decoration Wat Mai
Roof decoration on the Wat Mai temple. (565k)
Relief Depicting Scenes The
Relief depicting scenes out the the myths surrounding the Wat Mai temple. (1227k)
Small Stupas Grounds Wat
Small stupas on the grounds of the Wat Mai temple. (633k)
Monk Wat Mai Temple
Monk at the Wat Mai temple. (857k)
Buddha Statue Wat Mai
Buddha statue in the Wat Mai temple in the meditation pose (Dhyana Mudra). (1015k)
Small Buddha Statue Next
Small Buddha statue next to the large one in the Wat Mai temple. The pose is "Praying for Rain". This pose is especially frequently seen around Luang Prabang, it is rare elsewhere. (732k)
Group Buddha Statues Wat
Group of Buddha statues in the Wat Mai temple complex. (966k)
Group Buddha Statues Wat
Group of Buddha statues in the Wat Mai temple complex. (1102k)
Buddha Statue "stop Fighting"
Buddha statue in the "Stop Fighting" pose (Double Abhaya Mudra). (981k)
Buddha Statue "preventing Calamities"
Buddha statue in the "Preventing Calamities" pose (Abhaya Mudra). (915k)
Buddha Statue "touching Earth"
Buddha statue in the "Touching the Earth" pose (Bhumisparsha Mudra). (984k)
Buddha Statue "meditation" Pose
Buddha statue in the "Meditation" pose (Dhyana Mudra), under the seven-headed Naga. (876k)

Wat Siphoutthabath

Wat Siphoutthabath Temple
Wat Siphoutthabath temple. (885k)
Students School Wat Siphoutthabath
Students in the school at the Wat Siphoutthabath temple. (627k)

Haw Kham Royal Palace

The Haw Kham Royal Palace was built in 1904 by the last king of Luang Prabang, Sisavang Vong, who in 1946 became the first king of Laos. The three-headed elephant on the palace symbolizes the three kingdoms that formed Laos, the kingdoms of Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Champasak.

Palace Building
Palace building. (760k)
Close-up Crest Three Elephant
Close-up of the crest with the three elephant heads, symbolizing the three kingdoms Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Champasak. (546k)
Temple Palace Grounds
Temple on the palace grounds. (957k)
Temple Palace Grounds Glistening
Temple on the palace grounds glistening in the evening sun. (935k)
Temple Palace Grounds Glowing
Temple on the palace grounds glowing in the evening sun, above the tents of the night market. (753k)
Back Side Palace Temple
Back side of the palace temple. (788k)
Decoration Palace Temple
Decoration on the palace temple. (1230k)
Decoration Palace Temple
Decoration on the palace temple. (1038k)

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Page last updated on Mon Jan 20 16:07:54 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)


Luang Prabang - Caves, Waterfalls, Temples and Monasteries on guenther-eichhorn.com


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