Your guide will collect you after breakfast and escort to the former Royal Palace which now exists as the National Museum. Here you can learn about Laos’ rich history and culture and there are usually special exhibits on display to see.
You’ll then move on to Wat Mai Buddhist temple, one of the most richly decorated temples of Luang Prabang. Next, you’ll wander down one of the prettiest lanes of Luang Prabang to the Saaifone Contemporary Gallery where you can discover the region through the eyes of Thep Thavonsouk, a Lao-Canadian artist.
Wat Sensoukarahm, which is decorated in a stenciled gold faade is your next stop, but on the way you’ll pass a noodle shop owned by a former chef to the Royal Family where you can grab at tasty bowl (on your own account) if you’re so inclined. After Wat Sensoukarahm you’ll have the chance to visit Caruso Lao, a workshop that produces hand-crafted silk and wood.
To round off your morning you’ll visit Wat Xieng Thong, the most famous temple in Luang Prabang. This temple, also known as Temple of the Golden City, rests on the northern tip of the peninsula close to the Mekong River. The temple was built by King Setthathirat in 1560 and remains a significant spiritual place in Laos.
If you passed on noodles earlier, you can make a stop at Big Tree Café on the Mekong River to grab a scenic lunch at a restaurant that also features a gallery of work by Adri Berger, a famous photographer and film maker who focuses his work on Southeast Asia.
You’ll then continue your tour of enchanting Luang Prabang with a visit to du Pavillon du Jade where you can discover a beautifully restored French Colonial building which features a collection by Patrice Bleton, a connoisseur of Asian art and antiques.
Next you’ll go to visit Wat Visoun, one of the city’s most important temples, where you will find the fruit-shaped ‘Watermelon Stupa’. The colorfully nicknamed stupa was rebuilt in 1930 after lying in a state of ruin since it was destroyed in 1887 by invading Chinese forces.
You’ll also go to visit Wat Aham, the ‘Monastery of the Opened Heart’, where you can see statues of the two guardian spirits Ravana and Hanuman at the southern and eastern corners of the porch. Finally you’ll discover Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are guarded within the large dome-shaped central stupa.
In the mid-afternoon your guide will take you to the Traditional Art & Ethnology Center (TAEC), which is a non-profit museum dedicated to the preservation of the arts and lifestyles of Laos’ many hill tribes. The center is a wonderful place to learn about Laos and see many of the defining characteristics of the indigenous tribes around the country.
Your tour will end with a visit to Project Space, a non-profit multifunction facility which features exhibits and events featuring local and international artists. Designed by Jean-Pierre Dovat, the three-storey building features a wonderful rooftop terrace that offers stunning views across Luang Prabang. From here you can enjoy some snacks and a glass of wine as you watch the sublime sunset.(Please note: TAEC and Project Space are both closed on Mondays. If your day falls on a Monday your guide will happily make other suggestions for your afternoon.)Your evening will be yours to enjoy at your own leisure but if you’d like some suggestions on where to go and what to do feel free to ask you expert local Backyard Travel guide.