Step into Luang Prabang and get ready to wow at the town. It is a fie collection of wooden houses, European colonial architecture, tree line streets and glittering temples decorated with mosaics and murals celebrating Buddha’s life. Towering majestically over the city is Phou Si Hill. Do you want a good view of the UNESCO Heritage town? The hill is your best bet.
Be prepared for some stair climbing work! Trust us, the rewards are great! More than just a look-out point, Phou Si Hill is also where lots of shrines and temples call home. And the stairway itself is pretty neat. The hand rail is shaped like a naga. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a mystical serpent-like creature.
As you climb up this snake stairway, you’ll come across the abandoned temple of Wat Pa Huak. All that is left here though is an ordination hall and a stupa. About halfway up the hill and overlooking the Nam Khan River is Wat Tham Phou Si.
As you continue on and climb the very last of your 328 steps, you will reach the summit of the hill, where a gilded stupa built on a large rock outcropping awaits. Right next to it is a small pray area. This spot offers excellent panoramas of Luang Prabang. Reaching the summit of the hill while the sun is rising or setting makes the moment even sweeter and your snapshots looking even better. So, now you believe us? The rewards sure are great up here, aren’t they?
What goes up must come down (unless you want to live up there). On your way back to ground observe a somewhat peculiar and seemingly out of place Russian anti-aircraft gun. A remnant of the Vietnam/American war, perhaps?
Continue downwards and come across the 14th century Wat Pra Buddabhat. Its English name is the Temple of the Buddha Footprint. You probably guessed it; there is a footprint of the Buddha here. It is not an official one, but a really realistic looking replica. Take a look around. There’s lots of cool stuff here, like an ordination hall, a chapel room and a Water Goddess statue.
Planning to visit the UNESCO town? Our Essential Luang Prabang is everything you need to fully cover and appreciate this charming place. Experience the city’s rich culture and heritage and discover its distinctive character.
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