The Best Temples in Luang Prabang, Laos

Temple in Luang Prabang | © Guilhem de Coomen/Flickr
Temple in Luang Prabang | © Guilhem de Coomen/Flickr
Luang Prabang, Laos was the former Royal Capital city and was designated an UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. It’s mountainous surroundings and location at the junction of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers make for a picturesque setting. The historic town contains French colonial architecture and more than 30 Buddhist temples, or wats, that welcome visitors and are home to monks and novices.

Wat Phon Phao

Buddhist Temple
Wat Phon Phao
Wat Phon Phao | © Allie Caulfield/Flickr
Wat Phon Phao is almost 2 miles (3 kilometers) northeast of Luang Prabang’s town center. It is a forest monastery that was home to famed and now deceased Buddhist abbot Ajahn Saisamut.
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Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat, or Temple of the Great Stupa, is ornate and very beautiful. It was originally constructed in 1548 and was restored in the early 1900s after being damaged by severe weather.

Wat Mahathat, Chao Fa Ngum Road, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

That Chomsi

That Chomsi is located at the top of Mount Phousi overlooking the Mekong. It’s a popular spot to hike in the late afternoon. Visitors are greeted at the summit with excellent views of the sun setting over the river.

That Chomsi, Mount Phousi, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

That Makmo

That Makmo’s nickname means Watermelon Stupa. The temple’s formal name is That Pathum, meaning Stupa of the Great Lotus. This short and stout stupa dates back to the early 1500s and its architecture is unique in all of Laos.

That Makmo, Th Phommatha, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR