Luang Prabang is the perfect place to take a holiday if you love nature. Whether you want to go trekking in the hills or enjoy a swim at a waterfall, you’ll find lots of green spaces here.
1. Kuang Si Waterfall
One of the most famous tourism destinations in Laos – this magnificent waterfall is a great place to spend the day. You can swim in the pools nearly all year round, climb to the top of the falls, explore nearby caves or just sit by the water’s edge and soakin the calm. Be sure to visit the Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre at the entrance to the park where Australian-based charity Free The Bears cares for more than 30 Asiatic bears that they have rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.
2. Kuang Si Butterfly Park
Just 300 metres from the entrance to Kuang Si Waterfalls is a beautiful butterfly park, which is home to hundreds of colourful-winged creatures. There’s a lovely terrace café which serves European and Lao dishes surrounded by tropical gardens. Be sure to treat yourself to a natural fish foot spa while you are there…a once in a lifetime experience.
3. Nam Dong Nature Park / Lao Green Discovery Park
For those who love to combine adrenalin with nature – there are two nature parks near Luang Prabang that are worth visiting. Nam Dong Nature Park is 10 kilometres from the city centre and boasts an organic vegetable garden, tree house massage centre, zip line and various picnic areas surrounding a glorious waterfall. Similarly, Lao Green Discovery, which is located on the Chomphet side of the Mekong River, allows visitors the chance to fly through the trees like a monkey thanks to its zipline. It also has an aerial adventure course and other activities that are perfect for kids. There’s a spectacular waterfall at the centre of the park and a well-manicured flower garden – an ideal place for a picnic.
4. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
Discover the incredible diverse flora of Laos and learn how local people have been using plants for medicine, food and wellbeing for centuries. The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens is located on the opposite side of the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. There is plenty to explore – from the 280 species of ginger plants in the Ginger Garden, to the medicinal plants in the ethno-botanic section which is divided into areas such as ‘plants for women’s health’ and ‘plants for skin conditions’. There’s a restaurant on site where you can grab some food and enjoy the greenery – as well as a pond full of water lilies. Free activities include orchid talks in the flower nursery and bamboo handicraft workshops. There’s a 25 minutes hike to a cave that’s worth checking out as well. A boat departs hourly from town. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the gardens.
5. Sae Waterfalls
During the wet season this waterfall becomes a truly spectacular sight. It’s a great place to cool down on a hot day thanks to many cascading water features and natural swimming holes. There are two restaurants on site that serve basic Lao food and fresh coconuts to quench your thirst. Similar to other parks, there’s a zip line for thrill seekers. There are also several elephants that live on site, which you can ride for a small fee.