Matt and I spent about three weeks in Luang Prabang last year after I broke my arm. We took the slow boat here from Thailand and settled in. We used our time in this gorgeous Lao city for me to rest up and to really get to know my favorite city from my last trip through Southeast Asia. One of the biggest must-sees in the city is to climb it’s tallest central hill, Mount Phousi, and look down on the city and surrounding natural beauty.
QUICK TIPS FOR MOUNT PHOUSI
✈︎ There’s a 20,ooo kip fee. (About $2.5 USD) If you go up the Nam Khan River side, you can see many overlooks, figures and enter Wat Tham Phou Si from here without spending the fee.
✈︎ There are two routes up. One entrance (my preference) is on the Nam Khan River side. It’s a bit less steep and meanders through the trees and past overlooks and statues. It’s quite beautiful. The second staircase up (in front of the Grand Palace) is much more direct, and therefore steep. Both routes get you to the same place and you can take one up and one down, if you want. If you do this at sunset, I recommend going up the back side so you don’t miss all the overlooks when the sun goes down.
✈︎ If you’re going for sunset; get up there early. We were up there in the low season and still there was a massive crowd up there!
✈︎ Remember to be respectful. Yes, this is a popular destination, but it is also a sacred stupa. People rudely climbed all over the stupa up top. Locals asked them to get down and Matt even hollered at people once because they weren’t listening.
OUR VISITS TO MOUNT PHOUSI
Because we were here so long we went up top twice and each both was different. We always went for sunset, so that helped make it worth two visits.
I loved this overlook. It looked down over a lot of the river and it’s the first right that you can take on the walk up from the Nam Khan River side. Along these steps there’s a serpentine figure that you see lining steps of many Southeast Asian temples. This area starts all the figures and even the cave temple. This reclining Buddha is so beautiful. \ Looking down into town from the top of Phousi. Those mountain views are unreal!
This adorable kitten found me both nights and would not leave my side. Many times people would come up to pet him or try to entice him, but he stayed right by me. He was so sweet and he got loved on a lot by me.
We loved watching boats go up and down the Mekong as the sun started going down.
Mount Phousi is a seriously stunning place to visit. That’s why it’s so popular. While sunset is stunning, it’s also the most popular time to visit and the views are gorgeous any time during daylight. Even though there are loads of steps, it’s so worth the view and the experience to take the walk up to this gorgeous viewpoint + stupa.
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