Explore Luang Prabang with little ones

re-posted from Sassy Mama

The main thing to do in Luang Prabang is soak up the charming atmosphere by wandering the streets or cycling around town. You can rent bicycles — the hotel has some complimentary ones on offer but if you need kids’ bikes or bikes with child seats head into town where you can rent them for a song. Other ideas:

  • Pop into temples, especially Wat Mai or the New Monastery.
  • Take a one-hour boat ride down the river to visit the Pak Ou (Buddha) caves  – bring flashlights for little adventurers.
  • Explore the night market and do some gentle bargaining as you pick up some little treasures (prams won’t fit comfortably down this narrow alley – use a baby carrier).
  • If you’re travelling with littlish ones you’ll be up at the crack of dawn anyway (The Belmond doesn’t have blackout curtains so prepare for some early mornings), so take advantage and go into town to witness the Tak Bet alms-giving ritual at 5:30am. Monks receive alms from the townspeople and in return give their blessings  — a much-photographed event that is still intrinsic to people’s daily lives in Luang Prabang, despite the tourist appeal.
  • Riding around in a tuk tuk in itself is an adventure for little kids – another plus of being stationed outside the old town.
  • Book a private tour or hire a tuk tuk to visit the Kuang Si Waterfalls, Bear Rescue sanctuary, and Butterfly Park. Depending on the season it’s possible to swim at the waterfalls, but make sure to cover up (no bikinis/bare flesh).
  • There are several Elephant Camps where you can feed the elephants (many of whom are old logging elephants), take a short ride sitting on their back and bathe them in the river.
  • If you time it right (October-April), the rickety bamboo bridge will be up in town. Kids will love trip trapping over the slightly precarious bridge and watching the local fishermen.
  • For older kids there’s kayaking, trekking and a visit to Living Land Farm’s “Rice Experience” to learn about rice growing.