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Luang Prabang is a city of temples. And, of course, the first thing to see is its dazzling golden temples. There are a lot of them here,and each is different from the others. One is unique in its history, the other in its architecture, the third is royal, etc.
Temples in Luang Prabang are scattered throughout the city, and there are far beyond its borders. But the most interesting and worthy of tourist attention are in the central part of the city within walking distance from Phusi Hill, and especially many on Sakkaline road, where the morning ceremony of giving food to monks takes place. To see the most interesting temples in the center, you do not need transport and a lot of time, everything can be walked around in one full day. Here is a ready-made route that will allow you to get acquainted with the main religious buildings of Luang Prabang and its architecture:
1. Morning food donation ceremony for monks
It is best to start the morning early in the morning from Sakkaline road, where at about 6 am there is a ceremony of giving food to monks (Alms Giving Ceremony). This is a centuries-old tradition in Buddhism, lay people serve food to monks as a donation. This is something that you must see in Luang Prabang, and if you wish, you can even participate yourself.
2. Temples on Sakkaline road
After breakfast, you can start the route with a visit to Wat Sensoukharam, and then move along Sakkaline road, on which there is a whole chain of temples: Wat Sop Sickaram, Wat Phon heuang, wat Souvannakhiri and meditation exhibition, Wat Pak Khan khammungkhun and others. In total, there are at least a dozen of them.
3. Wat Xieng Thong royal temple
When you reach the end of Sakkaline road, turn left and continue along the shore. This will take you to the entrance to Wat Xieng Thong royal temple. It is necessary to visit it, you will have to pay 20,000 Kip for the entrance ( USD, see Lao currency and exchange rate).
4. Temples of Ban Xieng Maen village
Continue along the waterfront to the ferry dock at Ban Xieng Maen village. The marina is directly opposite the royal palace. From the pier for 5,000 kip, you can cross to the other side to the village of Ban Xieng Maen, where there are three ancient temples and a cave. A walk through the village to the temples will take 2-3 hours. Here in the village you can have lunch.
5. Royal palace and National Museum
From the pier in the village we return by ferry back to the other side, and after crossing the road we get to Royal palace, National Museum and Wat Pha Bang temple. Whether to visit the museum, decide for yourself, but after it go to the most beautiful temple and Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham monastery, it is very close.
6. Phusi Hill
This is almost the end of our route. It remains only to wait for five o'clock in the evening to climb Phusi Hill and meet the sunset there. It is better to start the ascent not from the main entrance opposite the Royal Palace, but from the other side, so that on the ascent you can see the cave temple of the footprint of the Buddha (Buddha's Footprint Temple). After that, climb to the top, take a good place and wait for sunset.
8. Night market
After sunset, descend another staircase to the Royal Palace, and end the evening with a walk through Luang Prabang Night Market.