Here Is Why Luang Prabang Is The Wellness Destination You Never Knew You Needed
By Kelsey Marie
Wellness destinations are perfect for the traveler who wants to get away, reboot, and prioritize their self-care.
There has been an influx of hotels and wellness experiences to cater to those who crave self-care, but this city in Southeast Asia is the real deal.
Luang Prabang, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, is an ancient Laotian city that still has an ancient feel. Although there are less than 50,000 people who currently live in this city, Luang Prabang is full of cultural, architectural, and religious heritage.
There are dozens of zen monasteries and Buddhist temples and everyone, including tourists, slowly take in these sacred sites.
Luang Prabang has historically been the center of Lao Buddhism for centuries.
Monks of all ages still are present in this city and proudly walk around with their saffron-colored robes. There are currently over 1,200 monks studying in Luang Prabang.
Here are things to do in Luang Prabang for the ultimate wellness vacation:
Wat Xieng Thong
You can wander through this temple whose name means “Temple of the Golden City.”
There are an abundance of shrines, gardens of flowers, ornamental shrubs, and trees to get you into a zen mindset.
Buddhist Archive Of Photography
If you’re interested in learning about the history of monks, this archive will give you a look into 35,000 historic photos either taken or collected by monks over the last century.
Luang Prabang Yoga
There are also morning Hatha and Vinyasa flow sessions at the riverside Utopia Bar deck.
Amantaka Hotel And Spa
You can book accommodations at this hotel and spa for the ultimate pampering experience.
General manager, Tom Rutherford tells AFAR, “mindful, spiritual, holistic experiences are not created in Luang Prabang, they have been at the core of the people who live here. You can feel it — it’s tangible.”
Amantaka’s spa offers an Ayurvedic experience of running warm, herbal oil all over the third eye. They also have blind masseurs that rhythmically use their body weight to ease up the tightest of knots and tension.
Witness Tak Bat Ritual
This predawn ritual consists of hundreds of monks making their way through town, silently collecting offerings of sticky rice and fruits such as mangosteen.
This ritual is an act of giving which represents a symbolic interaction between the locals and tourists who are seeking spiritual redemption and the monks, who rely on their donation for nourishment.
Climb Mount Phousi
Whether at sunrise, sunset or both, you can climb atop the 500-foot Mount Phousi to experience the sacred highest point of Luang Prabang.
Swing In Kuang Si
Kuang Si is a limestone-bottom waterfall that you can swim in!
The water even glows aquamarine and is a serene experience for all.
Get Treated At Sense, A Rosewood Spa
Visit Mr. Xong, a Hmong native healer who begins his traditional Laotian treatments by chanting to remove any negative energies in the room.
He then applies a heated poultice (a paste made of herbs for healing) which contains herbs grown in his own garden to your body.
He finishes the treatment by chanting again but this time, asking for good luck, peace, and harmony.
Finish off your experience by receiving a massage while gazing out at the greenery and stream below you.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie