Some lament the hundreds of steps that lead to the top of Mount Phousi, but travelers agree that the best views of Luang Prabang are seen from the top of this 150-meter hill in the center of the city. Mount Phousi is sacred to the Laotian people, and the grand 1804 Wat Chom Si temple sits at its summit, where you can pray and buy flowers to offer as blessings.
Winding paths loop through scenic landscape and scattered religious temples, such as Wat Tham Phou Si, located halfway up the hill and easy to spot thanks to its enormous golden Buddha shrines. From the peak, you’ll see Luang Prabang’s most noted landmarks, from the gold-spired Royal Palace Museum to the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
While the 360-degree panoramic view of Luang Prabang and its surrounding countryside is worth the trek up, witnessing the sun rise and set over the Mekong River from this spot is truly spectacular.
Mount Phousi is located south of Wat Chom Si and east of Kingkitsarath Road. There is a 20,000kip entrance free, and it generally takes about two hours to climb the 300-plus stairs to the top. Children under age 10 can enter for free, and drinks and snacks are available for purchase at the top.