Mount Phou Si, also written Mount Phu Si, is a 100 m high hill in the centre of the old town of Luang Prabang in Laos. It lies in the heart of the old town peninsula and is bordered on one side by the Mekong River and on the other side by the Nam Khan River. The hill is a local religious site, and houses are several Buddhist shrines.
About Mount Phu Si
Lying in the center of the town, the Phu Si (about 329-step ascent) is crowned by a 24m gilded stupa called That Chomsi. Viewed from a distance, especially when floodlit at night, the structure seems to float in the hazy air like a chandelier. From the summit, however, the main attraction is the city views.
Visiting Mount Phu Si
- The most popular time to visit Mount Phu Si is in the late afternoon, in time to watch the sun set over Luang Prabang and the surrounding countryside. It can get quite busy at this time of day, however.
- For a far more peaceful experience, try getting up early to catch the sunrise from the top of the hill, but be aware that it can be hard to get clear photographs of the view until the heat of the sun has burnt off the early morning mist.
- The Thanon Phu Si staircase consists of 355 steps that zigzag up to the summit, but it is well paved and offers several resting places along the way.
- Halfway up the hill is the Wat Tham Phu Si shrine, which features a big-bellied Buddha nestled in a grotto and a reclining Buddha.
- At the top of Mount Phu Si is the golden Wat Chomsi, which was built in 1804.
Mount Phu Si open during all day. But it is recommend to pay your visit in the daylight.
Location: Mount Phu Si rises above the centre of the old town of Luang Prabang, and is situated between Thanon Sisavangvong and Thanon Phu Si.
How to get there: You will find a set of steps leading up to the top of Mount Phu Si opposite the Royal Palace Museum on Thanon Sisavangvong, and another entrance on Thanon Phu Si, near the Hive Bar.