Mount Phousi

Mount Phousi, also written Mount Phu Si, is a hill right at the centre of the old town of Luang Prabang. It is bordered on one side by the Mekong River and on the other side by the Khan River.

There are two ways to go up Mount Phousi. The first is via the staircase along Phousi Road (Thanon Ratsayong), while the other is via the staircase from Sisavangvong Road (Thanon Phithosalat). When I explored Mount Phousi with some members of AsiaExplorers, we climbed up the hill from the Phousi Road side.

The staircase zigzags up the hill for a short distance before arriving at a shrine about half way up the hill. This is Wat Tham Phu Si. The view around us was great. We could see the Khan River with a bridge across it.

After a few more minutes of climbing, we arrived at the summit of Mount Phousi. There is another temple here, bigger than Wat Tham Phu Si. This one is called Wat Chom Si. Wat Chom Si is the landmark temple at the peak of Mount Phousi. In fact, when tourists to Luang Prabang refer to Mount Phousi, they are most likely referring to Wat Chom Si.

If the view from Wat Tham Phu Si was great, the view from Wat Chom Si was simply breathtaking. From here, you can get an almost 360º view of Luang Prabang. On the north side, you can see the Mekong River. From the panoramic view below, I can make out Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham and Haw Kham, the Royal Palace Museum.

The summit of Mount Phousi, at the base of Wat Chom Si, is crowded with tourists, especially at the end of the day, as everybody wants to come here to view the sunset. The scenery during sunset was truly magical, and I would encourage you to pay a visit to Mount Phousi to catch the sunset as well, if ever you should come to Luang Prabang.