Other sights outside of town include Wat Phon Phao (Peacefulness Temple), a golden stupa on a hilltop about 5km (3 miles) away, best viewed from afar -- though the view back to town from its height is worth the trek. From here, visit nearby Ban Phanom Weaving Village, a now-commercialized weaving collective where you can find deals on Lao Ikat patterns and hand-woven bags. Just past Ban Phanom and hidden in a jungle riverside area (signs point the way down the embankment), find the Tomb of Henri Mouhot, the 19th-century French explorer credited with the rediscovery of Cambodia's Angkor Wat. He died in Luang Prabang of malaria while hunting the source of the Mekong. Day trips across the Mekong to small temples and villages are also popular and can be arranged with boat drivers at quay-side.

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