Mount Phusi or Phou Si hill is popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set over the Mekong River. From the summit you can enjoy a spectacular 360 degree outlook across the city and its many temples, and out over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance. Count on spending a couple of hours for the climb and descent, with several stops to see the temples, rest under the shady trees and admire the magical views. Rising 150 metres above the centre of town, Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure on the Luang Prabang skyline. At the top of Mount Phousi is the golden Wat Chomsi, which was built in 1804. Visitors must climb 355 steps to reach its peak (around 2 hour hike). Several temples are scattered on its slopes, interesting sites for some stops en route.You can pray and make offerings at several temples along the way. Next to Wat Chomsi at the top of the hill you can buy flowers to offer for blessings, as well as caged birds. The Laos believe that if you set a bird free you will enjoy good luck and happiness in the future. The best time to visit it is in early morning or late afternoon for an incredible sunset. Also if you go late in the day, back down, you can wander through the aisles of the nearby ethnic market which takes place every night.
The most popular time to visit Mount Phousi 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. Bring a bottle of water to drink as you climb up the hill, and also a hat and some mosquito repellent. You can also buy drinks and snacks at the peak. There is a modest admission charge.