Phousi Hill, also called Phousi Mountain is a small mountain in the center of Luang Prabang, located on the peninsula between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
Phou Si, which means “sacred hill” is about 100 meters high. Although it is quite a climb to the top, it is worth the effort. From the top you will have great 360 degree views of Luang Prabang, the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers and the forested mountains.
When the weather is clear you can see all the way up to the golden stupa of the Wat Phra Phome Phao Santi Chedi forest temple on the mountains East of Luang Prabang.
On top of Phousi Hill is a narrow platform with a small Buddhist temple and a golden stupa. The hill is a popular place to watch the sunset; the narrow platform fills up quickly and gets pretty crowded.
Two stairways lead to the top of the hill. To get the most of the views and shrines, take one up and the other one down. The way up most often used is found on Sisavangvong road, opposite the Royal Palace Museum; 328 steps will get you to the top.
Another stairway is on Thanon Phousi with a total of 355 steps and several viewpoints along the way to the top. At the start of the stairway is a small restaurant with a map showing the various attractions on Phousi Hill.
A short climb up the stairs is a display of golden colored Buddha images in several mudras; among them are a Buddha holding an alms bowl, a Buddha image in the calling for rain mudra, a Buddha in the meditation mudra sheltered by the hood of the multi headed serpent Mucalinda, a reclining Buddha and a sitting Buddha surrounded by followers.
About halfway up is a small cave temple sometimes called Wat Tham Phousi housing several Buddha images.
On top of the hill is That Chomsi, a golden pagoda topped with a 7 tiered parasol. The slender pagoda is set on a white painted, rectangular base. It was built by King Anourat in 1804. Next to the stupa is a small viharn housing a large seated Buddha image surrounded by smaller ones. The golden That Chomsi atop the hill is visible glittering in the sun from much of Luang Prabang.
Phousi Hill is located in the center of Luang Prabang. The main stairway up is behind the Royal Palace Museum on Sisavangvong road.
Get there either on foot or take a tuk tuk or jumbo for between 10,000 (US$ 1.30) and 15.000 Kip (US$ 2).
You can climb the mountain from 6 am. There is no fixed closing time to allow people to watch the sunset from the top.
Entrance fee is 20.000 Kip (US$ 2.60) per person.