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Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden

Nam Pho, Luang Prabang

The Basics

Tickets for Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden are priced high by Lao standards, although children under 12 get in free. The price includes the boat to and from Luang Prabang, a twice-daily orchid talk, a twice-daily bamboo-handicraft workshop, and an herbal-tea tasting in the café. Photography classes and mountain treks are available on request.

Buy tickets independently, online, or from the waterfront office in Luang Prabang, or opt for a package that includes hotel transfers, guiding, and lunch at the garden’s well-regarded café. Many travelers visit on a day cruise that includes stops both at the gardens and at the scenic Kuang Si Falls. You can also combine a Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden tour with the Pak Ou Caves, home to a myriad of Buddha sculptures.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is a must for plant lovers, conservationists, and anyone who appreciates nature.

  • In addition to being a tourist attraction, the garden is a research and conservation facility.

  • The shop is a good spot for sustainable, eco-friendly souvenirs.

  • While the boats aren’t suitable for travelers who use wheelchairs, road access can be arranged. Many of the garden’s paths will prove challenging in a wheelchair, and some are impossible.

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How to Get There

The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is located about 4 miles (7 kilometers) south of downtown Luang Prabang, across the Mekong. Boats leave hourly from the garden’s waterfront ticket office one block in front of Wat That, about a half-mile (800-meter) walk south of the Royal Palace.

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When to Get There

The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is open from morning until early evening every day of the week except Wednesday. Arrive at lunchtime or first thing in the morning to catch the talk and workshop. The garden closes for the week of Lao Pimai (Lao New Year), which falls in mid-April, and the boat-race festival, which falls in September or October. Both events follow the lunar calendar, so dates vary from year to year.

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Capturing the Plant Wisdom of Laos

Few botanists have studied Laos’ wealth of plants, and some estimate that only around 30 percent of the species in the country have been identified, but the nation has a rich tradition of plant medicine. The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden’s impressive ethnobotanical garden contains 1,000 plant species that Lao people use today. Some are spiritual, some medicinal, and others are used for cooking, dying, building, and more.

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