The newly-opened Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is a perfect half-day adventure out of town and it’s just a short, leisurely ride from Luang Prabang. After buying a ticket at their office in town, hop on one of their complimentary boats from the pier across the street with your family or friends and take a quick 15-minute ride downriver to the other side of the Mekong.
Neatly situated at the top of the riverbank, the botanical garden is the first of its kind in Laos. Having collected over 1,200 plants in a beautifully landscaped park, this garden aims to gather, research and display the extraordinary amount of plant biodiversity in the region.
Take a walk through their ethno-botanic garden to learn all about the plants and herbs that have been used in traditional medicine for generations to treat all sorts of maladies. From there you can walk to Pha Ta Ke Cave, about a half hour walk away or continue strolling up through their arboretum which features native tree species including various types of bamboo and palm. Then cap off your afternoon with a bite or a healthy shake at their café overlooking their lotus pond.
The garden hosts several free informational sessions and handicraft workshops. Special paid trainings and activities are also available on demand and cultural activities are hosted throughout the year in the garden.
Pha Tad Ke is supported by several non-profit associations and donors and in turn, aims to give back to the local community. They provide educational opportunities for children, students, and local farming communities and serve as a research center to preserve and celebrate Lao’s rich biodiversity of flora.
Their products are locally sourced and produced in a sustainable manner. Peruse through their shop at the entrance, and you’ll find various Lao textiles, local herbal teas, honey, soaps, books, and souvenirs.
If you’re looking for a leisurely day outdoors that’s both informational and fun, be sure to check out the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden.