When traveling to Laos, there are many places and sights to see. But one of the most unique and interestingdestinations has to be the Pak ou Caves. Located near Luang Prabang you can hire a boat or songthaew to take you the 25 km down river.
This sacred sight is filled with thousands of Buddha statues. Located directly on the Mekong River, it is still used to this day as a place of worship. Every year, pilgrims make a journey from Luang Prabang to the caves to celebrate the New Year.
The caves contain mostly the traditional tall standing Luang Prabang Buddha statues, but you can find Buddhas of all shapes and sizes. As you approach the caves from the opposite side of the river, an incredible view unfolds. High limestone cliffs jut above the banks with a black hole cut into its side. As you come closer, you will see the white stairs leading to the upper chamber and know that you are about to witness something magical.
There are two levels to the caves Tham Ting the lower cave and Tham Pheung higher. Tham Phum is dark but it is filled with more statues. Make sure you bring a flash-light, it can be quite dark inside the Caves, especially Tham Pheung.
The Pac Ou Caves make for a great day trip from Luang Prabang as you take a break from exploring the cities ancient architecture. But once you are back in town, make sure to check out everything that Luang Prabang has to offer. Rent a bike or go for a walk along the Mekong river to explore the day away.
A World Heritage Sight, Luang Prabang is not to be missed. As you ride your bicycle from temple to temple, be sure not to miss Haw Kham, the former royal palace. The bright colours of the temples are a treat to the eyes against the lush green vegetation. The inside of the temples are as impressive as the outside containing Buddha images, tapestries, jewels and artifacts.
There is no shortage of food in Luang Prabang. From traditional Lao meals to coffee and pastry shops. You will never go hungry or tire of the choices. And after you have rejuvenated from a hearty lunch, you are ready to explore more of the sights, like a working Monastery. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a group of monks practicing their drums.
An event that must not be missed is a walk up Phou Si hill. This is a steep walk, but well worth it to view the incredible sunset. A temple stands at the top of the hill giving you a panoramic view of the countryside.
End your day at the busy if not overpriced night market. Vendors sell everything you could possibly want and you can even grab dinner at one of the many restaurants nearbye.
It wasn’t long ago that very few people visited Laos. Now Luang Prabang has become a very popular destination on the tourist route, so get there fast before the rest of the planet discovers this hidden gem of a nation.