Check out our picture montage of our day trip to a spiritual site of Laotians; the Pak Ou Caves. This place is two hours upstream by long boat from Luang Prabang. It is a spectacular limestone cliff 50 feet above the water where the mighty Mekong River joins the Ou river.
Nam Ou translates appropriately to ‘Mouth of the River Ou’. This spiritual place is a cliff with two caves, combined, they hold over 4000 Buddha statues. These statues are believed to be left by locals visiting the caves over hundreds of years. The lower cliff called Tham Ting, is more of a steep overhang, with a very vertical staircase to climb! The view of the river on this stairwell is magical. The upper cave, Tham Theung, is a good hike up a number of steps to arrive at the cave; is almost completely pitch black inside. The mostly wood Buddha statues are all shapes, sizes and positions lovingly placed throughout the vast caverns in the cave.
It’s unfortunate our visit was too early for the Lao New Year in April, as this place becomes a pilgrimage as many local visitors arrive to worship, wash and caretake the statues.
How to make this trip more meaningful?
– Sit back and enjoy the boat ride, the ride in itself is memorable and catch the early morning boat to enjoy the stunning landscapes, and glimmering waters reflecting the morning light in the crisp morning air.
Local life is alive with fisherman throwing out their nets, and women on the shores panning for gold.
– Please be patient, this is a tourist destination that contributes greatly to the welfare of the locals. They will stop at a detour to the Ban Xang Hai village for a short time to share their village of weaving, wine making, and whisky production. There is certainly no harm in the stop, it’s a good break to stretch your legs and do a little browsing. After all, you are there to enjoy the day trip!
Dorene is a marketing consultant and freelance writer. She quit her 20-year career in marketing to redesign her career and lifestyle on her own terms by living location independent. Now with her husband Troy, she helps people who want to redefine their midlife and make conscious changes at TravelLifeX. She also trains & coaches travel and hospitality clients to improve their marketing at TravelLifeMedia.com