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Home Laos Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang ⇒ Pak Ou Caves & Luang Prabang

Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang

5The Pak Ou Caves & Luang Prabang

By early afternoon we had passed the ancient caves at Pak Ou, home to hundreds of Budhha images and were finally approaching Luang Prabang high on a bluff at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers.


The river entrance to Pak Ou Caves.
The river entrance to Pak Ou Caves.

Later we were to visit these caves coming down from Luang Prabang. Despite the pouring rain (note: do try to avoid Laos in the rainy season) we felt we ought to pay our respects so we hired a boat for the three-hour round trip. It takes an hour to get there and another hour to look around. Bring your own torch as the caves are otherwise pitch black and the torches you can hire are pretty dim.

Inside the caves are hundreds if not thousands of Buddha statues and amuletes set on niches and rocks in rows. We bought out the guides stock of candles and lit up the cave but it was still gloomy and dank inside. Where these come from is unknown though one rumopur has it that were from people who were later executed during the civil war.

As we came in sight of Luang Prabang, the river was running high so once the boat had docked we had only a short slippery scamble to the top. The river runs by the old city and we soon found a hotel amidst the temples and French villas that make up this part of town. There is no shortage of places to stay though the prices are much higher than you'd expect. Luang Prabang is a peaceful mixture of ancient temples, French colonial villas and traditional Lao style wooden homes set amidst flowering trees and towering coconut palms. we were looking forward to a few days of French-Laos fusion cuisine and a chance to recover from our journey before moving on.

 
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