Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves © Matsuoka AkiraKaoru
Pak Ou Caves © Matsuoka AkiraKaoru

The Pak Ou Caves lie about two hours away from Luang Prabang and are only accessible by boat. They tend to divide opinion among visitors. Some find the area to contain an intriguing spiritual power, while others don't see what all the fuss is about. Most agree that the scenic boat trip to the caves is fun and worthwhile. The lower and upper caves contain and an impressive collection of mostly wooden Buddha statues, which locals and pilgrims have assembled over the centuries. Hundreds of pilgrims journey to the caves every year, adding new statues to the gallery. The collection contains some unusual specimens, many of which are hard to reach. Visitors will need a flashlight to climb the stairs leading to the upper cave. The lower cave is visible from the river. Photos are permitted and visitors often light candles as tributes. Many tourists combine trips to the caves with visits to the villages along the river banks or activities like elephant riding.

Transport: Boat from Luang Prabang