Pak Ou Caves, Laos

Pak Ou Caves is located 25 kilometers up the muddy Mekong River from Luang Prabang accessible by boat only. We rented a boat at the bottom of a long stairway from a park off Souvannabanlang Rd. The ride was cheap in terms of US $$, and we made a couple of sight-seeing stops along the way.

Once at Pak Ou Caves, we first climbed into the lower cave called Tham Thing, shown in the first group of pictures. We climbed a steeper set of stairs into the higher cave called Tham Phum, where the figurines weren’t as plentiful but the caves were much darker. So much darker that a woman outside of the caves rents flashlights to tourists venturing in.

The caves are built into dramatic limestone cliffs. Officially, the number of figurines sits at around 4000 and many now are plaster instead of wood due to thefts over the years. New Years brings the most visitors to this site when pilgrims continue to visit and leave figurines.