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Pak Ou Caves, Laos

About 25km to the north of the historic city of Luang Prabang, at the confluence where the Nam Ou River joins the Mekong River, situates one of the prominent spiritual places in Laos, Pak Ou Cave (literally means “mouth of the Ou river’). Located in the eponymous village, the cave is a group of two natural limestone caves including the Tham Ting (lower cave) and the Tham Theung (upper cave) on the west side of the river. The cave of Tham Ting is not far from the river level while Tham Theung is smaller and darker. Originally dedicated to the spirits of the river until the 15th century, now both caves are shrines to Buddha, which offer important places of worship
The highlight making Pak Ou Caves sacred and famous rather than its natural beauty of the karst formation is a large number of miniature Buddha sculptures and statues inside the caves. In Laos, they are the holy pilgrimage locations where devout Buddhists and locals have been leaving countless Buddha’s images for centuries. Over 4,000 statues various in materials, sizes, and postures were found here. They are not only Lao Buddha but also many images of Thai and Chinese Buddha. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves. The lower cave Tham Ting is the home to the majority of the Buddha statues and the deeper you go, the darker cave is. Tham Ting is adorned with some lights while a torch is an absolute must for a proper visit inside pitch-black Tham Thung. Hence the upper cave is less-visited, more peaceful with glimpses of the Mekong providing a breathtaking backdrop. In the past, the caves were not protected carefully so tourists even stole some Buddha’s images from the caves. Now, it’s forbidden to take anything out of the caves or to disrespect Buddha in any other way.
Due to its significance of history and culture, Pak Ou Caves is one of the most popular stops on many Mekong River cruises. Actually you can reach the caves on a ride of the local tuk-tuk. However, a boat ride is mostly chosen by tourists, and it is also the best way to enjoy both the history and scenery of the area. Pak Ou Caves are about two hours upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang hence boarding a cruise following the Mekong River’ stream will give you a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside in Laos on both sides of riverbank. People can opt to take either day cruises or overnight cruises to visit the caves. Pak Ou Caves get much busier during Laos New Year Eve in April when the statues in the caves will be bathed. It is an exceptional attraction with both natural and cultural highlights that could leave interesting sightseeing and spiritual experiences for anyone traveling in the serene Buddhist country. 

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RV Champa Pandaw Cruise

 Style:     Launched: 2016    Rooms: 14

 Have chance to admire the natural beauty of Laos and Thai Land on luxurious cruise. 

 Enjoy 5 -star services during 11-day cruise with affordable price

 Ideal cruise for visitors who would like to discover the life on Mekong river along Thailand and Laos. 

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 Have chance to take part in the largest elephant festival in South East Asia, usually in February

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 Be the first river expedition since pre war days to cross all Laos.

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