Pak Ou Caves, on the bank of Mekong River 25 kilometers from Luang Prabang (Laos). Pak Ou caves decorated with over 4000 Buddha statues in limestone caves

Pak Ou Caves in Luang Prabang

The most famous caves in the surroundings of Luang Prabang (Laos) are the Caves of Pak Ou. This is two shrines excavated inside limestone caves decorated with more than 4,000 sculptures of Buddha. The Pak Ou caves, with a length of more than 300 years, are located in the Mekong River, a boat being necessary to reach the caves of Pak Ou.



Information about the caves of Pak Ou


Pak Ou caves is a sanctuary built by the Lao people for hundreds of years in the interior of a limestone cave between the Mekong and Nam Ou River, popularly known by the more than 4000 of Buddha sculptures that decorate its interior.
Pak Ou caves consists of 2 natural caves: Tham Ting cave and the cave Tham Phum (also called Tham Prakachay).
Pak Ou is located in a cave on the vertical mountain wall, at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, making their only possible access by boat. Pak Ou statues are centuries 18th and 19th.


Pak Ou Caves in Luang Prabang
Pak Ou Caves in Luang Prabang

Visit caves of Pak Ou


Typically visits to the caves of Pak Ou depart from Luang Prabang 's Piers, located opposite the temple Wat Xieng Thong, navigating the Mekong River 25 kilometers to the Northeast, where the caves of Pak Ou.

Ban Xang Hai Village Whiskey


Organized excursions 1 full day or half-day to the Pak Ou caves generally tend to stop at the village Ban Xang Hai, popularly known as the village of whisky. Ban Xang Hai village does not have any interest and is a tourist trap where you are lost 2 or 3 hours, we recommend you avoid this place and do a combined tour Pak Ou by visiting the Kuang Si Falls.

View from Pak Ou caves
View from Pak Ou caves


Pak Ou Caves


Without a doubt the best tourist visit to the caves of Pak Ou is the boat trip along the Mekong River. Approximately 1-hour sail will take from Luang Prabang to Pak Ou, the boat stops at a small Pier next to the rock wall and from there you have to walk to visit Pak Ou (Note: the same boat of ida will take you back to Luang Prabang, you have to remember which is the ship and the captain, in addition to setting a time of return).

Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang - Laos
Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang - Laos

2 caves that make up Pak Ou cave Tham Ting (the smaller, visible from the river) and cave Tham Phum (the biggest and most profound) are accessed from the same place, small and steep stairs from the Jetty of Pak Ou.

Cave Tham Phum

2 caves that make up Pak Ou cave, Tham Phum is the largest but less spectacular. Is accessed through a path that goes to the left, the path is composed of a number of ladders to reach the 60 meters of height on the river.

Stairs to the caves of Pak Ou
Stairs to the caves of Pak Ou

At the end of the road, we find the most beautiful part of the cave, Tham Phum, entry. It's a teak wood door.

Pak Ou Cave - Laos
Pak Ou Cave - Laos

Inside the cave, Tham Phum is completely dark still need a flashlight (or mobile light). Flashlights can be rented for € 1 at the entrance of the cave Tham Phum.

Caves full of Buddhas - Pak Ou (Luang Prabang, Laos)
Caves full of Buddhas - Pak Ou (Luang Prabang, Laos)

In the darkness of the Tham Phum of Pak Ou cave, 1500 of Buddha statues and altars where the Laotian people prays for more than 300 years.

Buddhist Altar in Pak Ou caves
Buddhist Altar in Pak Ou caves

Buddhas in Pak Ou Caves
Buddhas in Pak Ou Caves

Interior Pak Ou Caves
Interior Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang
Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang

Pak Ou Caves
Pak Ou Caves


Tham Ting Cave

The typical picture of the caves of Pak Ou cave Tham Ting, this cave is visible from the Mekong River and begins at the vertical wall of a 300 meter high limestone wall.

Pak Ou Caves
Pak Ou Caves

To access the inside of the cave, Tham Ting, or what tourists call Pak Ou cave, it is necessary to climb up a steep, narrow staircase.

Buddhas in Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang
Buddhas in Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang

This small Pak Ou cave has more than 2500 Buddha statues scattered throughout the Interior. The statues, some in a poor state of conservation because of the moisture from the River, date from the 18th and 19th century (300 years old).

Buddhas in Pak Ou caves (Luang Prabang, Laos)
Buddhas in Pak Ou caves (Luang Prabang, Laos)

Pak Ou Cave - Luang Prabang
Pak Ou Cave - Luang Prabang


How to go to the caves of Pak Ou


Pak Ou caves are situated 25 kilometers on the outskirts of the town of Luang Prabang ( Laos), inside a limestone cave on the Mekong River and the river Nam Ou.

Access to the caves of Pak Ou is only possible by boat, can't leave by taxi, bus, bike or even walk. The Pak Ou access is through a small Jetty in the river.



Ships from Luang Prabang to Pak Ou Caves


The only form of transport to get to the caves of Pak Ou is the boat. Every day around 8:00 am leave boats to Pak Ou caves from the city of Luang Prabang. The Jetty where boats leave to Pak Ou is opposite the stairs to the temple Wat Xieng Thong.

Embarcadero to go to the caves of Pak Ou
Embarcadero to go to the caves of Pak Ou

It is difficult to find the pier because it does not exist as such, but simply they are small stairs leading down to the Mekong River and crossing over wooden planks, you reach a boat with capacity for 12 people.

The price of the boat is negotiated it, being the price most common 80,000 kip per person or 300,000 kip for the entire boat (€ 7 and € 28 respectively, see) Currency of Laos).
As trick traveller will tell you that at 10:30 in the morning the ships remaining at the Jetty of Luang Prabang has difficult work in the day, which is good time to negotiate both the price and the tour. By 220,000 kip (20€) can be achieved by a combined excursion to the Kuang Si falls and caves Pak Ou.

Boat to Pak Ou Caves (Luang Prabang)
Boat to Pak Ou Caves (Luang Prabang)

Pak Ou caves are built-in in a vertical wall of 300 metres, making its only possible access by means of a small Jetty built with floating material next to stairs rise to the Pak Ou caves. The same boat that you will get from Luang Prabang to Pak Ou is the boat that will bring you back again to Luang Prabang, as in Pak Ou, there is no option of return transport.

Pier Pak Ou Caves
Pier Pak Ou Caves


Opening hours and entrance fee to the Pak Ou caves


Pak Ou caves are open daily from 8:00 until 17:00 (for hours light). The price of admission to Pak Ou are 20,000 kip (approx. €2, see) Currency of Laos(), the entrance to the caves of Pak Ou ticket is acquired nothing more reach Jetty access to Pak Ou. This price of 20,000 Kip is simply access to Pak Ou, the boat is paid separately.

Entrance ticket to the caves of Pak Ou
Entrance ticket to the caves of Pak Ou - Luang Prabang


Recommendations for the caves of Pak Ou

  • Best to negotiate directly with the captain of the boat facing the temple Wat Xieng Thong, to avoid a visit to the village of whisky.
  • By makeshift Jetty, the steep and small access to Pak Ou is advisable to wear flat shoes, heel shoes better at the hotel.
  • For the boat we recommend to take water, sunscreen, sunglasses and Sun Cap or hat to cover the head.
  • Avoid the crowds of tourists in the early hours of the morning in a small place.
  • The best time to visit Pak Ou caves are 2 pm, avoid the tourist tours and return by boat to Luang Prabang you can admire the sunset over the Mekong River.


Video of the Pak Ou Caves


This is a video of the Pak Ou caves, both abroad (River Mekong and Nam Ou River), and the inside of Pak Ou, where you can see the hundreds of statues of the Buddha who worship the altars of Pak Ou.


Video of the caves of Pak Ou - Luang Prabang - Laos


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