Pak Ou Caves

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Pak Ou Caves: Our most recommended tours and activities

Pak Ou Caves, Whisky Village & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

1. Pak Ou Caves, Whisky Village & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

Start your day with hotel pickup in Luang Prabang center at 8 AM. Take a 45-minute road trip along the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves where you will get on a slow boat to visit the cave network. The 2 famous caves hold a special cultural value, packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons and a history dating back thousands of years. The upper cave is a 5-minute climb up steps, 50 m into the rock face. The caves are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. After visiting the cave, get back to the van then transfer to Ban Xianghai where the local wine named 'Lao Lao' whiskey is made. Enjoy a traditional Lao lunch before continuing the journey by van to the Kuang Si waterfalls. Take the chance to visit a bear sanctuary on the walk up to the falls. At the Bear Rescue Centre, you will be given a lot of useful and interesting information about the Asian sun and moon bears as well as the Free the Bears protection program. Find out about how the bears are rescued from poachers and the illegal wildlife trade. Arrive at the Kuang Si Falls where you can take hundreds of beautiful photos and swim in the cool green stream. At about 4:30 PM, head back to your hotel in Luang Prabang with a convenient air-conditioned transfer.

Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

2. Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

Set off into the Mekong River after being gathered from your hotel, passing scenes of fishermen and wildlife on the way. Once you arrive at the Pak Ou Caves, head to Tham Ting, the first cave. The smaller cave is illuminated from the entrance, making it a popular place to burn incense and offer prayers. As your guide leads you through the dark cave with a light, catch sight of the Buddha icons, numbering in the 1,000s that fill the place.  After your excursion through the caves, hop aboard your boat and make your way to the village of Ban Xanghai. Here, you can witness the traditional method of making lao-lao, the local rice wine. A short drive then takes you to Ban Phanom, which is famous for its handwoven textiles. Watch the craftsmen deftly work at their looms, weaving silk and cotton into intricate patterns. Conclude your day of adventure with a leisurely boat trip back to Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and UNESCO City Highlights Tour

3. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and UNESCO City Highlights Tour

Begin your journey at 7:30-8:00 AM by pickup at your hotel in Luang Prabang. Embark on a private slow boat tour upstream on the Mekong River, with a brief stop in a Rice Wine making village. After this, you will arrive at the Pak Ou Caves. A place of historic importance, see the thousands of Buddhist statues with numerous dimensions. The caves have a long history which dated back to when Laos was still an animism country. Journey back to the city and enjoy lunch in Coconut Garden restaurant, one of most famous traditional restaurants in Luang Prabang. Continue with a visit to the Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham which was built in late 18th century. Then, head to the Royal Palace Museum called as Haw Kham the Golden Hall, built between 1904-1909 with a blend of Laotian and French Beaux Arts.  Discover the Frecnch colonial architecture on the way to the Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most beautiful temples in the town. The temple was built in 1560 to commemorate the memory of the Chanthaphanith and Jataka stories from Buddhist cosmology. Xieng Thong Ratsavoravihanh the "Golden City or Golden Tree Monastery" is the most historically significant and impressive of Luang Prabang's temples, and is typical of the Lao Architecture of Luang Prabang. Next, visit Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Centre which is the perfect place to learn more about the fascinating world of Lao textiles and handicrafts. Lastly, make a stop at UXO Lao Visitors Centre. In here, learn more about Laos´ recent history. Watch some short movies about the unexploded ordnance, as Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. Get a transfer back to your hotel to enjoy the rest of your evening.

Luang Prabang: 4-Day Explorer Tour

4. Luang Prabang: 4-Day Explorer Tour

Day 1 Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport meet and greet your local guide at the exit of the arrival hall. Drive to the hotel where you can get some rest and relax at your own pace. Day 2 Enjoy a short but thorough guided tour of the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong. With its roofs sweeping low to the ground, it embodies classical Laotian architecture. Then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, and take in a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as exploring the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, 2 linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, you will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai where they make the local rice wine and Ban Xangkhong a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. On return, visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. You'll then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River.  Continue to explore the night market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by Luang Prabang locals. Return to the same hotel in Luang Prabang. Day 3 Wake up to the beautiful morning in Luang Prabang, and if you are an early riser, participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (sticky rice) from the residents. This tradition is unique to Laos, the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. After breakfast, drive about 15km out of town to journey to the elephant village in Ban Xienglom. En route stop at a famous and well-known village, Ban Phanom, where almost all of the villagers are weavers. Next, stop at Henri Mouhot, the explorer who discovered Angkor Wat, a monument at Kaeng Noon.  Once at the Elephant Village Camp, get up close and personal with elephants while you feed them. Visit the elephant hospital, museum, gallery, and dung paper making facility.  Return to the town visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. Returning to Luang Prabang by afternoon, you'll be back in the city in time to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath Tai. Day 4 Enjoy your breakfast and free time to pack in the morning before check-out, you will then be transferred to the airport to catch up with your flight.Enjoy your breakfast and free time to pack in the morning before check-out, you will then be transferred to the airport to catch up with your flight.

Luang Prabang: Kuang Si Falls & Laos Buffalo Dairy Day Trip

5. Luang Prabang: Kuang Si Falls & Laos Buffalo Dairy Day Trip

Visit the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfall on a full-day tour, with a scenic drive up and down the length of the Mekong River. Start with early morning pickup and relax on the 40-minute drive to Pak Ou Village. Admire locally-produced crafts, before crossing the mighty Mekong River in a small boat to the base of a limestone cliff. Enter the impressive Pak Ou Caves, filled with Buddhist statues and relics. Take your time to explore this incredible place, scented with burning incense and overlooking the impressive landscape. Climb a winding set of stairs, grab a flashlight, and find another fascinating cave to visit. After enjoying the caves, stop for lunch at the base of the caves. Cross back over the water and drive downriver for 1.5 hours, to reach the famous Kuang Si Waterfall. Stop at the popular Whiskey Village along the way, to sample local Lao Lao. Admire the rushing turquoise waters of the falls, surrounded by beautiful jungle scenery. Visit the bear sanctuary and experience the Lao Buffalo Dairy that produces cheese and other dairy products. Learn how to milk a buffalo and try some delicious ice cream, before being dropped off back in Luang Prabang where your tour ends.

Mekong Cruise to Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls

6. Mekong Cruise to Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls

This tour has 2 options: (1) Mekong cruise and cave in the morning and waterfall in the afternoon (2) Waterfall in the morning and cave and Mekong cruise in the afternoon. The itinerary is the same except for the order. Unlike cheaper tours from other companies, both include a 25 km, 3-hour one way boat trip between Luang Prabang and the caves. You will be picked up at your accommodation between 7:45 am and 8:15 am then, we head straight to the pier to join the 8:30 am long tail slow boat trip departure and head off on the mighty Mekong river. Enjoy the many views from the water, witness rural laos, pass by local villages, fishermen, children and soak up the scenes of daily life by the river. After the first hour and a bit, the boat takes its first short stop at the popular Ban Xang Hai, also known as ‘the whiskey village’. Here you visit the village, see the process of making Lao Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey and taste the fresh local delights. Why not pick up a couple of bottles for later! We continue by boat travelling slowly along the Mekong in the direction of the glorious Pak Ou Caves. We arrive at a small boat landing dock where stairs lead you straight up to the cave. These limestone Buddhist caves have been a place of worship for thousands of years, over this time a collection of Buddha statues and idols have filled these spiritual natural caves The boat will enter the Ou River to visit the limestone cliffs. Then, after a 30-minute boat ride down the Mekong River, we will arrive at Manifa Elephant Camp for lunch. We enjoy a full buffet style lunch @ the restaurant – overlooking the Mekong river and free-roaming elephants. After lunch break, we take by car to Kuang Si Waterfalls – you will have 2-hours to explore the three layered Kuang Si Waterfall walk the trails of the nature reserve and swim in the refreshing turquoise water pools and visit the bear rescue center. You'll leave for Luang Prabang in the late afternoon, making a short visit at Ban Na Uan Hmong village on the way. Your return to the city is expected to be between 5:30PM-6:00PM, which is the ideal time to visit Phousi Mountain for the sunset.

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves Kuang Si Falls by Slow Boat

7. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves Kuang Si Falls by Slow Boat

Visit the natural highlights of Luang Prabang on a full-day slow boat trip. Visit a rice wine making village, the Pak Ou Caves, the Kuang Si Falls, and the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre. Enjoy convenient hotel pickup and drop-off, and choose between a small group or private tour. Begin your day at 7:30 AM with pickup in a minivan at your hotel or accommodation in Luang Prabang, then embark on your slow boat journey with an English-speaking guide (guides in other languages are available at additional cost). Cruise for 1.5 hours upstream the Mekong River, with a brief stop in the rice wine making village, before arriving at Pak Ou Caves. The Pak Ou Caves consist of two caves dating back thousands of years set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. Climb for 5 minutes to the upper cave, 50 meters (164 feet) into the rock face, and admire the over 4,000 Buddha icons that pack the caves. After lunch and a short rest, continue your journey to Kuang Si Falls, one of the most attractive destinations in Laos. On the way, see the picturesque landscape of the country with villages and verdant paddy fields. Once there, contemplate the natural beauty of the stunning waterfall. If weather permits, take a nice swim in the water. Next, visit the Bear Rescue Center and discover Asian sun and moon bears rescued from poachers and the illegal wildlife trade. Find out more about them and learn about the Free the Bears protection program before boarding your boat back to Luang Prabang. The tour concludes with drop-off back at your accommodation.

Other Sightseeing Options in Pak Ou Caves

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What people are saying about Pak Ou Caves

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 58 reviews

Great day with lots of activities packed in. In addition to the caves, whisky village, waterfall and moon bear sanctuary we also stopped at an elephant sanctuary and had a delicious lunch in town. Guide was knowledgable, professional and spoke very good English. Would highly recommend.

A wonderful day in a minivan with a total of 12 people. The tour guide was very friendly and told a lot about the country and its people during the trip. The schedule was very well timed, leaving enough time at the waterfall, at lunch, at the cave and on the boat to watch the sunset.

The caves and the waterfalls are very far away fro each other and wesaw both with a nice cruse on the mekong. Highly recomanded

very good quality of service. very complete and uniquely landscaped

Great value for money. Boat ride the highlight of the trip for me.