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Situated just 25km north of Luang Prabang in Laos, the Tham Ting (lower cave) and Tham Theung (upper caves) have been drawing tourists to the area for generations. Adorned with miniature sculptures and statues, the caves offer an exceptional opportunity to explore the history of the area. This is one of the most popular stops on our Mekong River cruises.

Why Visit Pak Ou Caves?

With over 4,000 Buddha statues inside the caves, it’s not surprising these natural attractions are considered to be one of the holiest sites in the area.

The caves can be found where the Nam Ou and Mekong River meet, at Ban Pak Ou. The natural limestone caves are relatively easy to explore, although the upper cave requires a short climb up some steps. Typically taking only five minutes to reach the face of the upper cave, tourists are advised to use torches to explore properly.

An image of the beautiful Pak Ou CavesAn image of the beautiful Pak Ou Caves

Visiting the Nam Ou River

Stretching across 448km, the Nam Ou river runs from the Phongsaly province in Laos to the Luang Prabang Province. With spectacular scenery, all the way along the Nam Ou, travelling down this stunning waterway is the ultimate way to explore the area and take in the natural beauty of the country.

Allowing access to some of the most remote communities and villages, the Nam Ou River gives tourists the chance to explore Laos away from the beaten track. The peaceful and tranquil time on the River will give you the opportunity to experience all that Laos has to offer, from lush scenery and breath-taking landscapes to busy villages and towns.

Nam Ou Elephants bathing opposite the Pak Ou CavesNam Ou Elephants bathing opposite the Pak Ou Caves

Ban Xang Hai

A popular tourist attraction, famous for its whiskey and wine, visitors can watch as the stills continue to produce liquor of all kinds. The narrow paths of the village are also home to a number of fabric stalls and weaver’s looms, both offering unique clothes and garments. Tuk-tuks are readily available in the area, so the 10km distance between the Pak Ou caves and Ban Hang Hai won’t prevent short-stay visitors or day-trippers from visiting both sites.

Planning your trip to the Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River

With an exclusive Pandaw river cruise, you can experience both the Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River at your leisure. For travellers who are eager to explore the centuries-old caves and travel down world-famous waterways, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Pandaw’s Laos Mekong river cruise and Laos to China river cruise offer stops at the Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River, so you can opt for a 10 or 14 days cruise and include a visit to the exquisite caves and river. For travellers who want to explore as much of the local landscape as possible, the 21- night Halong Bay, Red River and Laos Mekong river cruise is the ultimate way to travel. In addition to a variety of other stops, guests will have the opportunity to stop at the Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River in order to explore these stunning natural landscapes.

River Cruises visiting Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River


River Cruise itinerary for The Laos Mekong

The Laos Mekong

Vientiane - Chiang Khong

10 nights

from US$4,360

River Cruise itinerary for The Laos Mekong
River Cruise itinerary for Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong

Save up to 10%

21 nights

from US$7,596.45

River Cruise itinerary for Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong
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