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“Great river trip to the caves.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grottes Pak Ou

Grottes Pak Ou
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang, Laos
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Ranked #19 of 41 Attractions in Luang Prabang
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
Attraction details
Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Great river trip to the caves.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Apart from the hundreds of statues in the caves, the highlight was the hour-long journey down the Mekong - fabulous views en route. We had lunch across the river in a restaurant serving traditional Lao food. Great meal in picturesque location.

Visited September 2012
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Date | Rating
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Interesting but not inspiring”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

The road is rough. An A/C minivan makes much more sense than a tuk-tuk. By asking around you can probably get a van for what the tuk-tuk drivers want.
The lower cave is more like an overhang and the altars are crude but the protection of the caves by the town of Pak Ou is interesting. You can only get to the caves by the boatmen of Pak Ou. Do not fear the thin, delicate looking boats; the boatmen are expert and they have never drowned anyone (so I am told). The stair climb to the upper cave is murderous in the heat. The upper cave is much larger. The ride across the river is refreshing on a hot day but the hills are always foggy and clear pictures are rare. The second cave trip advertised at the location is just a short boat ride down the river to look at holes in a sheer cliff. There is no cave to enter or altar and it is not worth the money.

Visited September 2012
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Nickled, Dimed, and Disappointed...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

We hired a long boat from Luang Prabang to take us to the caves and enjoyed the boat ride up and back, but the caves were a total letdown.

We arrived after 2+ hours of chugging up the river and were asked to pay a $3 entrance fee each to see the "caves". We happily paid and walked up to the caves. But before walking into the actual cave, we were now asked to make a donation to enter and we did. Then my wife had to go the bathroom and a woman followed her to the bathroom and waited outside while she finished (she was sick) and made sure she paid the fee to use the bathroom. There were two caves so we walked to the second cave and another "donation" was asked for to enter this one. We decided to just leave at this point since the caves were pretty boring and not even worth the measly donation they were asking for. It's not about the money at that point, it's the principal.

Go check out a waterfall where they charge you once and it's much more beautiful. This was a bust and I would have given it zero stars if the boat ride wasn't pleasant.

Visited September 2012
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Feucherolles, France
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A deception”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

2 hours of boat , quite pleasant as the Mekong river at this place is particularly nice. But what a deception at arrival : two very small grottes, overcrowded by people still wondering why they decided to come here.

Visited August 2012
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“There are better caves to be seen”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

We visited Pak Ou on a day trip out of Luang Prabang and while the visit was OK, the caves were not overly impressive. After reading about them on the internet I was expecting more.

Given that there are tons of caves to see around SE Asia there are many that are a lot more spectacular. I am not disappointed that I went, but would not go back, and would recommend other caves sites that I have been to over this one.

Visited July 2012
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