Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves, Ban Pak-Ou

Pak Ou Caves
3.5
Caverns & Caves • Religious Sites
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8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Located 25 km from the city, these caves are filled with Buddha images.
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The area
Address
Best nearby
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Attractions
2 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

3.5
1,359 reviews
Excellent
205
Very good
428
Average
466
Poor
175
Terrible
85

Jason S
Melbourne, Australia1,284 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
When you read about it being a top destination for a visit it’s a little underwhelming.

It’s not a series of caves or any like that it’s just a opening in the cave no more than maybe 20 metres with heaps of small to medium Buddha statues all dusty and well maintained.

Then you can walk up to the second cave and that’s hot no wow factor to it either, a little longer and dark maybe 50 metres long for walking in, you can hire a torch for a small donation of any value.

The caves are so small that including boat ride you can do the whole thing in 30 minutes.

The boat ride to the caves was great, I would recommend from Luang Prabang doing the boat ride to caves seeing the caves and come back as the cruise down the Mekong is great and then see the caves a a small side trip to the Mekong boat ride.

It will cost 20,000 kip to enter caves.

If it wasn’t so far away it could be good but being 25 kilometres out of town not that interesting for wasting half a day.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Craig E
Manchester, UK1,729 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
I would highly recommend a guide if visiting the caves, as they can explain the story behind the thousands of Buddha statues. Didn’t notice many information boards around.
Very interesting and well worth a visit.
Some of the views from the top cave are also really good.
Written April 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TMOH8
Guildford, UK2,148 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We loved the Mekong river trip but found the caves themselves disappointing.

We visited during Chinese lunar new year so everything was a little too crowded. You get a nice view back over the river from the first cave, which is worth the short climb, but, unless you're a real fan of statues of Buddha I'd probably pass on the steep climb to the upper cave. Certainly no better views than lower down for quite a lot of effort.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LuizDutraNeto
Rio de Janeiro, RJ8,613 contributions
Jan 2020
We boarded, in Luang Prabang, a traditional boat for a day trip upstream the iconic Mekong River. After nearly 2 hours, we arrived at the "Pak Ou Caves", the famous "Buddha Caves" at the mouth of the Ou River. There are actually two caves, "Tham Ting" (the lower cave) and "Tham Theung" (the upper cave). On both, thousands of miniature sculptures representing Lord Buddha (approximately 2,500 in the lower cave and 1,500 in the upper cave). These miniatures, in bronze, wood and other materials, are left there by fishermen and local travelers for the safety of their river journeys. The caves are insteresting, no doubt, but what I did enjoy most was the trip along the Mekong, with stunning views of the river banks and the surrounding rainforest. Be ready for warm temperatures. Enjoy!
Written October 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cartertravels15
Alton, UK192 contributions
Dec 2019
We had a delightful trip on the river in a huge boat all to ourselves.Our AboutAsia guide pointed out various things including water buffalo and the local drug addicts rehabilitation centre.He explained about the Mekong river is very controlled by other countries and how the local farmers growing their crops along its banks receive little warning about when a dam upstream is going to be opened and their crops get washed away.We went to a small monastery which only had a few young monks and saw their very productive vegetable areas.Later went ashore and had a whisky tasting experience.Back on the boat we continued to the caves.It was like rush hour with very full boats all arriving at the same time.Steep steps to the lower cave and many elderly people like ourselves trying to get up and down the steps.The Buddha statues aren't very well kept.After this we went to the upper cave which is a long trek up.Fortunately I think many people were put off by the steep climb as few people around.The cave was dark but luckily our guide had a torch.It was a shame there were so many people on the side of the steps trying to sell you things and live animals.We wouldn't want to go again.But best part was the river trip
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

r0landbrunner
Zurich, Switzerland1,716 contributions
Feb 2020
it's a nice boat ride upriver, that is why we did it again after 15 years. but we were sad and horrified about all the deforestation along the way. probably for construction (wooden houses) and fire (cooking), whole forests were cut down. 15 years ago this was all one wild and natural jungle. the stop on the way in the Whisky Village is for nothing. again, here there was a village 15 years ago. now it is one big shopping mall. but at least there is a toilet. the cave itself is nice and picturesque. it's a bit of a steep climb up the stairs to get there, especially as there are hundreds of people on the way up and down. but all together we still enjoyed re-doing this excursion.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

nilintentum_reliquit
Melbourne, Australia2,479 contributions
Jan 2020
90 minutes upstream is the infamous cave filled with mini Buddha statues. To be quite frank it is a bit of a mess, not well kept, not very spiritual, and personally not worth the effort.
Thanks for the vote if you found this review helpful.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jwgbusiness
Thornhill, Canada149 contributions
Dec 2019
We (my wife and I) boarded a tourist boat that has the capacity for about 30 people and we had it all to ourselves with the guide and the captain, of course. We stopped at Whiskey Village but didn't purchase anything. We went on to Pak Ou Caves and found it was crowded with many boats bringing tourists. There are two caves, the lower cave is easily accessible and you can see thousands of buddhas, ranging in various sizes, to an upper cave which is quite a hike. I started my ascent to the upper cave but gave up when I discovered that it was quite aways up (decided to save my energy for other things). We had lunch at the restaurant across the river from the caves. The trip was enjoyable, relaxing and gave us a chance to sail the famous Mekong.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JayRae1
Glasgow, UK1,546 contributions
Jan 2020
I was torn between giving this attraction 3 stars or 4 stars, as 3.5 would have been about right. The caves themselves are not huge, or even particularly spectacular, but the location and the journey there both boost the experience.

We went there on a trip on the Nava Mekong boat, which included the cruise up the Mekong along with lunch served onboard, and I'll review that separately. The trip was booked through our hotel, Villa Maly, and was certainly worth the money.

The caves are on various levels, but the climb to the top cave is not particularly arduous and is worth the effort. I'm 67 years old and found it relatively easy. Note that the highest of the caves is unlit, and so taking a torch, or at least a mobile phone which has a torch, is required or you won't see a thing. Each cave contains a variety of Buddhas, which have been placed there over the years by locals to ensure safe passage up and down the river.

As I said, they are not particularly stunning, but definitely worth a visit, as the journey there is also a great experience in itself. I will attach several photos from our visit.

One thing worth a mention is that, all the way up on the climb, you will find little children who have tiny birds captive in wicker cages. They will tell you they will release a bird for $1 US. What they don't tell you is that the birds live with them and will fly straight home, to be put back in the cages for other tourists to release again the next day. It is hard to know whether to encourage this, and let them earn a few Dollars, or if you are contributing to keeping these kids away from getting an education. It's up to you.
Written August 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sk8nsnogrl
Hong Kong, China158 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
I think my kids enjoyed the boat ride over to the caves more than the caves. The caves are divided into upper and lower sections. The lower section was pretty neat with Buddha’s all inside, there isn’t much space to explore however. The upper chamber is a hike up (pass a bathroom on the way up). My kids were able to walk up (4,7year olds). The upper half is dark inside. There many mothers and children asking you to buy stuff along the way up. The boat ride over is exciting as it is in a long open canoe like boat.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Pak Ou Caves is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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