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“Just another opportunity to get money from tourists”
Review of Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves
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Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Fall Day Tour
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Private Luang Prabang Tour Including Pak Ou Cave and Nam Ou River Cruise
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Full Day Pak Ou Caves by Boat from Luang Prabang
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Owner description: Located 25 km from the city, these caves are filled with Buddha images.
Reviewed May 6, 2014 via mobile

I have been on a lot of day tours in Southeast Asia in my time- and this was one of the worst.

When arriving to the pak ou caves, no matter if your tour company/booking agent said entry fees were included, everyone had to pay 20000kip. There were quite a few disagreements going on between the people who appeared to be "staffing" the caves and fellow tourists.

The statues inside the caves were abundant, but really do not live up to expectations at all.
The caves were not lit which made the features hard to see & not well maintained at all- trash littered a lot of the vicinity.

The only toilet in the area was one which required you to pay 30000 kip to use it!! Pretty pathetic for a tourist hot spot.

However, the boat trip was excellent and it was quite peaceful to take the slow boat - great to see the locals in action.

Over all- Don't waste your money - save it for a halong bay boat cruise and see the spectacular caves there!

Thank Bridget d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 27, 2014

We took a Neva Mekong boat cruise to Pak Ou cave which I highly recommend. This cruise is actually operated by Hotel Villa Maly but you can book it with many travel services that sell that cruise in Luang Prabang. Just walk along that main drag of Sisavanvong road or Sakkaline road then you will see one of these travel agencies has a sign out advertising its cruise. It comes in lunch and sunset dinner cruise. The lunch one offers trip to Pak Ou cave and a thrown in stop to the so called Whisky village along the way. Cost $US25 per person but actually not that expensive cause the almost two hours boat trip to get there is very scenic along the mekong river and it does come with a very good lunch on board on the return trip and includes the entrance fee to the Pak Ou caves. The cruise also has a very friendly young French hotel intern on board as your guide to explain the trip and the attractions you will be seeing. The whisky village is just an excuse to buy some local Laos rice whisky and rice wine at cheaper price in the village itself than at the night market ( comes in plain or with snake and scorpion in it!) otherwise, just a pretty much dead little village with some stalls selling scarfs and trinkets and some selling those whisky. We were there in April the hot low season, so not many stalls even botherd to open for tourists and no demo of whisky making either as the cruise promised you would see, but doesnt matter, just make a quick look see or get some whisky and look forward to seeing the caves instead. The caves are divided into the lower cave and the upper cave. The lower cave is a little easier to reach by walking up these giant steps to the entrance and it is well lit enough that you can see all these buddha statues lined up inside the cave. Also not too hard to walk up and down inside the cave to get a view of the outside from the cave. But the upper cave is really high up and takes a lot more leg muscle to hike up all those steps to get to. People like me with weak knees or not very fit may want to think twice before making it all the way up there! I did manage to make it up there but did my knee hurt later! That cave is also very dark and you would need a torch light or lit candles to see the interior especially way deep in the cave where it is basically pitch dark. So bring your own lighter or mini torch light ( or use your iphone torch light function like we did) if you don't want to pay for them at the stall outside the cave.
All in all, taking that lunch boat cruise made the cave visit trip a bit more worth it otherwise it was a very physical hike to see some cave with buddha statues inside.

Thank Ms_pacificexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2014

A couple of caves 30km north of Luang Prabang. It is best to combine a visit here with the nearby Whiskey Village or a Hmong Village to make it worthwhile. It takes an hour to get here by boat.
The lower cave is the better of the two. It houses 2500 Buddha statues and a small spring supplying holy water. It is well lit and easy to walk around.
The upper cave on the other hand is up lots of steps and not worth it. You enter through a wooden frieze into a very dark cave. This one is 54 metres deep and hardly has any statues in it. You need a torch and there are lots of bats.
Both the caves have a carved wooden box just inside the entrance, which are used to channel water for washing the statues. They look rather like a toy sledge.
The caves predate Buddhism to a time when a water spirit was worshipped here.

Thank Jolyon67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

Not too much to see on the stretch of the Mekong you cruise to get here which was a disappointment. We were taken to a small village just past the caves where we saw local people weaving and trying to sell their wares, before walking through the countryside for about 45 minutes to arrive at the higher of the two caves, we then climbed down lots of steps to the lower cave, which was very busy. I'm not sure what I was expecting but the caves were disappointing.

The stop at one of the villages on the way back was perhaps my highlight of the trip as we saw paper being made out of tree bark, a cottage industry for silk production with some lovely work being woven, a girl doing some very intricate embroidery, and a man carving small buddhas out of wood. The village was not far out of Luang Prabang if you either cycled or walked via one of the bamboo bridges, but was quite a distance by car.

Thank PennyH2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

It seems a long way to travel to see this little cav with its many Buddha statues which, in my opinion, were pretty unremarkable. Pak Ou is about a 15 min drive from LP but a good hour by boat...so this is one of those examples of the journey being better than the destination...sit back in yr boat and enjoy the view. :)
Worth it for the boat trip alone.

Thank STEV72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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