Explore the Pak Ou Caves in Laos

Explore the Pak Ou Caves in Laos

Laos is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and ancient temples. One of the must-visit destinations in Laos is the Pak Ou Caves, located in the northern part of the country.

Location and Access

The Pak Ou Caves are situated about 25 kilometers north of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The approximate coordinates of the caves are 20.0533° N, 102.2188° E. You can reach the caves by taking a boat ride along the Mekong River, which takes around two hours from Luang Prabang.

The Caves

The Pak Ou Caves are a series of two caves - Tham Ting and Tham Theung - located on the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong River. The caves are known for their impressive collection of thousands of Buddha statues, ranging in size from a few centimeters to several meters tall. The statues are made of various materials such as wood, bronze, and gold, and are arranged in different poses and styles.

Tham Ting, the lower cave, is easily accessible and has a well-lit staircase leading up to the entrance. It features a large number of smaller Buddha statues, many of which are placed in small alcoves or on shelves. Tham Theung, the upper cave, is a bit more challenging to access as it requires climbing steep stairs. However, the effort is worth it as the cave contains larger Buddha statues and offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

Tips for Visiting

  • Wear comfortable shoes as there are steep stairs to climb.
  • Bring a flashlight to help you see the smaller Buddha statues in the darker corners of the caves.
  • Respect the religious significance of the site by dressing modestly and removing your shoes before entering the caves.
  • Take your time to appreciate the intricate details and unique styles of the Buddha statues.
  • Consider hiring a guide to learn more about the history and significance of the caves.


Exploring the Pak Ou Caves is a fascinating and rewarding experience that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Laos. The impressive collection of Buddha statues, combined with the stunning natural scenery, makes this destination a must-visit for anyone traveling to northern Laos.