Bangkok to Hanoi: Pak Ou Caves

We were crammed in like sardines and all wishing wistfully for the comfort, quiet and fresh air of the longboat!

on the slow boat

on the slow boat

Our surroundings were lovely of course. Mother of Waters flowed peacefully here, carrying her load of silt towards the rich paddy fields of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

calmer water downstream, but you can't hear the noise of the engine in this pic!

calmer water downstream, but you can’t hear the noise of the engine in this pic!

We called in at a Khmer village to learn about this minority group who practice slash and burn agriculture. Houses are built on stilts.

Bon Noy, a Khymer village

Bon Noy, a Khmer village

graceful sustainable grass and bamboo housing

graceful sustainable grass and bamboo housing

Water buffalo provide power! Perhaps by now they also have solar energy?

river view

river view

Much later we made it to our lunch stop …

noodle soup stop

noodle soup stop

This lunch stop at Ban Lathan was reached about four hours late, due to the slow progress we made on the hot stinky boat. Never mind, they simply opened the big can of Maggi Chicken stock and whipped up a noodle soup in a few minutes. We were rather shocked! Shortly before reaching Luang Prabang we came to Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) caves, a welcome stop to escape from the boat.

our boat below Pak Ou caves

our boat below Pak Ou caves

This is a revered holy site, and very popular with visitors, being only 25km north of Luang Prabang. Hundreds of small Buddha statues are arranged in the two caves, lining every rocky ledge. Here is the main altar. For the curious, you might like to check out some other images that show the hundreds of statues, like this one

Pak Ou caves

Pak Ou caves

We were soon in Luang Prabang for two peaceful days …. where our story will resume soon!


20 thoughts on “Bangkok to Hanoi: Pak Ou Caves

  1. Very adventurous! Your story is taking us far away and I’m not a boat person…so I’m happy to follow you from here. I’d love to see all those statues – beautiful.

    • glad you are enjoying the Mekong trip with me Debra, I will get a few more posts in before we go traveling in a fortnight …. then it will be the south of Spain for three weeks πŸ™‚

  2. Have just caught up with your Thailand adventure Christine, what a great travel story it is. I’m pleased you and your luggage survived the boat crash, and I’m pleased you have given us the link to Stuarts fantastic rustic sketches, I loved the photo of him sketching with all the audience clustered around him.

let's chat about this ...

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