The best part of the Pak-Ou caves is the journey to get there. Northern Laos has some beautiful scenery and the people along the river are friendly as they go about their business.
The trip down the Mekong River includes a stop at village where they make the local Lao Lao whiskey. The Lao think that us foreigners are all off our rockers. I know because I constantly hear them saying, "Falang Pi Ba" (Foreigner crazy). Of course if you know me you can probably understand why.
Pak Ou is a tiny village on the Mekong river, opposite the famous Pak Ou caves. There are about two dozen thattched-roofed houses raised off the ground, and about 50 villagers. Sadly there are also several stalls selling souvenirs - it's not too sure to whom, since there were no other tourists at the village, when I was there.
Fondest memory: The turkey. In front of a hut I spotted the fattest (and laziest) turkey I have ever seen. He was busy dozing and not even the screams of the children could wake him up from his slumber