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There are thousands of caves in Laos, discovered on almost daily basis. It makes it for one of the most interesting countries to explore if you are interested in this field of geology. You will hear of most popular ones in your guide books, brochures or tours like Buddha cave near Luang Prabang and Konglor, or Vang Vieng caves... but then you have many smaller, 'anonymus' ones as well.
You need of course experience and equipment to explore bigger cave systems on your own otherwise it is too risky but in the large ones it would be always wiser to go with guides who know them good. For smaller caves you would usually just go with torch, but still you need good one and some decent shoes.
My favourite area for caves is middle Laos in Khammouane province near town of Thakhek (see the Khammouane page for more info) and the picture here was taken on my recent trip there: it's bats hanging in the Elephant cave (Tham Xang). Lots of caves have spiritual meaning for Lao and since they have cooler temperatures than surrounding landscape they are also good place to chill out.
You will as well find some of very interesting and unique species in those caves, but bats are most easy to see (and smell).
Updated Mar 18, 2013
Heading back to Thailand from Luang Prabang, I decided to travel via slow boat. The boat was pleasantly uncrowded - unlike many of the boats traveling in the significantly-more-popular opposite direction. The boat slowly wound its way slowly down the Mekong towards Pakbeng, where I spent the night in fairly basic accommodation. Another whole day boat journey, past families living riverside, small communities and endless mist and tree covered hills and we were close to the Thai border. As it was early evening, I spent my final night in Laos on the border, before catching an early morning boat across the river to the Thai immigration control. A quick passport stamp later and I was on a bus bound for Chiang Mai and a whole different adventure.
Updated Mar 5, 2013
Address: Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is the former imperial city of Laos and these days probaply the most pleasant town in Laos if you want to kick back and enjoy life.
On top of all the sights from the time Luang Prabang was an imperial city you also have a large selection of cafes and restaurants and the place is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, especially those who like the boutiqe enviroment just as it has been a backpackers favorite for many years.
Written Feb 16, 2013
From Vientiane to Luang Prabang you should stop in this lovely village.
It is very touristic, but anyway it is worth to spend at least 2 days, what i did and I was very happy there. Food was georgeous!
Updated Jan 1, 2013
The natives of Laos i observed were very friendly, respectful, helpful and simple in many ways.
In Luang Prabang I have had a very interesting conversation with some of the young Monk students about how and why they like to be Monks. On our way to some areas of Laos we met some groups of school children on bicycles. When they saw us they stopped and were very happy to have pictures taken.
In Muang Sing, Akha elder women tried to sell some of their handmade products and some sold out secretely illegal drugs to interested travellers.
During Market days in Muang Sing, the town is filled with different kinds of people coming from neighboring villages. Some young women displayed their multi-colored traditional Lao costumes which are really very interesing objects for photography.
Updated Dec 25, 2012
Address: Luang Prabang, Laos
Brief look on the map will tell Laos is mountainous land; highest mountain is Phu Bia (2819) in Xaysombuone province, Northern Laos.
If you want to see some of the spectacular scenery in the country you should travel the road by day time bewteen Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang at least. It's not bad if you stay in VV just to explore its landscape - you can always avoid the crowds to some degree.
Nong Khiaw area is splednid too - make a boat trip from Luang Prabang - NK/Muang Ngoi.
More remote is Xam Neua and Viengxay: if you have a lot of time in Laos go there, and go beyond. But you must come prepared.
Jewel of the landscape is as well the area near Thakhek in Middle Laos, Khammouane province. You could visit it on motorbike from Thakhek. There are lots of side roads well into the area - not many tourist visit it yet.
Unfortunatelly - the mountains are being deforested and mined greatly in those last decades.
Updated Nov 30, 2012
riding to the waterfalls by moped was brilliant ,exhilirating and the real farm tribes of luang prabang. you will see many sights along the way people with sling shots for hunting and scaring the pesky monkees off. butchers with meat hanging out of bicycycles , a temple of all white, amazing mountain ridges and then there is the falls and bears , incredible , colourful and full with people ,my tip is dont fill up too much as i had 1/2 a tank left when i got back but it depends on the bike take it easy on the roads as things pop out in front of you quite quickly . the mopeds are much cheaper ,safer, and economical and you can stop when you want but cant in the large tuk tuks .
Written Mar 28, 2012
Address: luang prabang waterfalls
wander around and around !! sounds silly but we stayed here 9 days ,one end of town is very busy full of us tourists and travellers and up the the other end where the mekong meets the other river inlet is quiet and serene , i followed to young monks across the bamboo bridge which is maintained for a fee and as i followed i ended up 2 miles down the mekong on my own private island or sand bank with tiny gold flakes in the water ( most probably pyrite) and enjoyed the ambience of the real luang prabang with the hard working farmers and boat people i was blissing i walked back with mud caked on up to my knees crossed the bridge sat down and was surrounded by very young monks 13 in fact digging soil for their new flowers for the offerings i was in buddha heaven. they played and swam in the mekong fully clothed and i made friends with one as i swung the adze (pick) to help out. we talked in our broken english for about an hour , they all eventually left and so did i with one of the largest smiles and we are now pen pals , what a day !! what a life !!
Written Mar 28, 2012
Address: luang prabang main st
Blue Lagoon is probably worth your time to visit. DO NOT SIMPLY VISIT THE CAVES IN VANG VIENG, MOST OF THEM ARE GIMMICKS. THE SIDEBOARD WHICH TELLS WATERFALL AND CAVE IS NOT TRUE.
I've stayed Vang Vieng for 7days and visited 4caves only Blue Lagoon is a real place worth visiting. The cave at the blue lagoon is fantastic and you will find a sleeping buddha in the cave.
Remember ,the road condition in Vang Vieng is no good. Bring some water along for your cave visit.
Written Sep 19, 2011
Day trip to Pak Au Cave is very short. Most of the time I spend on the boat to and fro.
Visiting the Pak Au Cave two main temples was about 30mins ONLY. SIGHHHHHH.
Again, if you're not feeling well or lack of energy. Do not visit the second temple of the Pak Au cave, it's definitely NOT WORTH TO VISIT THE SECOND TEMPLE as you have very limited time.
Not much to see at the second temple.
Written Sep 19, 2011
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