Caves, Buddhas and waterfalls

Yesterday we decided to pack in trips to two of the major must-see sights near Luang Prabang, the Pak-Ou caves (often called the Buddha caves) and the Kuang Si waterfalls.

We got a slow boat first thing to the caves, stopping on the way for a short visit to the Lao-Lao whiskey making village. This is rice whiskey that the locals drink, although technically it is illegal, and it is sold everywhere at a dirt cheap price. Some of the bottles contain the bodies of cobras, scorpions and even some kind of furry creature with big paws (we suspected it was a baby bear but our stomachs weren’t strong enough to look for too long). Jack is determined we have to have some cobra whiskey tonight before we leave Luang Prabang – wish me luck!
Cobra whiskey:
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After this we spent another hour on the boat to the caves. The caves are an ancient Buddhist place of worship and have amassed a collection of thousands of Buddha statues over the years. There are two caves to see, one is at the bottom of quite a huge hill, this the shallowest and lightest of the two caves but contains the most statues. Up a huge staircase lies the bigger cave on top of the hill. This is much deeper, darker and more impressive, although it contains fewer statues. You can walk in for a fair distance and need your torch to ensure you don’t walk into anything you shouldn’t!
Statues in the bigger cave:
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After this we headed back down the river to Luang Prabang where we immediately caught a minibus to the waterfalls. We had heard great things about these waterfalls and we weren’t disappointed. The colour is a beautiful blue, the falls cascade over around 10 levels and there are numerous beautiful pools to swim in, plus a rope swing for the more adventurous – Jack had a go of course! These waterfalls are amazing and are definitely worth a visit if you are ever in Luang Prabang.
View of the highest part of the waterfall:

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The water is pretty chilly but fine once you’ve been in a while, there are also lots of little fish that nibble on your toes, I tried to think of it as a free fish pedicure!
Fun in the pools:
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We have one day left here before we head to Vientiane on the night bus. We’re planning to cross from Luang Prabang to Chompet on the ferry with some of the locals to explore village life on our last day.

Love to everybody!

Debbie xx

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