Pak Ou Caves
Writes Indagare member Pamela Murdock:
The staff at the Amantaka suggested we be on the boat that would take us to the Pak Ou Caves at 8 a.m., which seemed early, but we were told the later it gets masses of other tourists start arriving. We were also told to dress warmly as mornings are chilly, especially on the river.
Once on board, we were served a delicious breakfast and then we moved towards the bow to a platform area with cushions and thick white shawls where we lolled about for the really pretty 1½ hour trip up the Mekong. An entertaining sight to see along the way is the passengers in “speed boats” wearing crash helmets and life preservers as it’s a fast but dangerous way to get up the river due to rocks and floating logs. Once at the Pak Ou Caves, you walk up steps in the limestone cliff to the first cave which is filled with Buddha statues dating from the 16th century. There used to be about 4,000 of them but many disintegrated due to age or have been stolen. For us, the higher, empty cave was way too far to consider.
TIP: Request the nicer of Amantaka’s two boats, Muayai, which is only chartered to one party (from 1 person up to 10).