NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Near the city of Luang Prabang, Laos
DATE OF CONSTRUCTION
The caves have housed the statues for around 600 years
Jan: 66°F (19°C); Apr: 81°F (27°C); Jul: 81°F (27°C); Oct: 77°F (25°C)
Honeycombing the limestone cliffs above the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, the atmospheric caves of Pak Ou are one of Southeast Asia’s more unusual historic sights.
The caves have been used for centuries as storehouses for damaged or outdated Buddha statues that have outlasted their practical use and can no longer be venerated in a working temple.
Around 4,000 such statues now jostle for elbow room in Pak Ou’s two main caves, combining spooky tourist appeal with an enduring religious pull that continues to draw Buddhist pilgrims from across Laos and further afield.
Getting There The caves are 15 miles (25 km) north of Luang Prabang. The best way to get to the Pak Ou Caves is on an hour-long boat trip from Luang Prabang, although they are also accessible by road.
When to Go Aim to visit in the cool months, from November to March.