The most attractive caves in Laos

Laos is not only home to many stunning mountains and peaks and the powerful Mekong River, but also to a variety of caves that showcase its majestic and unique beauty. For thrill-seekers, these caves are a natural treasure from heaven and a perfect escape from the hectic daily life. There are top 5 caves in Laos.

Kong Lor Cave

Situated inside the National Park of Phu Hin Bun and belonged to Khammouane province, Kong Lor cave is considered to be one of Laos's natural treasures, and it extremely deserves its reputation. Stretching on the length of 7 km with the flow of the Nam Hin Bun River, it is a great experience to explore the cave on a boat following the instructions of the local guide.

Inside the cave, you'll find ceilings up to 300 feet high, impressive stalactites, and special limestone formations. It is really dark outside the light from the boats and the headlights that you carry which make it becomes a dramatic discovery.

It often takes 2 hours to complete the cave tour or more if you would like to spend time exploring the beautiful landscapes of the national park as well.

Source: Mike FreeRider Gagne Youtube Channel

Pak Ou Caves

Dipped in the limestone cliffs along the riverside formed thousands of years ago, Pak Ou Caves proudly owns more than 4,000 sacred Buddha statues. Serene numbers of all sizes, colors, and positions lined up on floors and walls. Cobwebs graciously old characters while brightly decorating the latest decor.

To get to Pak Ou Cave situated around 15 miles from Luang Prabang to the north, you need to take a boat down the Mekong river. Once arrival, step on the wooden pier and walk to the first, and more well-known, of the 2 caves. Inside, the soft light illuminates an amazing collection of Buddha statues.

Next, you should follow rocky steps up a cliff to reach the second cave which is quieter and smaller than the first but still resembles Buddha statues. You will need a flashlight to explore beyond the entrance. The ideal time in a day to explore Pak Ou Caves is in the afternoon. Morning crowds tend to lose the cave spiritual atmosphere.

Pak Ou Caves

Vieng Xai Caves

The spacious Vieng Xai cave complex, which has been a refuge for more than 20,000 people during the war with the United States, is a true underground city, a military barracks for Communist forces, a hospital, shops, etc.

Exploring the cave, you can slowly walk through the system and imagine life in the war of Laos people. If you want to get more knowledge about this historical site, organized tours and a great audio guide are also available.

Tham Nam, the Water Cave

Vang Vieng is well-known for not only the untouched natural beauty but also the interesting outdoor activities. Visiting Vang Vieng, you should not miss the chance to discover the Water Cave which is situated just 4 miles north of the town and is a perfect place to hide away on hot summer days.

Before entering the pool to explore the flooded cave through the narrow passage following the guide’s instruction, you need to rent an inner tube, headlight, and water-proofed bag for your precious belongings. When the dark cave lighted only by your headlight combining with the laughing of tourists, it creates an exciting atmosphere for the cave tour.

Come early to avoid the crowds and wear shoes that you might get wet - you'll have to wade through water to place your tube through shallow patches. The most perfect time to visit the Water Cave is in the early or late dry season due to the suitable water level for exploring by inner tube.

Tham Nam Water Cave

Source: Travel Addict Youtube Channel

Tham Piew Cave

Located in the northern province of Xieng Khouang, Tham Piew Cave (or Piu Cave) bears witness to one of the most brutal bombings in history. The visit to Tham Piew Cave, where a deadly missile strike took place, is a sobering reminder of the war victims. Nearly 400 local villagers who sought refuge in the cave were killed by a single attack from the enemy. The blast incinerated the living, collapsed the cave walls and left no survivors.

Today, a small museum offers visitors a glimpse of the aftermath of the rocket attack. At the base of the trail leading up to the Tham Piew cave, there is a memorial temple: a statue of a man with a pained expression holding the limp body of a child.

Source: Legacies of War Youtube Channel

A steep staircase, with shaky handrails that you should use carefully, takes you up past a golden Buddha image, a landmark, and a bomb crater before reaching the Tham Piew cave. The ceiling was charred by the strike, and debris was strewn on the floor where locals burned incense for the dead. The resilience of the Lao people in the face of such a tragic and horrific ordeal was both heartbreaking and inspiring.

Tham Piew Cave is less visited during the rainy season from May to October. The busiest time here is on November 24th, the anniversary of the missile attack.

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