A short but scenic boat ride upriver from Luang Prabang, the striking Pak Ou Caves are filled with an impressive collection of Buddha statues and figurines assembled by the locals and pilgrims over the centuries. As you sail along the Mekong River to the caves, you see the rustic lifestyles of the riverside communities, particularly fishermen throwing their nets with elegant gestures. These communties rely on the water for their livelihood as the Mekong River plays an important role in daily life and usually represents the only means of transportation and commerce.
Two hours upstream from Luang Prabang, disembark to visit the famous Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues. The statues range in size from a few centimeters tall to the height of a human and are crammed into the cave which is nestled in a limestone cliff. The caves are a destination for local pilgrimages.
After visiting the caves, reboard the boat for a cruise back to Luang Prabang. En route, stop at Ban Xang Hay, a village which specialises in making traditional rice-wine.