Luang Prabang – Park Ou Cave boat tour (B)
Travel by boat 2 hours upstream on the Mekong to Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the Pak Ou contains thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues crammed into two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. The statues range in size from a few centimeters tall to the size of a human, and the view from the mouth of the cave provides sweeping views of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The caves are as well a destination for local pilgrimages, especially during the Lao New Year period of Pii Mai.
Laos has several waterways that have traditionally been used as the local form of transportation and they continue to be used in that manner today in many parts of the country. Taking a local boat cruise is probably one of the most rewarding ways to discover the life along the rivers. During the cruise trip, observe the daily activities of fishermen, how they throw their nets in an elegant arm gestures, and rely on the water for their livelihood. For the villages settled along the Mekong, the River plays an important role in their daily life and usually represents the only means of transportation and commerce. Return to Luang Prabang at noon time.
This afternoon, take a guided tour of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Start at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, where you will explore the history of Laos. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Finish this morning’s tour at Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is decorated with ornate carvings and mosaics.
One of the highlights of a visit to Luang Prabang is a performance of the Royal Ballet Theater. Founded in 2002 in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Research, the Ballet aims to preserve Laos’ cultural heritage. This evening, enjoy a spectacular performance which includes scenes from the Lao-Ramayana, traditional folk dances and tribal dances. The show begins at 0600pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.