Pak Ou Caves, Laos

A peaceful 25km boat trip from Luang Prabang along the Mekong River brings you to the mouth of the Nam Ou River and the Pak Ou Caves.  There are two caves located here, the Tham Ting (Upper Cave) and the Tham Phum (Lower Cave), filled with innumberable Buddha images of all shapes and sizes left here by devotees. 

An added bonus to the trip is a small stop at the village of Ban Xang Hai (Jar Maker Village) where they make one of our favorite drinks, lao lao, the local homemade whiskey.  We spent many a night with our friends in Laos over a bottle of lao lao and we thought it appropriate to see how this potent, little drink is made.  Although it was quite early in the morning, we felt it would have been rude not to taste a little of the freshly made batch, only to be polite, of course.
The Mighty Mekong River Bordered by Vibrant Green Hills.  It is a Gorgeous Trip from Luang Prabang to the Pak Ou Caves.
Our Boat Driver in the Small Driver's Seat Taking us to the Pak Ou Caves.
The Entrance to the Tham Phum or Lower Cave Where the Majority of Buddha Images are Displayed. A Beautiful Lanna Style Buddha Image.
Although Weathered by Time and the Elements, this Buddha Image Still Retains its Serenity and Gracefulness.
Tiny Buddha Statues Placed in the Pak Ou Caves by the Faithful.  Notice the Different Mudras or Hand Positions of the Buddha Images.  Each Position Symbolizes a Different Concept of the Buddha.  For Example, the Image with Buddha's Left Hand on his Lap and his Right Hand Touching the Ground is Called the Defeating Mara (Temptation) Mudra.
A Friendly, Young Novice Monk we Met at the Village of Ban Xang Hai.
Buddha Head Located in the Pak Ou Caves.
The Numerous Jars in Which Lao Lao is Left to Ferment in Ban Xang Hai.
A Couple of Early Morning Shots of Lao Lao Whiskey in Ban Xang Hai.  There are Different Types of Lao Lao that you can See in this Picture such as Lao Lao with Scorpion, Lao Lao with Snake or Strait Lao Lao.  A Friend of Ours from England even had Lao Lao with Cow Bile, Apparently it Gives You One Hell of a Toxic Hangover.