Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang - Stein Travel
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Pak Ou Caves

About two hours by boat from Luang Prabang lie the Pak Ou Caves, worth a visit if only for the scenic boat trip. A lower and upper cave contain an impressive collection of mostly wooden Buddha statues assembled over the centuries by locals and pilgrims. Each year, hundreds of pilgrims come to these caves to add a statue to the growing collection. The upper cave (Tham Theung) is reached by means of a flight of stairs and requires the use of a flashlight, while the lower cave (Tham Thing) is visible from the river.

Information & Facts

Language

Lao is the official language, but some English and French are spoken.

Money

The Lao Kip (LAK) is the legal currency unit, currently available in denominations of 1, 000, 5, 000, 10, 000, 20, 000 and 50, 000 kip. US Dollars, Euros and Thai Baht are also accepted in many places and are more convenient to carry than large stacks of the local currency. Banks, hotels, and jewellery shops all offer currency exchange services. For everyday expenses, carry a mix of US dollars and kip. For larger items, or when the exchange rate works in your favour, use US dollars. For local transport, street food stalls and minor purchases, it is best to use kip. When in rural areas, ensure you carry a supply of small notes as change can be hard to come by. Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most international hotels, many shops and restaurants, and a few tourist-orientated establishments in Luang Prabang and Vientiane - but in other parts of the country assume that only cash is accepted. Travellers cheques can be cashed at most banks in Vientiane and other major towns. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 12pm, and then again from 2pm to 3pm. In Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse and other major towns, ATMs are available from which money can be withdrawn. Note that ATMs distribute only Lao kip, with a maximum of around 1, 000, 000 kip per transaction.

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