Near Pak Ou Caves at the mouth of the Ou river on the Mekong, there are 2 religious caves containing many Buddha’s. The Tham Ting (lower cave) and the Tham Thung (upper cave) overlook the Mekong River. They are a group of two caves on the west side of the river, about two hours in a slow boat upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang.
|Boats moored together|
The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Thousand of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhists figures are laid out over the wall shelves. They take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana).
|Dock at Whiskey Village|
There is great conversation going up the river. The Australians are invited to couch surf at our house, if the ever make it to the USA. Roland and Monkey Man talk about a “boys holiday” as both have wives who still work.
|More Temple Cats|
Our boat captain is wizened, gnarled, missing teeth and wears a wide smile. His skin leather from the sun. He can speak some French, remembered from when he was a child and Laos was part of French Indochina and of course. some English. He tries to chat us up because tips are important in this part of the world. Mostly, we only understand his laugh.
|Mountains on the river|
|Crowds getting on the vessels|
Let me tell you something about staircases in SE Asia; none of them are standard. One can find stairs which are the standard rise (7 inches) but mostly it varies, step to step, staircase to staircase. The run of the stairs is no exception either. There are no precise measurements like the Egyptians or Mayans. One cannot take for granted where the next step will be. Also, these staircases are not well taken care of. Traveler beware.
|More tiny Buddha's|
|The upper Cave|
|A tiny Naga|
|Workers make their own place to eat lunch at the cave|