The Pak Ou Boat Namesake
Our Luang Say Cruise boats have all been given the name “Pak Ou” after the famous stop off on our 2 day 1 night cruise on the Mekong River between Luang Prabang and Huay Say.
Traveling North on the Mekong River from Luang Prabang, it is not long before you reach the mouth or “pak” of the Ou River. The Ou River (Nam Ou) flows from the northernmost parts of Laos through beautiful karst limestone mountains and cliffs to meet join up with the Mekong River. Directly opposite the mouth of the Ou River are the famous Pak Ou Caves locally known as Tham Ting. Tucked away in the cliff are 2 caves, one lower within easy reach and one upper cave
These caves contain thousands of Buddha images and are of great religious importance to the Theravada Buddhists in Laos. These caves were converted into Buddhist temples in the 15th century and are used as a site for old Buddha images that can no longer be venerated in a temple, either because they are damaged or the temple they were displayed in has been destroyed.
At Laos New Year, pilgrimages of Lao people go by boat to the caves and perform the washing ceremony of all the old Buddha images. Previously this was performed by the King and members of the Royal Family but now is performed by the Governor of Luang Prabang and local families.