The Pak Ou Caves are located north of Luang Prabang on the Mekong river and can be reached by road or river boat. The caves are famous for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves. They take many different arrangements, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana).
Where rivers Ou and Mekong meet at Ban Pak Ou, two famous caves in the limestone cliff are crammed with myriad buddha images. In the lower cave a photogenic group of buddhas are silhouetted against the stunning riverine backdrop. The upper cave is five minutes' climb up steps (you'll need a torch), 50m into the rock face. Most visitors en route to Pak Ou stop at the 'Lao Lao Village' Ban Xang Hay, famous for its whiskey. Buy boat tickets from Luang Prabang longboat office.
The narrow footpath-streets behind the very attractive (if mostly new) wat are also full of weavers' looms, colourful fabric stalls and a few stills producing the wide range of liquors sold. An alternative is to go by road to Ban Pak Ou (30km, around 160,000K return for a tuk-tuk) then take a motor-canoe across the river (20,000K return). Ban Pak Ou is 10km down a decent unpaved road that turns off Rte 13 near Km 405.