A Saturday in Luang Prabang

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My first free weekend in Luang Prabang was a busy one. On Saturday I managed to fit in a river cruise up the Mekong River to Ban Xiang Hai, aka Whisky Village, and Pak Ou Buddha Caves in the morning and a drive out to Kuang Si waterfall in the afternoon. Here are a few pictures from the excursion.

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Boarding the boat

The boat left from Luang Prabang in the morning around 9am. I went with three other volunteers who started the program at the same time. We spent an hour and a half on the boat heading up river. Our first stop was Ban Xang Hai, the so-called “Whiskey Village”.

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Tasting the local whiskey with new friends!
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We opted for the ones without any critters in it!

The area we saw was a bit touristy but it was still fun walking around the village and seeing how they make their rice wine and whiskey.

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The whisky was good enough to buy a little bottle and enjoy back at the guesthouse!
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Our boat on the Mekong River

After our stop at Whiskey Village we continued to travel up the Mekong to limestone cliffs around Pak Ou – the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers.

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I loved being on the water. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning and a great way to take in the local scenery.
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It’s so green here! I love all the banana, coconut, and palm trees.
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View approaching the caves
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Confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers
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Entrance to the lower cave, Tham Thing

Pak Ou caves are limestone cliffs above the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. There are two caves, the lower Tham Thing cave and the upper Tham Phum cave. They are referred to as the “Buddha Caves” because of their collection of Buddha statues dating back to the 16th century.

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Buddha statues 
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More Buddha statues
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And more Buddha statues! 

After our visit to the caves we traveled back to Luang Prabang.

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The boat ride was my favorite part of the trip. I loved the color blocking of the brown river, green mountains, and blue sky. 

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When we got back into town we had lunch before our drive out to Kuang Si waterfall.

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Kuang Si waterfall

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So many stunning view points. 

It was a pretty busy day but we managed to keep it going with dinner at Dyen Sabai, a restaurant on the other side of the Nam Khan. In the dry season there is a bamboo bridge that people can use to cross the river.

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Bamboo Bridge at night looking back at Luang Prabang old city. They light the bridge up at night making it a bit easier to cross. 
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The bamboo craftsmanship in Laos is amazing and this bridge is no exception. There is a small fee to cross this bridge. The money collected is used to build a new bridge every year after the rain season. 
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Bamboo bridge during the day from Luang Prabang old city side. This is one of my favorite views in town. I pass this bridge every time I walk into old city.

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