Exploring Laos: 5 Must-See Caves and Caverns

Updated on June 7, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

I love travelling in Asia. Most visited countries are Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. I hope you enjoy my articles.

The Entrance to Konglor Cave (Khammouane Province)
The Entrance to Konglor Cave (Khammouane Province)

Laos is well known as a tourist and adventurer destination for its beautiful waterfalls, temples, and caves. If you are interested in exploring caves, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to do it than in Laos.

There, you’ll find rivers flowing through immense limestone caves bursting with cultural and historical significance. Their beauty will take your breath away. In fact, the hardest part of exploring caves in Laos is choosing which to visit.

The 5 Best Caves in Laos

There are dozens of stunning caves, and you can easily find tours and treks that will guide you through them. Many of them are also accessible without expensive treks or large groups. If you want to make sure you see the absolute best caves that Laos has to offer, take a look at our list below.

These are the most beautiful and interesting sites you’ll find. If you’re a cave enthusiast, these should all be at the top of your travel bucket list.

1. Konglor Cave (Khammouane Province)

Konglor Cave is located in Phu Hin Bun National Park in Khammouane Province. The cave is regarded as one of Laos’s natural treasures, and it deserves the reputation. It is a dramatic 7 kilometer-long cave with the Nam Hin Bun River flowing into it. You can enter the cave on a small boat steered by an experienced Laotian guide.

Inside the cave, you’ll find ceilings as high as 300 feet, dramatic stalactites, and distinctive limestone formations. Inside the cave, it is totally dark apart from the lights of the boats and any headlamps you bring with you. This can make touring the cave spooky for some and exciting for others.

Going through the cave itself will take about 2 hours, and you should expect to spend longer traveling through the beautiful scenery of the Phu Hin Bun National Park to get there.

2. Tham Pa Fa or Buddha Cave (Na Khang Xang)

Tham Pa Fa, also known as the Buddha Cave, is famous for its contents of 229 bronze Buddha statues that date back to over 300 years ago. The cave and the statues were discovered in 2004 by a villager hunting bats, so it has only been on the map for the past 12 years.

The collection of Buddhas, which range from 15 centimeters to 1 meter tall, are truly impressive and provide a wonderful sense of Laotian culture and religion. The Buddha statues reside in an upper level of the cave. The lower level is filled with water, and you can canoe across it. Typically, you’ll need to hike to Tham Pa Fa to access it. You can find the Buddha Cave in Na Khang Xang, Khammouane Province.

Inside Pak Ou Caves (Luang Prabang)
Inside Pak Ou Caves (Luang Prabang)

3. Pak Ou Caves (Luang Prabang)

If you appreciated the Buddha statues in Tham Pa Fa, you’ll probably also enjoy the Pak Ou Caves. These two caves set into a limestone cliff where the Mekong and Nam Our Rivers join close to Luang Prabang.

They contain more than 4,000 Buddha icons, some of which are very old. If you visit as part of a tour, the guide will be able to tell you about the history of the caves dating back thousands of years.

Perhaps the best part of the caves, however, is the view over the Mekong River from the lower cave, which sits about 50 feet over the water. The upper cave, which houses most of the Buddha statue, is pitch black. You’ll have to climb up to it and bring a headlamp or flashlight with you in order to explore.

The Pak Ou caves are a popular tourist destination, so you should expect to see other people and locals offering tourist services. Accessing the caves typically involves a two-hour boat ride along the Mekong. As with much in Laos, the journey is a good part of the fun.

4. Vieng Xai Caves (Hua Phan Province)

Vieng Xai is an extensive complex of caves that served as shelter to over 20,000 people during the Vietnam War, when the U.S. bombed much of Laos. The complex was a veritable underground city, housing military barracks for Communist army forces, a hospital, shops, and more.

You can walk through these caves and get a sense of what living in them must have been like. There are organized tours and an excellent audio guide that will provide you with insight into this sad time in Laotian history.

Inside Kao Rao Cave (Ban Nam Eng)
Inside Kao Rao Cave (Ban Nam Eng)

5. Kao Rao Cave (Ban Nam Eng)

If you’re looking for a cave that’s off the beaten tourist track, Kao Rao is an excellent choice. The cave is about 3 kilometers long and features many limestone formations in interesting and beautiful shapes. You can walk through to take a good look at all the intriguing shapes.

Birds and bats have made the cave their home, so you can expect to see some as you walk through. Locals also believe that the cave is inhabited by a spirit, so your tour guide might perform a special ceremony to appease it.

Konglor Cave:

get directions

Konglor Cave

Pak Ou Caves:

get directions

Buddha Cave Laos:

get directions

Buddha Cave

Vieng Xai:
Viang Xai, Laos

get directions

Vieng Xai

Kao Rao Cave:
P5G3+2H Nam Eng, Laos

get directions

© 2019 Sam Shepards


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)