Kouangxi Water Fall
Walk through open farmland and forest trails to the Kuang Si Waterfall, which, though not very high, are striking in its lush jungle setting. Upon arrival there are plenty of opportunities to swim in the refreshing pools and enjoy a boxed picnic lunch. There is also the option to visit Ban Phonesay, a village well known for its silk weavings that have even been featured in the New York Time Magazine.
Pak Ou Caves
The Pak Ou Caves overlook the Mekong River just where it is about to meet the Ou River. Situated in a mountain face, they have hundreds of Buddha statues in a myriad number of shapes, positions and sizes. A visit to the caves can be arranged, either by hiring a guide or soliciting the help of a local from Luang Prabang. Once at the caves, the entrance will cost you $1 and the boat ride, $10.
Plain of Jars Site 1
The plain of jars is an area in the Xieng Khuang area in Laos and consists of 90 different sites where these ancient stone jars have been found. The jars date back to the Iron Age (500 BC to AD 500) and are believed to be used in burial rituals. We visited site 1 and maybe weirdly so I was more impressed with all the signs signaling where it was safe to walk than the actual jars. We came from Luang Prabang so to get to this site we had to drive through the mountains for a long time, sleep in the horrible guest house I told you about earlier and then travel back the same route we came. And quite frankly I am terrible when it comes to stones and ruins. I just don’t think it is worth spending time and while the weather was nice and cool the jars themselves are well…just jars. Riding 16 hours just to look at some stone jars for about an hour seems a bit silly to me. If you have any interest in the history of those jars, than by all means go there, but for me it was a waste of two days. More interesting was the knowledge that part of the war was fought there as the terrain was riddled with trenchlines and the safe paths were all marked as it is not sure there are no more mines in the area. Knowing that there are still people being blown to pieces in Laos on a regular basis due to leftover mines, it’s quite something to realize what has been going on there.
The Royal Palace Museum
Built in the early 20th Century, the Royal Palace was the residence of the royals until the communists overthrew them in 1975. Subsequently converted into a museum, it is now a place to see glimpses of the history of Laos while also enjoying the lotus ponds, the art, the Crown Jewels of Laos, the Buddhas, and the plush furnishings and decor of the rooms in the old palace, which are still well preserved.