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Where: Laos What to do: Hike to Mount Phou Si, then take the steep staircase to the Wat Chom Si shrine that overlooks the network of rivers flowing through the city. Have a French style breakfast with delicious coffee at Joma Cafe, a popular local cafe chain in Laos. Wake up early to witness the fantastic morning market in its full fervour. Head to any of the many natural attractions, such as Kuang Si Falls, Tat Sae Waterfalls or Pak Ou Caves.
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Pak Ou Caves
After experiencing divinity at Wat Xieng Thong, we took a boat up the Mekong River, passing abandoned riverside temples and isolated villages. Our destination is the Pak Ou Caves, a sacred spot where thousands of Buddhas were hidden for safekeeping during earlier invasions. Pilgrims have since added their own offerings and the caves are literally overflowing with Buddhas.
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.