After a few lazy days at the falls and temples we wanted to get in some exercise so signed up for a kayaking trip to the Pak Ou caves with the Phone Travel Co. (LAK 200k pp and a great name!).
We were picked up early and headed about 45 mins upstream on the Nam Khan river, a tributary to the Mekong. There were eight of us in our group and we kayaked for about two hours to get to the caves.
The scenery was great but after two hours we were definitely glad for the break.
We stopped at an elephant camp across from the caves for a pretty basic lunch. Katie went AWOL and we later found her having a photo shoot with a young elephant, feeding him water and getting hugs from his trunk.
After a short kayak over to the caves we explored around. There are about 4,000 buddha statues inside the caves but none are particularly impressive and after about 10/15 mins we were ready to go.
We thought we were going back home in a van but were told we had another hour’s kayaking ahead of us. We were very jealous of an Irish couple we’d met who were going for an elephant ride, but we were pleasantly surprised.
The ride back down the Mekong was a lot more interesting with some rapids and even whirlpools caused by converging rivers. We managed to keep the kayak upright and were soon at Xang Hai (the “Whiskey Village”).
We tasted some revolting rice wine that they called whiskey (it was closer to sake) before heading back to town. It was fun day out, but we were really looking forward to our massages the next day.