Elephant Riding in Tad Se and Overrated Caves at Pak Ou

Luang Prabang has two main waterfalls to visit, one being the bigger Kuang Si waterfall, which we had seen, and the other the Tad Se waterfall that was smaller, but they had elephants, which you could take for a ride around the area.

Once again, the cheapest way of getting there was by tuk-tuk, but this time we knew the tricks, so we went to find the driver we used to Kuang Si and arranged a price with him with the promise of finding more people to take on the trip.

Raquel and I then started looking for people willing to join us. This consisted out of stopping random people on the roads and asking them whether they were interested in joining our trip. We had several rejections until a couple (English Matt and Dutch Nicky) who had just arrived in Luang Prabang, accepted our offer and we agreed to meet the following day.

We met up with our driver and picked up Matt and Nicky from the arranged location and made our way to the Tad Se waterfall. Having only Matt and Nicky the previous day, we spent the drive getting to know each other.

Taking the rickety boat to Tad Se

Taking the rickety boat to Tad Se

To get to the waterfall you need take a little boat across the river, which is simple enough. The boat driver will also wait for you until you are ready to cross the river again to go back.

Matt and Nicky on their elephant

Matt and Nicky on their elephant

Raquel and I, riding our elephant (Photo Credit: Nikcy)

Raquel and I, riding our elephant (Photo Credit: Nikcy)

Tad Se2-2

Tad Se

We arrived at the waterfall and immediately decided to go for a ride with elephant. We chose a 30-minute ride, which actually seemed a lot longer as the Elephant walked around a predetermined route at quite a leisurely pace. They even climbed into one of the pools of the waterfall, which the seemed to enjoy quite a lot.

Loved that this one was less crowded

Loved that this one was less crowded

Another great shot

Another great shot

Truly stunning place

Truly stunning place

After the elephant ride, Raquel and I went into one of the other pools to simply enjoy the water and relax. Tad Se was substantially less crowded than Kuang Si and there was also obvious alpha male competitions going on. We stayed for an hour before deciding it was time to head back to Luang Prabang.

Great photo of us from Matt and Nicky

Great photo of us from Matt and Nicky

The honeymoon shot

The honeymoon shot

Good bye to our last waterfall

Good bye to our last waterfall

Having enjoyed the company of Matt and Nicky and asked if they wanted to join us on a trip to the Pak Ou Cave, otherwise known as the Buddha Cave, thereby saving money on  the tuk-tuk ride, they agreed and we met up the next day for the caves.

The beautiful views on the boat ride

The beautiful views on the boat ride

The boat ride to Pak Ou

The boat ride to Pak Ou

Inside the upper cave

Inside the upper cave

The next day Matt, Nicky and the tuk-tuk driver and the same place and made our way we met towards Pak Ou. Once again, this was another place, which required a short boat ride to get to the cave. This was one place, which I did not read much about to my own peril, as this was probably the worst of the Luang Prabang sights…

The statues in the lower cave

The statues in the lower cave

There were in fact thousands of Buddhas

There were in fact thousands of Buddhas

All it really is, is two cave, one upper, one lower, filled with tiny Buddhas. There is nothing, and I mean nothing interesting about this. As I said only statues in two caves… That’s it. All of us agreed that it was not worth the trip, but oh well, we were so might as well take advantage and photograph a little.

The lower Cave

The lower Cave

The entrance to Pak Ou

The entrance to Pak Ou

Great view to the other side of the river

Great view to the other side of the river

We quickly made our way back to Luang Prabang having not enjoyed the sight (for the first time in Laos).

This post was based on our days of  the 10th and 11th of October 2012.

**Practical Details**

Tuk-tuk to Tad Se = $4.50 per person in a shared Tuk-Tuk of 4 people

Tad Se Entrance Fee + 30-minute Elephant Riding = $ 17 per person

Boat ride to Tad Se = $1.25 per person

Tuk-Tuk to Pak Ou = $6 per person in shared tuk-tuk of 4 people

Boat ride to Pak Ou = $2.50 per person

Entrance Fee to Pak Ou = $2.5 per person

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2 Responses to Elephant Riding in Tad Se and Overrated Caves at Pak Ou

  1. tokyomike55 says:

    Amazing pics and great intel!

Thoughts? Let me know! :)

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