Nam Ou River, Luang-Prabang

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Flowing south from mountains near Lao-China border in Northern Laos to meet the Mekong river
  • Length: about 448 kilometers
  • Name meaning: rice bowl river
  • Highlights: diverse ethnic minorities, the destination for wilderness trekkers, an unhurried, and charming place
  • Beautiful caves in Pak Ou

Nam Ou - in Laos language means Rice Bowl is one of the most important rivers in Laos. As its name 'Rice Bowl', Nam Ou plays a vital role in Laotians' lives. It provide water source for irrigation, transportation as well as tourism. The Ou River is a tributary of the Mekong and its valley has some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of Laos: mountains, the holy Pak Ou Caves and local hill tribe villages.

Nam Ou River, which starts on the China border, drains all of Phongsali province and flows down through western Luang Phabang province to meet the Mekong above Louang Phabang, is just such a place: the river and its many tributaries remain in many ways as they were when nineteenth-century French explorers passed through. It is absolutely wonderful to travel along Nam Ou River from Luang Prabang and enjoy the beautiful landscape on the riverside. The valleys at the downstream of Nam Ou River are amazingly beautiful and charming. Taking on the boat cruise along Nam Ou River, tourists will enjoy the immense green of mountain and river. The jade green of Nam Ou River in the sunshine is as beautiful as the sparkling eyes of a gorgeous young lady. Watching the sunshine as well as sunset on the river with a glass of cocktail on your hand will be absolutely a life-time experience in your life.

Pak Ou cave is a highlight for you when travelling through Nam Ou River. There are 3 amazingly beautiful caves:  Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) the Tham Ting (lower cave) and the Tham Theung (upper cave). The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves. They take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining.

Overall, travelling on Nam Ou River will be a joyful time for tourists. It is not only a good chance to enjoy beautiful landscape but also understand better about Laotians’ lives along Nam Ou River.

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Nam Ou River Tours

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