The breathtaking limestone mountains that frame the Lao city of Vang Vieng are rugged by underground cave systems. Some of the caves are well developed with electric light and masonry steps; others must be explored by the light of the headlamp. Some caves are unbelievably large and are adorned with stalagmites and stalactites; some are so small that a human can barely squeeze through the tiny openings. Some are filled with water and can be explored by tube or kayak, others have served as temple sites for Buddhist believers for centuries.
The Elephant Cave is not a cave in the real sense, but rather a ledge that serves as a Buddhist sacrificial site. Indeed a network of corridors is hidden behind the walk-in entrance, but visitors only have access to the front part with an altar, Buddha figures and the elephant adored here. On the way to the Tham Nam Cave, it is worthwhile to make a detour before you make your way through the small village on the road to the cave.