Wat Tham Xieng Maen

Temple in Luang Prabang

Image by Carol Wiley Getty Images

Founded in 1889 and since abandoned, Wat Tham Xieng Maen is in a 100m-deep limestone cave called Tham Sakkarin Savannakuha, a little northwest of Wat Longkhun. The cave mouth is usually locked; enquire at Wat Longkhun and someone will come and unlock the gate. It’s very long and dark, and parts of the cave floor are slippery, so it’s a good idea to go with a guide; bring a torch (flashlight).

The large stone-block entrance built around the mouth of the cave displays good relief work on stair pedestals, and is flanked by two large ruined spirit houses.