The Nam Ou (Laotian: ນ້ຳອູ [nâːm ùː], literally: "rice bowl river") is one of the most important rivers of Laos. It runs 448 km from Phongsaly Province to Luang Prabang Province. Along with the Mekong, the Nam Ou is the only natural channel suitable for large-draft boat transportation. Near its confluence with the Mekong are the Pak Ou Caves, famous for their Buddha statues.
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