In the amazing province of Khammouane, Central Laos, the Phou Hin Boun Protected Area is found, with South East Asia’s largest limestone forest towering over it and dotted with numerous caves including the famous 7,5km-long navigable Konglor cave.
What to experience ?
Phou Hin Poun National Protected Area is a premium ecotourism and adventure destination in Laos famed for its jagged limestone mountains, labyrinth of caves (many containing Buddhist relics), crystal-clear springs, undisturbed primary tropical forests and rare wildlife.
You’ll have many options from easy day trips to nearby caves and cultural sites in and around the protected area, to guided adventures into the remotest parts of the park for up to a week, whether independently with the Khammouane Eco Guides service (based in Thakek) or through an arranged tour. Phou Hin Boun Protected Area offers an exciting experience with many possible activities such as boating, trekking, kayaking, or biking to discover stunning views of villages wedged between jagged limestone mountains.
The Konglor Cave, a spectacular 7.5 km guided boat trip through the mountains with an overnight in local villages (Ban Konglor and Ban Natan) or in the Sala Hinboun lodge.
The Tad Nam Sanam Waterfall, a beautiful waterfall easily accessed from Ban Khoun Kham, where you can stay overnight en route to the Konglor Cave. The Tiger Spirit Cave (Tham Phi Seua), a sacred cave with an impressive 40m-high arch favoured by spirits. You depart from Ban Phoneton village, winding for 2.5 km up a valley across rice paddies and scenic forest. The Buddha Cave (Tham Pa Fa), near Na Khang Xang village, is a cave rediscovered in 2004 and famous for its hidden treasure of hundreds of Buddha statues. The Phou Hin Poun Trek, A 2-day trek which combines the local culture with the best of the park’s scenery and natural attractions. The Nam Hinboun Kayak River Expedition (4 days) a challenging trip rewarded by the most spectacular views and immersion into the landscapes of Limestone Mountains and old growth forests.
How does it help ?
Most activities will automatically involve local communities and directly benefit them. Entrance fees are collected for the management of the park, and in some villages, to support the conservation of the natural and cultural legacy of the region. By visiting Phou Hin Poun and its surrounding natural attractions, you are supporting the local ecotourism industry, providing a strong incentive for the people and government of Khammouane province to protect this unique area.
If you wish to optimize your contribution to the local economy, then arrange a tour through the home-grown Khammouane Eco Guides Service in Thakek town. They employ local guides and offer tours involving and benefiting local communities. Similarly, employing the services of the Konglor Village Guides Association (based in Konglor village) will directly benefit both Natan and Konglor villages. For more adventurous choices such as kayaking, get in touch with Green Discovery Tour operator.
Khammouane Provincial Tourism Office
Thanon Vientiane, Ban Phonsanam, Thakhek, Khammouane Province
Phone: +856 (0) 51 212 512
For more information on trekkings visit www.ecotourismlaos.com/khammouane.htm