KONG LOR CAVES
Kong Lor Caves, hidden deep in the Phu Hin Bun wilderness of central Laos, is one of Southeast Asia’s geological wonders. It is simply a 7.5 km-long limestone cave formed by the Hinboun River running through the cave year-round.
The scale of the Kong Lor Caves is incredible. Moreover, other-worldly stalactites, spooky limestone formations, and ceilings over 300 feet tall make this flooded cave a highlight and bragging-point for many travellers in Laos. Visitors can easily find a good accommodation in both Na Hin and Konglor without booking in advance. They offer reasonable price between 50,000 and 100,000 kip for a room.
There are two routes to get to the cave
– From Vientiane along Route 13 (south) to Hinboun District about 160 kilometers then by boat along the Hinboun River about 120 kilometers.
– From Vientiane along Route 13 (South) to Ban Laow Village, turn left to Route 8 (Lak Sao intersection), at Km.37 Ban Khounkham Village after Theun Hinboun Reservoir turn right along the earth road about 38 kilometers to Ban Konglor Village.
Visiting Tham Kong Lor Caves
To explore the cave, you must hire a boat from Ban Kong Lo village and float the 7 km through the cave. The price is around $6 per person. The long, narrow boats are recommended to keep balance. Passengers often hop on boats at one end of the cave, with a maximum of three paying passengers per boat with two boatmen.
To traverse the snakelike river to the other side, you can take a boat ride right through the main cave. The height of the cave is a jaw dropping. At times, the roof towers to in excess of 50 metres above the river below and for the most part it is in excess of 25 metres.
Furthermore, the width of the river that runs through the cave is more than 20 metres in most parts and looks and feels like a real river not just another rocky stream running through another tiny cave. The Kong lo Cave can be reached via a 40-km overland trip from Ban Khoun Kham or by taking a slightly longer but more adventurous boat trip up the Hinboun River beginning in Naphouak village.
– Shoes is highly recommended. They allow for scrambling on wet rocks and wading in water. Sharp rocks will make short work of your soft flip-flop sandals.
– Confirm that your boat price includes the cave entrance fee (less than US $1).
– Be careful because of the bomb craters. There are millions of unexploded objects are still scattered throughout the region.
– Remember to use protection to avoid mosquitoes. They are particularly aggressive and persistent around the river.
– Do your part by shifting around as little as possible inside of the narrow boats.
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