Thakhek Loop – must-visit destinations (Part 1)

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Thakhek Loop, also known as the Konglor Loop or simply “the Loop”, one of the coolest and beautiful places to visit in Laos. If you have the chance to go there, do not miss out these attractions.

>>Visiting Attapeu in Laos, don’t miss out these attractions

Kong Lor Cave

The highlight of the trip, Kong Lor Cave is tucked 41 km inside the main the loop down a mostly paved road. Up to three visitors can fit in a motor boat with a driver to explore the 7.5 km water-filled cave. Step out onto dry land to see the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites illuminated with electric lighting. The rest of the journey is in the pitch black, so bring a headlamp or rent one from the ticket counter. Wear shoes that can get wet, as you’ll be ankle deep in water getting in and out of the boat!

Kong Lor Cave in Thakhek (via As We Roam)

Nam Theun 2 Visitor Center

A highlight of the loop is driving around Nam Theun Reservoir and seeing the dead trees popping out of the beautiful blue water. The man-made lake was flooded for the hydroelectric plant that opened in 2010 and exports power from the Nakai Plateau to Thailand. Learn about the watershed, the Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, and how and to where the local villagers that were displaced were relocated.

Tad Song Sou

Just across the bridge past the Nam Theun 2 Visitor Center is a dirt path with a little sign pointing to one of the most peaceful places to spend an afternoon: Tad Song Sou. This waterfall has cabanas to enjoy a picnic while taking in the mountains and babbling water. An on-site bar and restaurant offers food, drinks, a pétanque pit and hiking.

Tham Nang Aen

Tham Nang Aen is a cave 20 km down Route 13 from Thakhek (via Panoramio)

Tham Nang Aen is a cave 20 km down Route 13 from Thakhek. Highly accessible with cement walkways and ramps, this cave is illuminated with colourful lights and alters. The cave’s name means “Sitting and Flirting” and as a constant cool breeze blows from the cave’s mouth, it’s a great place to do just that. Tham Nang Aen is 1.5 km long and contains a lake. Rowboat rides are offered for visitors and an outdoor restaurant is open in the dry season.

Talang Village

Hire a driver and head out on the Nam Theun 2 Resevoir for a sunrise or sunset cruise and try your luck at fishing, then eat your catch. Check out the local women’s weavings and purchase a hand-made souvenir. Sabaidee Guesthouse has a nightly buffet dinner featuring both Lao and Western dishes and a bonfire where you can swap stories with other travellers over a Beer Lao.

(To be continued)

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