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There is more than history and culture to see in the dynamic and enthralling country of Laos. As the only landlocked area in Southeast Asia, Laos is blessed with incredible views and diverse terrains, and the tropical climate creates the perfect setting in which to enjoy mountain, cave and water adventures all year round. These 10 stunning places are guaranteed to make you want to start your own travelling escapade in Laos.
Although not close to the city center of Vang Vieng, the Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon are still incredibly popular with tourists; the area is truly enchanting. With a name derived from the spectacular, glassy color of the water, the best way to enjoy your time here is to jump enthusiastically into the lagoon. Not far away from the beautiful water sits the Tham Phu Kham Cave, a site featuring a bronzed Buddha figure in the middle of the main entrance, and a place revered as sacred by locals. A feeling of mystery is exuded here thanks to the shining Buddhist sculpture being the only thing in the cave.
Going to the Kong Lor Cave is to partake in an exciting, other-worldly adventure. Sometimes called Tham Kang Lo, the cave is located in Phu Hin Bun National Park, and features miles of underground, glistening caves ready for exploration. Bring a torch and voyage into the darkness on foot, or sail a small boat on the waters of the Nam Bun River near the site, with both expeditions providing chances to see the wondrous limestone formations the caves have to offer.
Address: Kong Lor Cave, Khammouane, Laos.
Being one of the ‘4000 Islands’ of Laos, Don Khong is a quiet and ancient island to explore. Look out for the picturesque rice fields in the Ban Houa Khong area where most of the land is reserved for farming. Rice production has always been critical to Laos’ economy, with 80% of the country’s agricultural land utilized for rice farming, and Don Khong gives visitors a beautiful view into this traditional practice. In the rice fields here you can see how the farmers grow the food that will later be deliciously in your bowl at lunch.
Address: Don Khong island, Champasak, Laos
In Southern Laos, in Savannakhet, Dong Natad is a forest that not many tourists know about. Away from other tourist hotspots and the buzz of the city center, and past the famous Friendship Bridge and the salt mines, you will finally arrive at Nong Lam Lake and the Dong Natad forest. Two communities of native villagers live here, and it is quite likely that you may encounter some tribesmen picking mushrooms or fruits, and collecting ants and other insects; this is a must-stop for those seeking to get a true taste of traditional Laos life.
Address:Dong Natad, Savannakhet, Laos
As one of 21 National Biodiversity Conservation Areas in Laos, Dong Hua Sao is a protected forest park which has been established for over 20 years. The forest’s land area has increased over the years from around 867 square kilometers to now over 1100 square kilometers, and the lush, verdant evergreens of the forest are all over 40 years old. On your visit to the stunning forest you may have the chance to meet all kinds of animals and birds, including monkeys, hog deers, peacocks and hornbills. If you are extremely lucky, you may also see some wild elephants and endangered yellow-cheeked gibbons.
By Crystal Au