This post will be chatting a little about Vientiane but mostly about Kong Lor – our destination after we left Vientiane as we were only there for 1 night. Vientiane, despite being the capital and largest city of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, there's not a whole lot to do. We stopped along the way to visit a few beautiful temples, as well as the Lao version of the Arc De Triomphe which was a less busy, slightly less impressive version of the infamous French monument. Overall, we are glad it was only a 1 night stay, but our accommodation at SYRI Boutique was actually ace…especially as we were upgraded to a 1 bed suite equipped with projector screen!
From Vientiane, we drove about 6 hours to Kong Lor, a small village situated in the countryside in Southern Laos. Over 500 families live here but to be honest you wouldn’t be able to tell as it is a ghost town. It is becoming famous for the Konglor Cave and has a number of homestays, a few guesthouses which have their own onsite restaurant. We are staying in Thongdam Guesthouse and it is brilliant! We have our own Bungalow, with hammocks, balcony and nestled into the surrounding hills. It is costing us 80000kip per night so less than $15NZD – it’s great and we have no complaints at all!
The main reason we are here is to visit the Kong Lor Cave. Now, before I even write about this cave, I was quite honestly a little skeptical as I guessed ‘it’s just another cave’ and ‘we have seen so many’ and ‘it will be packed with tourists’ …well, how wrong was I? I may go and say this was one of the best days on the trip so far! The cave system consists of a river that runs through a cave for some 7.5km which can be navigated in full on little 3-person power boats. The river cave system is one of the longest (if not the longest) in the world. It takes a while and we had a blast shrieking and laughing with our driver as we jetted off into the abyss.
We then arrived at the other side of the cave where we chowed down to watermelon and snacks before making our way back to swim in the blue, (huge) fish filled lake and sun-bake for the afternoon.
I bloody loved today, so did Leo and the rest of the gang traveling with us, it was simply brilliant. An inexpensive day out in nature, away from tourists in one of the best cave formations I have ever seen in the world!