Photo: Rolling hills.

Phou Khout

Our rating:

Found off of Route 7, Phou Khout (also Kood, Kout) is an interesting and remote side adventure 43 kilometres from Phonsavan. The district can be combined with Muang Soui (Nong Tang) for a long day trip from the city.





Phou Khout is a tantalising dot on the government’s tourism maps but there’s little information to be found, except when digging through the history of the Secret War. Phou Khout mountain and ridgeline overlooked Muang Soui valley, and both were battled over by the communist Pathet Lao, the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the neutralists, the Royal Lao Army and the covert American CIA-backed operation. If interested in its significance, read up on Operation Triangle (1964), Operation Off Balance (1969) and Kou Kiet/Operation About Face (1969).

Russian–supplied war detritus by the road. Photo taken in or around Phou Khout, Phonsavan, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Russian–supplied war detritus by the road. Photo: Cindy Fan

For a traveller, Phou Khout feels like an off-the-beaten track frontier with a spectacular recently opened viewpoint, an abandoned army tank and more of those mysterious jars, a cluster that tourists rarely visit.

The turnoff is on Route 7, some 43 kilometres from Phonsavan, and about five kilometres shy of Nong Tang. There is a sign for “Phou Kood Memorial Park”. Turn and drive along good paved road. Along the way, if it hasn’t been moved, after one kilometre on the lefthand side is an abandoned wreck of PT-76 Russian tank, abandoned in 1964 and bombed in 1969. It’s rare to see a large war relic out in the open like this. The SAM missile in Attapeu comes to mind and even that’s been painted over. Hopefully someone won’t take this for ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Map

Phou Khout
43km from Phonsavan

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