Get off the beaten trail
Published/Last edited or updated: 4th August, 2018
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.
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 scrap metal.
About 4.5 kilometres from Route 7 is a main junction where the road forks left to Mithouna Guesthouse and in the middle is a big placard “Welcome to Phou Kood Memorial Park, 7 km”. Take the right fork and follow this main road, which crosses a bridge. After 2.2 kilometres, you’ll pass a road on the righthand side—keep it in mind, we’ll get back to it. Just continue on until the paved road ends.
On the left should be a road (in 2018, it looked newly cut and was topped with gravel) that leads 3.5 kilometres up, up and up to the peak of Phou Khout. Be careful, the last part before the top is extremely steep. You’re almost there but not quite: secure the bike and hike 300 metres on the trail through the forest to reach the peak for a view, spectacular on a ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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