Photo: Passing traffic.

Konglor Cave

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The Hinboun river flowing out of a nondescript opening at the base of a towering cliff hints there may be something wondrous inside. It is in fact 7.5 kilometres of wonder—a river passage through solid rock, and travellers can traverse the entire length to the other side on an exhilarating boat ride. This is Konglor Cave, a highlight of Laos.

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Hop into a wooden sampan, the boatman pulls the motor’s rip cord and off you go, plunging into the inky void, aided only by a meagre spot of light from a head torch. For nearly eight kilometres the canoe races along the serpentine river, the boatman managing to slip around every corner and every hazard—and there are many hazards.

Who knew! Photo taken in or around Konglor Cave, Tha Khaek Loop, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Who knew! Photo: Cindy Fan

It’s hard to reign in the imagination, which vividly plays out the boat and your brain suddenly dashed upon a rock. Soon your eyes adjust and focus on the incredible: immense chambers—one vaulting up to 100 metres—spooky formations that beg the mind to find figures and faces. Feel the spray of the water, the chill of the air, the thrill as you storm up rapids with rocks that the boatman handles with ease yet you shudder to think that just one inch to the left or right and…

Konglor is located in the Phou Hin Phoun NPA, 180 km by road from Tha Khaek. By car, it can be visited as a long day trip from Tha Khaek, but the region’s jaw-dropping landscape of rural flat lands combined with a “forest” of karst makes a strong case for staying longer. There are good guesthouses in Konglor and 40 km to the north in Na Hin, as well as village homestays.

Pick your chariot. Photo taken in or around Konglor Cave, Tha Khaek Loop, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Pick your chariot. Photo: Cindy Fan

The cave entrance/boat station (open daily 08:00-16:00) is a kilometre from Konglor village. Each boats can accommodate up to three passengers. You can save money by finding people to share with or try your luck waiting at the boat station. It is allowed to share and ignore the ticket seller if they try to tell you otherwise. It’s 110,000 a boat for one person, 120,000 kip for two, 130,000 kip ... Travelfish members only (Around 800 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Konglor Cave
180 km by road from Tha Khaek

Location map for Konglor Cave

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