Most visitors arrive at Ban Khiet Ngong on a group tour. For those dependent on public transport, the best way to and from the village is via Pakse. A songthaew departs Pakse’s southern bus station (kilometre-eight or ‘lak pet’ station) around 08:00 and 12:00.
The second, more complicated option is to take any bus running on Route 13 that would pass the turn off. Tell the attendant you want to get off at Ban Thang Beng, the village at km-48, better known as ban lak-sii-sip-pet (village km-48). At this junction, sometimes a tuk tuk can be found, sometimes not. Call Kingfisher Ecolodge and they can call a tuk tuk to go pick you up, cost is 70,000 kip.
Departing Ban Khiet Ngong, there’s a songthaew for Pakse around 07:30. Or hire a tuk tuk to take you back to Route 13 where you can flag down a passing bus. To have the songthaew take you to any other destination, they seem to know your hands are tied and will quote exorbitant rates.
It’s all a bit exhausting and iffy, that’s why getting to the village by private transport or under your own steam is the best option.
The best way to arrive is from Pakse: rent a motorbike, mountain bike or arrange for private van/tuk tuk.
The turnoff is on Route 13 at Ban Thang Beng village, located at km-48 (lak si-sip-pet). At this junction, head east on 18A, a dirt road which actually runs all the way to Attapeu. After 7.5 km, turn right (head south). It’s another kilometre to reach the village.
18A is challenging in rainy season. We were informed there are plans to seal it and in late 2016, we observed crews grading the road so there is hope that it will be paved eventually.
Within the village exploration is easily done by foot. Mountain bikes are available to hire at Kingfisher Ecolodge for 50,000 kip/day; be warned, the bike we rented had no brakes and didn’t even have simple mud guards—a few metres and our backs were soaked with mud. Inspect the bike before accepting.
Several shops in Pakse now rent quality mountain bikes. If you are keen on exploring the area on two wheels, cycling down or bringing it on a bus headed south on Route 13 are all doable options.