LAO PDR

Land of a Million Elephants


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Destination: Vientiane Province









General Information





Located      
: About 70 kilometers, north of the capital Vientiane. (Divided from the capital Vientian in 1983)
Total Area : 15,927 square meters
Population
: 350,000
10 Districts
: Phonehong, Thoulakhom, Keo-Oudom, Kasy, Vangvieng, Feuang, Xanakham,  Mad, Hinhurp and Viengkha
Capital
: Phonehong







Thoulakhom Zoo


Located at Ban Kheun Village in Thoulakhom District, the zoo is about 60 kilometers from the capital Vientiane. Exotic and rare animals from the jungles of Laos are featured in a surprising example of excellent animal management in Southern Asia.





Nam Ngum Reservoir


Opportunities exist for boating and picnics on the islands scattered in the Nam Ngum Reserve. Visitors can make their way to Ban Thalad village, Keo-Oudom District which is situated about 80 kilometers from Vientiane. Fine fish dishes can be tasted at the well-known floating restaurants while sporting activities can be enjoyed at the facilities found at the resort at Thalad Village




Nong Nok or Bird Lake


Located at Ban Sivilay Village, a community-managed birds sanctuary a few kilometers to the west of the park with hundreds of whistling ducks and egrets roosting here





Vangvieng District


Vangvieng is situated 152 kilometers from Vientiane on Route 13 (north). This small village is set against a backdrop of dramatic Limestone Mountains. Vangvieng is an ideal place to break the long journey from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. Bamboo cabins and guesthouse are both available for those seeking overnight accommodation

Many mysterious places can be visited including Patang, Patho Nokham, Tha Chang Cave and the Namxong River. Tourists can stroll along the riverbanks and explore the network of caves. Some of the caves are outlets for underground streams and are ideal places to cool off with a swim. On route to Vangvieng you can see a vanity of impressive landscapes and should take the opportunity acquaint with local people





Vangxang Cave


Vangxang Cave or Elephant Court is home to the remains of an ancient sanctuary dated over 300 years before the foundation of the Lane Xang Kingdom. Located at km 48 on Route 13 (north) Vangxang consists of 5 large pink sandstone scultures and 2 huge Buddha images. This place has now becomes a tourist center and a weekend picnic area for Vientiane residents





Salt Extraction Plant


A village called “Ban Bo” in Thoulakhom District is renowned for its salt extraction. Located some 60 kilometers from the capital Vientiane, the majority of inhabitants earn a part time living by producing salt. Traditional extraction methods remain in use, despite modern processes being commonly available today





Phou Khao Khouay, The National Protected Area


An extensive sandstone mountain range 40 kilometers northeast of Vientiane is the site of one of Laos’ most beautiful nature reserves. The area encompasses a variety of landscapes and habitats, ranging from sheer sandstone cliffs and pristine river gorges to rough mountainous terrain. Three large rivers and numerous tributaries empty into the nearly Mekong in this area

The diversity of forest types in the area includes evergreen, mixed deciduous, dry dipterocarp and pine, all of which are waiting to be explored. The forest habitat is home to a range of large animals including elephants, tigers, bears, gibbons and langurs, as well as for various reptiles, amphibians and birds. The Green Peafowl, a bird believed to be close to extinction in Laos, can still be found here. While sightings of smaller animals are relatively common, a great deal of patience and luck is needed to observe larger species

During the rainy season (May-October) the reserve comes alive as the forest become green and lush, the waterfalls reach their full flow and sources of vibrantly colored butterflies fill the sky





Ang Nam Leuk Reservoir


The Nam Leuk reservoir in the center of Phou Khao Khouay nestles amidst lush forest. Although accessible by road, this beautiful narrow lake is best explored by boat





Tad Xay and Pha Xay


Tad Xay is arguably the most beautiful waterfall in the park, particularly during the rainy season. Cascading over seven steps, the water flows through a picturesque valley for about 800 meters before plunging 40 meters into a breathtaking gorge





Tad Leuk

This part of Phou Khao Khouay is aready a popular destination for visitors from Vientiane, but is by no means crowded. It offers facilities including a Visitor Center with an exhibition of the fauna to be found in the area, a nature trail and a small restaurant. Tad Leuk is the omost accessible attraction in the park and is ideal for relaxing, swimming, camping or as a starting point for treks into the surrounding forests




Tad Xet


Not far from the road, this steep 50-meter high cliff offers panoramic views across to the mountains of Phu Khao Khouay and the adjacent ranges to the north. During October, the flat rocks of the riverbed are studded with orchids and other flowers – a photograph’s paradise





Ban Na


This village on the edge of the protected area offers guided trekking into the nearby bamboo belt and forest. Numerous animal tracks, including those of wild elephants, can be spotted. If you are lucky, you may even see the animals themselves. As a fragile wildlife area, Ban Na can only be visited on pre-arranged tours





Tad Phou Khao Khouay


The route to this small waterfall and the surrounding pine forest provides panoramic views of distant mountain ranges and the Vientiane Plain





Exploring Phou Khao Khouay


Easily accessible by road and less than 2 hours drive from Vientiane, this 2,000 square kilometer area of mountains, rivers and pristine forests of Phou Khao Khouay offers great opportunities for exploring nature in Laos





Getting to Phou Khao Khouay


The heart of Phou Khao Khouay is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, canoeing, biking, wildlife watching and picnicking. It approximately to Vientiane makes it ideal for day trips.Travelling by road to Phou Khao Khouay from Vientiane is easy by rented vehicle or public transport. Take route 13 (south), and turn left at the small town of Thabok (km 90). The western part of the area can be reached via Route 10 (north); turning right at Ban Napheng. Organized tours can also be arranged through several tour operations in Vientiane













 
Contact information : Lao Tourism Organization.
Address :                  Sethathirat Road, Sisaket Village, Chanthaboury District, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Telephone :               +856 21 250791
E-mail :                     lto@laotourism.org
Website :                  http://www.laotourism.org