Karst limestone outcrops, water-logged rice paddies, and dense monsoon forests surround the tiny settlement of Hin Boun, inside Central Laos’ Phou Hin Boun National Biodiversity Conservation Area. A visit here offers a chance to unwind along untouched riverbanks and explore the shadowy depths of the nearby caves.
Tucked away in the wilderness, Hin Boun is around a six-hour drive from Vientiane. Your private driver will take you along mountain-sandwiched roads and lush farming land to whet your appetite for what’s to come. Due to the long journey to reach this remote retreat, it’s worth staying for at least two days.
Then, once you’ve soaked in Hin Boun’s natural beauty, you can go a little further south to visit the historical town of Thakhek before heading on to the Champasak province, home to the hillside temple ruins of Wat Phou.
Riverside stays & kayaking in Hin Boun
There are a handful of small hotels in Hin Boun, making for a tranquil stay with few other visitors around. Rising from the riverbanks, the Spring River Resort’s stilted wooden bungalows provide a tranquil place to sleep and gaze out at the dramatic rural scenery of the surrounding countryside. The rooms here are simple but comfortable, and we can arrange a river-view room so you can watch the driftwood-scattered water trickling downstream as the sounds of chirping birds ring through the crisp air.
During your stay, you can also take a kayak out on the nearby blue lagoon for a lazy afternoon of paddling under the tree-canopied water, or take a longer journey down the river where you can see farmers tending to their crops and water buffalos grazing on the banks.
Due to its remote location, restaurants and shops are few and far between in Hin Boun, so after a day’s exploring, you’ll retreat back to the hotel for an alfresco dinner on its wooden terrace overlooking the river.
Kong Lor Caves river cruise
The whole conservation area is defined by mountainous limestone karsts and deep caves, and the Kong Lor Cave system is one of the main reasons visitors make the journey out to Hin Boun. After a short stroll from your hotel, you’ll step aboard a longtail boat with your private guide. They’ll steer you along the teal water of the Nam Hinboun River, which pierces through the cave’s gaping limestone mouth lined with spiky stalactite teeth.
Once inside, it’s dark enough that you need a headlamp to make out the jagged shapes of the river around you. The region is so remote that you’re unlikely to see many other visitors here, though you may hear their distant boats echoing through the darkness.
Best time to visit Hin Boun
The best time to visit Hin Boun is from the end of October to December, after the rains have replenished the river to its fullest and refreshed the surrounding thick green foliage. The weather is mostly warm and dry during this time, with temperatures averaging around 25–27°C (77–81°F) in October and November and falling to a cooler 22°C (72°F) in December.
Suggested itineraries featuring Hin Boun
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Hin Boun, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Hin Boun
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Hin Boun
- Thakhek 28 miles away
- Khammuan & Savannakhet 82 miles away
- Vientiane 130 miles away
- The Plain of Jars 156 miles away
- Vang Vieng 162 miles away
- Vieng Xai 188 miles away
- Sam Nuea 190 miles away
- Pakse 199 miles away
- Nam Et-Phou Louey 199 miles away
- Bolaven Plateau 202 miles away
- Champasak 215 miles away
- Luang Prabang 218 miles away
- Nong Khiaw 240 miles away
- 4,000 Islands 262 miles away
- Muang La 270 miles away
- Pakbeng 271 miles away