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Travelers rarely visit the provinces of Khammuan and Savannakhet in central Laos and so miss out on an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Much of it has been declared a National Protected Area, resulting in significantly less deforestation than in other parts of Laos. There are also a number of excellent ecotourism projects now which help to preserve the wildlife, environment and integrity of local communities.

Buddha Cave

The town of Thakhek, with its somnolent ambience and many fine examples of French colonial architecture, lies on the banks of the Mekong River and is a good launching point for excursions into this captivating wilderness. From here you can explore the many caves that litter the region, including the now-famous Buddha Cave, recently discovered by locals and housing hundreds of Buddha statues and rare manuscripts.

River boat trip

Board a river boat to visit one of the communities that still practice animist rites and worship the forest spirits. Further north, the amazing Kong Lor Cave, seven kilometers in length and up to 100 meters high in places, can be explored by boat.

Dinosaur museum

Heading south to Savannakhet town, there is a dinosaur museum featuring fossilized remains recovered from five sites in Laos. For those willing to stray from the beaten track and prepared to accept a few nights of somewhat basic accommodation, a visit to this region is immensely rewarding.

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Map of Khammuan & Savannakhet

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