Caving trips in Laos

Central LAOS, and in particular, KHAMMOUANE PROVINCE, is considered to be caving central in LAOS. If you are interested in doing a caving trip to some of the best caves in the SOUTH EAST ASIAN Region, below are short summaries of each cave site and direct links to the latest in-depth info on getting there.

The starting point for trips all the below listed cave sites is THAKHEK Township, on the banks of the MEKONG RIVER. For in-depth info on THAKHEK, and how to get there:


The spectacular XEBANGFAI CAVE; currently listed as the world’s biggest cave river

XEBANGFAI CAVE is one of the world’s largest river caves. It is located in a remote corner of CENTRAL LAOS, in the HIN NAMMO NATIONAL PARK, and near the Border of VIETNAM. Due to it’s remote location (some 148 km from THAKHEK Township) and the arduousness of travel to get there, dedicated 3 day/2 night trips, with GREEN DISCOVERY LAOS:  Their dedicated trips include a full traverse (and back) of the caves 6.4 km length, in kayaks.



One of the larger formations, surrounded by rim pools


There are presently no official tours arranged to BING CAVE. For this reason, very few sightseers have been inside it. The only tour operator presently with the knowledge and experience of visiting this cave, is GREEN DISCOVERY LAOS: Their tour office is at the INTHIRA HOTEL, THAKHEK. They may, by request, change their standard 3 day/2 night tour to accommodate a trip into BING CAVE. But this will normally mean omitting one part of the standard tour (normally the 2 hour boat ride along the Xebangfai river on day one).

For in-depth info on THAKHEK:



The lagoon and downstream entrance of KHONG LOR CAVE

Kong Lor Cave is located in Khammouane Province in Central Laos. It is one of the highlights of travel in Laos and probably one of the best cave tours in the region in terms of accessibility and a sightseeing experience. Khong Lor cave is one of the regions longest fully traversable cave rivers and the distance from the downstream to upstream entrance is 7.5 km. The traverse is completed in small motorised, flat bottomed, long tail boats (similar to the Thai long tails but with a shallower draft). The highlight of the trip is a stop at the formations plateau (approx. 1 km from the downstream entrance) where sightseers are given time to view the beautifully illuminated stalagmites and stalactites, on a wide rock shelf which looks down on the river. When the cave was set-up for tourism a team of French lighting specialists installed an array of blue, white and orange lights to highlight the forest of formations on the 300 meter long plateau. Sightseers normally take 30 – 40 minutes of viewing time before re-joining the boats to complete the run to the upstream entrance.



The largest cave room, on the tour through the rear section of NANG AEN CAVE

Nang Aen Cave is approximately 19 km from traveller central in Thakhek.  Continue on along Highway # 12, past the turn off to Buddha Cave, and you’ll eventually see the turn off to Nang Aen Cave on the right. The entrance to the Cave is much closer to the main road than Buddha Cave – less than a kilometer. At base of the cliff face there’s rest area for those wishing to partake of a cold drink, or some local food, at one of the small restaurants tucked into the shade provided by the large stand of trees. there are two sightseeing options for this cave; the initial front section and the additional boat tour which takes in the much more spectacular section at the upstream entrance. The entry fee for the initial section of the cave is 30k LAK. Pay 30k LAK more and you will be able to do the entire cave system, which includes the boat trip through the underground river and the walk through the far section of the cave which is actually the highlight of the cave. If you are pressed for time then just do the front section but if you have 2 – 3 hours then do the boat trip because I can seriously say the rear section of the cave (which opens to the jungle and mountains behind) is just so much better, words don’t do it justice. The difference in price (a mere USD 2.50) is nothing when one comperes the visual experience of both sides of the cave. The upstream side is just so much better.

For in-depth info on THAKHEK:


Safe travels,



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