Thakhek Loop – Day 2 and 3

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We left Sabadee Guesthouse in Tha Lang after a good night and an amazing breakfast! Omelette, homemade bread, butter, jam, a pain au chocolat and Lao coffee: perfect. A hundred and fifty kilometers were planned that day so we had to get going.
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We started driving, passing the small lakes and the drowned trees, consequences of the dam built on the river.
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After a few kilometers, Dennis asked me if I wanted to drive so we swapped places on the bike.
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The road from to Tha Lang to Lak Sao is still under construction. The first half has been built but is very dangerous due to gravels on the road.
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And the part that has not yet been built is… Well…
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Although, at times, it was a bit dangerous, it was also a lot of fun, except for my back but we stopped a few times for me to stretch, so it was okay.
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We crossed several villages, all the houses red because of the dust. The plants as well. It seemed like the whole places was just red with dust, and yet the distant vegetation was so green and the sky was so blue that the contrast were extremely sharp and it was breathtaking.
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Then we stopped for some petrol.

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Then we drove for a while and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. Hills and mountains pointing at the sky, beautiful jungle stretching on the side of the road…
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We decided to drive to the cold springs just after a village called Poung, but we had been told by the person we rented out bikes from that the cold spring is not indicated in the road (at least not in English) so we stopped in Poung and asked for directions. The lady owning the little stall we stopped at spoke no English, so Dennis and Aleks had to use the Laos Guide and Dennis’s notebook to understand the way. And it worked! We looked for quite a while but ended up finding it in the end.
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The water was so blue, it was really beautiful, though very cold. Marlene and Aleks went for a swim whilst Dennis meditated.
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Finally we drove all the way to the Konglor Cave. The scenery along the road was absolutely amazing. This Thakhek loop is worth doing even if you just want to drive all day. The landscape is just mind blowing.
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When we got to Konglor, we decided to stay at the first guesthouse we found because it was 50000KIP with Internet and hot water. The only problem is that the walls were less than paper thin so we could here everything that was happening next door. It was okay that Marlene and Aleks were next door and we were very respectful of each other.
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Here a short video of our time on the road that day. Hope it makes you want to go do the loop just as much as we enjoyed it!


On the third day we decided totally to stay in Konglor for an extra day and enjoy the cave and have some rest as the 4 days in a row of riding the motorcycle was exhausting. I went out early to have breakfast and coffee whilst everybody was still asleep.
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The cave were very impressive and the boat ride inside was cool. What made it more interesting for us was that there a electricity blackout so the whole tour (about 3h) was in complete darkness apart from the time outside the cave, on the river.
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The price to get in the park is 2000KIP per person and 3000KIP for a motorcycle. Then you have to pay 10000KIP per person to enter the cave and 100000KIP for the boat ride (per boat, up to three people). So it does get quite expensive, but it is very impressive and to me, worth it. I am not going to describe the cave as I don’t want to spoil you the surprise if you go, but here’s a little teaser:


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-Julie

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