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open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

Kong Lo is located in central Laos and is known for its 7km long cave. Carlos, Carolina, Graeme and I took the overnight VIP Bus from Luang Prabang to Kong Lo. It turns out that VIP stands for Very Inaccurately Portrayed; it was a nightmare, but got us where we needed to go. We stayed at the Chantha guesthouse, which was the biggest and cleanest looking guesthouse in town. Double rooms were $7.50, which seemed to be the standard rate in Kong Lo. All of the guesthouses had identical menus and we tried Chantha and 2 others. The food was good, but not life altering. Chantha had the best pork laap I’ve had so far. The cave is a 1km walk from the guesthouse. Boats cost $15 roundtrip and can fit up to three people. The cave itself was huge and very impressive. There was an area inside, where you get off of the boat and walk around a lit area. After passing through the cave, we docked at an abandoned village. There is an un-abandoned village that has homestays and restaurants within walking distance, but the boat drivers were not willing to wait for us. It took a little over an hour to do the cave cruise, which was a lot quicker than I thought it would be. The entire operation seems to be run as more of a ferry service rather than an ecotourism attraction, but it was still very nice and I’m glad I did it. Kong Lo town was very small and full of charm. The street that leads to the cave has a handful of guesthouses/restaurants on it and everything else is rice paddies. There is no internet and everything is done at a very leisurely pace. Simply being in Kong Lo was as nice as passing through the cave that drew me there. It’s worth a visit if you have time, but nothing to build an itinerary around.

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