Tham Khonglor Cave (meaning: “Beauty in the Dark”) is part of the National Protected Forest Area in Hinboun Mountain.
Cruise in a long-tailed boat through a natural tunnel as the Nam Hinboun River cuts 7.5 km through a mountain at Konglor Cave. The river runs about 30 metres wide with a limestone ceiling up to 100 metres high, and it flows by sandy beaches and rock formations named for their shapes: “Buddha”, “frog”, “owl”, “soft-shell turtle”, and “fish trap”. According to local lore, five Konglor villagers first navigated the tunnel to Ban Natan in the 17th century. Today, the villages offer boat excursions through the cave year round, overnight lodge stays, and trekking options inside protected areas.
Konglor Cave can be reached by a 40 km overland trip from Ban Khoun Kham (also known as Ban Na Hin, the “Gateway to Konglor”) or by taking a slightly longer but more adventurous boat trip up the Hinboun River beginning in Naphouak village. There are two main routes to reach to Konglor Cave from Vientiane:
– Head south on Route 13 for about 160 km to Hinboun, and then take a boat along the Hinboun River for about 120 km.
– Head south on Route 13 to Ban Laow Village, and turn left onto Route 8 towards Lak Sao. Pass the Theun Hinboun Reservoir, and at Km 37 (Ban Khoun Kham) turn right and travel about 38 kilometers to Ban Konglor Village.
Tour operators in Vientiane offer excursions to Konglor Cave, or you can arrange a tour at the Visitor Information Center or with local tour operators in Thakaek.