Konglor Cave exploration
02.11.2013 - 02.11.2013
On this final day of the Thakhek Loop adventure, I woke up as early as 6 am to prepare myself for the ultimate Konglor cave exploration. I later found out that the cave opens only at 8 am and with some time to kill and headed up towards the cave direction, which was about 1.5 km from Chanta Guesthouse looking for a place for coffee. The morning sunrise landscapes of paddy fields and limestone hills were just simply breathtaking. It was amazing to sum it up. The early morning breeze, crisp and cool air were something that what makes the feel so good. The clean and unpolluted air made the whole Konglor village a great place to set up a home or as retirement sanctuary. As I walked on the road looking for a restaurant that serves coffee, I came accross Phounsouk Guesthouse. This guesthouse was sort of a newly set up business, about 2 years old as was told by the young man, who is a co-owner of the property together with his elder brother. He was from Vientiane but came to set up guesthouse in Konglor for he fell in love with the place and wanted to start something on his own. So, he invested some money to built the 2 storey guesthouse with the help of his elder brother and family. He did involved in the construction works on the guesthouse as well and as of the time when I was there, the guesthouse is still expanding with more rooms to be build. As the guesthouse also serves food and drinks, including breakfast, I got myself a cup of coffee and 3 half boiled eggs to start the day before continuing the Konglor cave exploration. The sights at Phounsouk Guesthouse of hills and rice fields coupled with the sunrise view and cool, crisp and fresh air, the whole experience was wonderful. We had some good chats over certain issues and just 15 minutes before 8 am, I continued walking from Phounsouk Guesthouse for about 1 km to reach Konglor cave area. As I walked, I managed to snapped few great early morning sunrise views around the Konglor village which was surrounded with limestone hills and paddy fields. There is an entrance fee of 2000 kip before entering the gated area which covered with trees before reaching the ticket counter for the cave entrance about 500 metres from the entrance gate. The fee to explore Konglor cave was 105,000 kip with 2 boatmen, one who sits in front of the motorised boat and serves to lookout for danger while the boat cruising through the cave while the other control the boat at the rear of it. The boat could cater only up to 3 persons, excluding the 2 boatmen. Considering the danger that these boatmen had to go through each day, I think the fee was not too much to asked for. Take note that this is just a mere USD 15 for a boat and each of this boat operator would need to share among the 2 of them and they were many boats operating at this cave. I would say, they probably had only 5 or less trips a day on low season. This is how the Konglor cave exploration begins:
1. After paying the entrance fee, you would be given a life jacket as a safety measures. You can also choose to rent a headlight gear if you want.
2. The 2 boatmen will lead you to the area where the boat is being parked.
3. You would first walked down the staircase which leads to the bridge that span across the river which flow out from the Konglor cave.
4. Walked across the bridge and you would come across a beach-like sandy area which formed the riverbanks
5. Walked along that beach area which then leads you to an upper base through a short staircase. After passing through some bushes, you could
see the emerald pool just outside the mouth of Konglor cave
6. You would then board the boat which being parked at the edge of the cave mouth and the journey begins.
7. Inside the cave, there is no lightning apart from designated area where visitors would get down to explore the sightings of stalagmites &
8. Continuing from the brief stop to for a close look at those stalagmites & stalactites, the boat would then head out from the cave.
9. Out from the cave, the boat cruise through the river with great sightings of limestone hills on the background
10. The boat then headed to Natane site, which is a riverbank area covered with lush trees. This site leads to the Natane village which is only
accessible by cruising through Konglor cave.
11. You can buy food and drinks at Natane site, relax and enjoy the nature. The stop is about 20 to 30 minutes.
12. All in, the Konglor cave adventure took about 2 hours to complete.
Let me share some of the early sunrise view on a 1.5 km foot journey to Konglor cave as well as views from inside the cave, out from the cave heading to Natane and back to where the exploration starts.
The early morning view at Ban Konglor from Chanta House
A farmer gets out to work in the early morning in Konglor village
Walking towards Konglor Cave in the early morning of Day 4
The paddy fields and limestones hill on the morning of Day 4 at Konglor village
A view from Phounsouk Guesthouse in Konglor village
Breakfast at Phounsouk Guesthouse, Konglor village
On foot to Konglor cave
The gate to Konglor Cave
The lush trees in Konglor Cave area after passing through the gate
The ticket counter at Konglor Cave area
Following these 2 boatmen down the staircase to cross the bridge to board the boat to cruise through Konglor Cave
The bridge that span across the river that flows out from Konglor cave
Walking through the sandy beach-like area to the mouth of Konglor cave
The staircase that leads to the higher ground where the Konglor cave mouth is located
The river that flows out from Konglor cave
The mouth of Konglor cave
On board the boat to cruise through Konglor cave
Cruising inside Konglor cave
Stalactites and Stalagmites inside Konglor cave
Cruising out from Konglor Cave heading to Natane
Relaxing at Natane, Konglor
The bridge that connects to Natane village from Konglor Cave
The emerald pool at the mouth of Konglor cave
Wang Wang Rental Shop in Thakhek at the end of Day 4 loop adventure
The bike returned to Wang Wang Rental Shop at the end of Day 4
Passing through the Friendship Bridge III from Thakhek to Nakhon Phanom
The VIP bus from Nakhon Phanom to Bangkok
A cup of porridge after arrival at Mochit Bus Terminal, Bangkok