The Loop is a 3-4 day journey through Khammouane and Bolikhamxay provinces in south central Laos. Discover how the mountains, rivers and caves were made millions of years ago. Find out how people sheltered here from war and upheaval over hundreds of years. Uncover the legends of a landscape that is a refuge for special animals, plants and birds. Get to know the people who live here today through their own stories, foods and festivals.
There are many, many attractions along the way. Oh! highlights some of them.
Thakhek Old Town: Enjoy an easy stroll around the heritage quarter of historic buildings beside the Mekong River, eat at riverside restaurants and stay in historic buildings now renovated as hotels and guesthouses.
Sikhottabong Stupa and the Ancient City: Just south of Thakhek is the 500 year-old Sikhottabong Stupa and the Ancient City, one of the most important cultural and religious sites in south central Laos.
Limestone Forest Viewpoint: Stunning views can be seen from the Limestone Forest Viewpoint on Route 8. The jagged limestone outcrops blanketed in forest are a geological marvel forming part of the Phou Hin Phoun National Protected Area.
Cool Pool and Ban Napavan: One of the best swimming spots in Laos! Cool off in Vang Nam Yen and gaze up at surrounding mountains and limestone cliffs. Turn north off Route 8 east of Ban Phontan towards Ban Napavan.
Nang Aen Cave: Nang Aen is a massive cave 15km east of Thakhek just off Route 12. Named after the legendary tragic romance of Nang Samounta, you can travel by boat on the underground lake.
Do it in sections or drive / ride the whole way round. From Vientiane, head clockwise to Konglor Cave - Lak Xao – Nakai – Thakhek and back. From Champassak or Thailand, head to Thakhek and travel anti-clockwise via Nakai – Lak Xao – Konglor and back to Thakhek. If you want a bit of adventure, head to Thakhek and hire motorbikes. It’s becoming the thing to do!
GETTING THERE | SLEEPING:
There are plenty of guesthouses and hotels around The Loop. Overnight stops are usually made in Thakhek, Nakai, Thalang, Lak Xao and Konglor.