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Laos Khammouane province photos: Thakhet - Na Hin - Na Phouak - Konglor caves: 06 - 13 Oct 2006
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Yellowish paddy fields behind Konglor village
Farmers harvesting rice in Konglor village, a farm hut, the yellow paddy fields, and mountains beyond. An early morning scene of October grasps a grand moment of man and nature in relation. As long as man does not break the limits the nature could allow him to survive without much greet the relation could go on healthily for a long long time to come.

Morning scene in Konglor village
Morning scene in Konglor village where Kaleung tribe people have been living for several hundreds of years. They speak Lao language in their way. Agriculture is mainly rice growing. As in other villages along Hin Boun river they have vegetable, coconut, banana, ground nut which are but small quantity. Buffalos, cows, pigs, ducks and chickens are being raised.

Children going to school in Konglor village
Children going to the school in Konglor village. The school provides primary education, after that if they want further study they must go to other village. Konglor has a medical clinic.

Approaching Konglor cave from downstream side
Approaching Konglor cave from downstream side. The cave connects two valleys separated by a mountain range. With 7.5 km long section of Hin Boun river flowing through, it is the longest cave though which a river (and boat and people) goes pass in Laos. Going inside the cave needs you to change to smaller boat.

Entering Konglor cave - downstream end
We were inside the cave at its downstream end. Throughout the 7.5 km long cave air was fresh and it was as if we were out in the forest. It may be due to its size: the cave is wide and tall enough for the air to stay fresh. But visitors must bring powerful torch light.

Nearing the upstream end from within
Nearing the upstream end (hole) from within. At the end of 7.5 km or around one hour journey we arrived at the other end: upstream entrance. It is like you come to the new world from a land of darkness.

At the upstream end - hole of Konglor cave
Upstream entrance of Konglor cave. Hin Boun river on this side is smaller. On this side you can walk 1 km to Ban Pon Kham village, or 1.9 km to Na Tan village. There are more villages in the valley. The people in these villages use the cave as a way to communicate with lower Hin Boun river communities and beyond. If you don't want to come back through the cave, on the eastern side rough dry seson road connects Na Tan village to Na Kai village which has dirt road links to both highway 8 (to the north) and highway 12 (to the south).

Map of Khammaouane province - Laos
1. Nakhon Phanom (Thailand)
2. Thakhet
3. Vieng Kham
4. Na Hin
5. Lak Xao
6. Nam Phao
7. Cau Treo (Vietnam)
8. Na Phouak (Naphouak)
9. Sala Hon Boun Guesthouse
10. Konglor village
11. Sala Konglor Guesthouse
12. Konglor cave
13. Na Tan village
14. Ban Na Kok village
15. Na Heup cave
16. Ban Na village
17. Hin Boun
18. Na Kai
19. Na Phao
20. Chalo (Vietnam)

R1. Mekong river
R2. Hin Boun river
R3. Nam Theun river
A. To Pak Xan, Vientiane
B. To Savannakhet, Pakse
To arrange your travel in Laos, Thailand, etc. check this site: www.trekthailand.net

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