Thakhek and Khammuan Province
Thakhek is a small city located at the Mekong River. It is the capital of Khammouan Province. In the centre of the city some colonial era buildings can still be found. Thakhek is known by many travelers because of the Thakhek Loop that starts and finishes in the city and takes you to breathtaking landscapes on the way.
The name Khammouan means ‘happy gold’ (Kham is Lao for ‘gold’ and mouan for ‘happy’). Gold was find in the area a long time ago and it made the people happy, so that is the explanation of the name. If it is true, we will probably never know for sure but it’s a nice theory.
Some old and interesting things can be found in the province: the Great Wall (Kampeng Nyak), Meuang Phone Stupa and the sacred Sikhotabong Stupa.
The karst mountains east of Thakhek are spectacular and many caves can be found in the area. The mentioned Thakhek Loop is a loop that brings visitors to a lot of the natural beauty of the province. One of the most known places in the province is the Kong Lo Cave. It is 7.5 km long and up to 100 meters high in some places. A boat trip through this cave is considered a highlight be many visitors of Khammouan province.
An amazing discovery
One of the caves in the province with 229 Buddha images was only discovered again by people in 2004! An amazing find by Mr. Boun Nong! The cave was named Tam Pa Fa (the Buddha Cave). The cave is located near Ban Na Khang Xang village in Thakhek village. The Buddha images inside are old and some of them are from the Lane Xang and Sikhottabong eras. Some might be of Vietnamese and Khmer origin. A very special place to visit if you ask us…