Vieng Kham is a truck stop rather than a city. It appears that the area has expanded to sustain the two roadways that cross there. There are numerous roadside eateries that can accommodate busloads of people at once. I only have one photo of Vieng Kham, and it’s a photo of a bathroom. Above is a photo of Ban Gnang, where I began my day.
The day began next to this beautiful river. The river flows through a cave for 7 kilometers. On the previous night, I met some other travelers and we arranged to share a boat for the cave tour the next morning.
These tractors piqued my interest. I only recall seeing them in Laos, but they were everywhere here. They essentially consist of a two-wheeled engine and lengthy handlebars. They’re frequently tethered to carts and ridden around in them. The cart is removed in the fields and rice paddies, and I assume a plow is attached to it.
Ban Gnang village was a pleasant break on my journey. There wasn’t much to it, yet it had a certain allure that I liked. The settlement rests on a tranquil, clean river, which is worth visiting.
I caught up with the pair with whom I’d be sharing a boat and we went to the cave entrance together.
I’m not going to bother posting any of the hideous images I took inside the cave. However, it was quite impressive. In a very unsteady boat, the boat driver drove us into a very lengthy cave. It felt like the narrow boat was going to flip over and fill with water at any moment. We had to get out and drag the boat to a deeper portion of the river when the water became too shallow. We emerged into an area that immediately reminded me of Jurassic Park after a long trip in the cave.
I’m sure there’s another route into this area outside the cave, but it felt like a land that had been forgotten by time. As if it were a hidden forest that could only be reached via a long subterranean river.
In this location, there were some water buffaloes. I can’t stop myself from photographing these animals.
We turned around and returned to the cave entrance after a while.
Here’s a picture of a cave that isn’t too bad. This is the entrance of the cave.
This is the cave’s entrance as well. The types of engines used by the boats can be seen here. They’re found across Southeast Asia.
I said my goodbyes to the couple with whom I had shared a boat after the cave trip and returned to the road. If my memory serves me right, I began around lunchtime.
On the prior day, I took images every few minutes. I only stopped for photos once during this day’s riding. I pulled up to a small picnic area and hiked up a hill to take in the scenery.
The view was breathtaking. It’s another place where I seriously considered if the extra weight of a great camera would be worth it. Layers upon layers of craggy, pointy mountains dominated the view. It was a breathtaking sight.
On the Thakhek loop, this was one of my favorite spots. And the only spot I noticed with a nice view of it was this small raised picnic area. There were trees that covered the view at the road’s level.
I arrived in a town not long after stopping to see the bizarre rock/mountain formation above. I looked around for a guesthouse to stay at because the next section of road to Thakhek was too far to travel to before nightfall.
This is the only picture I have of Vieng Kham. I’m not sure why I decided to take it. For the location, the toilet is unremarkable. I’m quite sure I mistook it for a toilet post on Facebook. It was possibly my first photograph of the butt sprayers that are ubiquitous in the neighborhood. Even though I was familiar with squat toilets, I was nonetheless apprehensive about using them.
I’d finish the loop the next day and return to Thakhek. I assumed the loop would take 5 or 6 nights when I posted a few posts ago, but it appears like it only took 4 nights.
I stopped at a cool lake on the last leg of the loop, which I’ll write about tomorrow. I’m hoping you’ll be able to join me then!