Phou Khao Khouay National Park

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Timings : 8 AM to 5 PM

Time Required : 6 to 7 hours

Entry Fee : 5000 LAK or 0.6 USD

Phou Khao Khouay National Park, Vientiane Overview

Phou Khao Khouay is a protected national park located close to the capital city of Vientiane in Laos. It is an enormous reserve area consisting of mountain ranges, sandstone cliffs, rivers, waterfalls and lakes along with being home to rich wildlife in SE Asia. If you enjoy trekking amidst mountains, cycling and swimming amidst waterfalls, it is recommended to take a day trip to Phou Khao Khouay on your visit to Vientiane.

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Phou Khao Khouay National Park

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Best time to visit

The best time to visit Phou Khao Khouay national park is from October to February when the weather is ideal for hiking, cycling and visiting waterfalls.

Places to visit/Activities in Phou Khao Khouay National Park

  • Three rivers Nam Gnong, Nam Mang and Nam Leuk all tributaries of the Mekong flow through the national park, giving a wide range of options for the tourists including swimming, diving, kayaking and boat trips.
  • There are two famous waterfalls Tad Xay and Tad Leuk along the Nam Leuk river in  Bolikhamxay province, which are best to visit during and after monsoon from August to February. It is recommended to make a separate day trip to these waterfalls as they need time to explore.
  • You can also visit remote villages adjoining the park home to ethnic groups of Laos. The most well-known ones are Hmong, Khmu and Yao.
  • Take up tours - You can opt for hiking, biking, kayaking, wildlife watching, trips to waterfalls and the villages. Depending on what you choose, it might take a day or two to do.

Tips

  • The best way to explore the attractions or take part in activities in Phou Khao Khouay Park is to organise guided trips.
  • The best way to visit Tad Xay and Tad Leuk waterfalls is to go with guided tours. The trails are unmarked and deep in the jungle, so it is dangerous to venture alone.
  • You can select to book from the activities that you wish to do to book tours accordingly. Check with your hotel or guesthouse for organised trips.
  • The other way is to reach the entrance of the national park early in the morning and visit the information centre. Most wildlife watching, kayaking, cycling and hiking tours start early in the morning, which allows you to join after booking there on the spot.
  • The price for all these activities are dependant on the season, the number of people choosing tours and the type of trips. Expect to pay between 60 to 100 USD per person.
  • If you wish to stay overnight, there are not many options to choose from except Ban Pako Eco Lodge, which is slightly expensive. The alternatives are homestays, which can be checked at the information centre when you arrive. Make sure to book fast once you plan as they fill soon.
  • There are not many restaurants or cafes for dining and drinks. It is better to carry some snacks and water. Also, there are no public toilets.
  • If you are traveling in a group, getting around by car is economical as well as comfortable.
  • It is recommended to carry essential items like medicines, toiletries, good shoes, umbrellas, sunscreen, cap, and other things.
  • There are no ATMs here, and all transactions are carried out only in cash. Carry sufficient cash while traveling to the national park.

Phou Khao Khouay National Park History & Significance

Phou Khao Khouay translates to Buffalo Horn Mountain in the local language. The reserve area was recognised as a national park in 1993 covering the city of Vientiane, Vientiane and Bolikhamsay province. Its vibrant ecosystem is diverse, spanning from mangrove forests to river gorges to valleys home to giant waterfalls. The national reserve is home to rare and endangered wild species of elephants, bears, deer, tigers, langurs, gibbons, reptiles and birds which can be sighted if you are lucky on wildlife tours.

How To Reach Phou Khao Khouay National Park

Phou Khao Khouay National Park is located about 40km from the city centre of Vientiane. The best way to reach is by hiring a cab for about 200000 LAK to 300000 LAK for a roundtrip that can be shared. The price of this ride depends on the number of people and your negotiating skills. It takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there. You can also rent a tuk-tuk to get there for a slightly lesser price, and it takes about the same time. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also get there by renting a motorbike for about 10 to 15 USD per day.

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