Thakhek, Laos, is one of those places I’d like to keep secret. It has just enough tourist infrastructure is to be comfortable, and yet remain relatively free from crowds and inexpensive. There are a handful of hotels, a sprinkling of restaurants, and as in the case with a lot of places in South East Asia, a ‘can do’, hard-working attitude that gets things done.
What To Do
We were there for rock-climbing, which for us, is probably the best in South East Asia. There are over 300 routes which comprise a good mix of easy, moderate and hard sport routes. The main tourist activity is hiring a motor scooter and riding around the 500 km ‘Thakhek Loop’, to visit the various caves along the way, including the famous Xe Bangfai River cave.
From Bangkok, Thailand, we took a domestic flight to Nakhon Phanom, then a pre arranged van drove us across the Laos border to Thakhek.
Best time to visit is the cool and dry season from November through March.