Tham Pha Kouang

Useful Information

Location: 500 m from Ban Pakbak towards Nong Khiaw. At the main road between Nambak and Nong Khiaw, short footpath to the cave. Ngoi District.
(N 20° 34' 57,7", E 102° 35' 30,4")
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: no author (n.y.): Amis Laos Caving Expedition 2000, pp 70-71, survey 2 photos.
Expedition report of the first Dutch caving expedition in Lao P D R.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The entrance of Tham Pha Kouang is situated right next to the main road between Nambak and Nong Khiaw, about 500 m past Ban Pakbak in the direction of Nong Khiaw. The entrance is clearly visible from the road. A short footpath leads to the cave.

The cave has been known to the locals for a long time. It was used during the Vietnam war by the Lao resistance as a shelter and weapons storage. By means of precision bombing the Americans managed to drop a sizeable bomb through the entrance. The effect was disastrous: large rocks were blown out of the cave, and parts of the entrance are still charred from the blast. Nowadays, the cave has a religious function, and Buddha statues can be found in large numbers throughout the entrance chamber.

Do not enter the rest of the cave, there are very high CO2 concentrations.

Text by Tony Oldham (2005). With kind permission.