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Explore Kao Rao Cave in Vieng Phoukha
  Explore Kao Rao Cave in Vieng Phoukha  
  Take an easy hike through the 30-hectare Kao Rao Cave area, explore the underground labyrinth, and select an optional Khmu homestay in Ban Nam Eng.

Vieng Phoukha’s Eco-guide Unit just launched the tour that begins at Ban Nam Eng after a 12-km, self-arranged tuk tuk ride. A trained local guide leads you on an easy trail that gently climbs through primary forests before leveling off at a path along the Chook River.

As you approach the limestone cave, the guide will point out the older trees that support a range of flora and fauna, demonstrate bird-calling techniques, feed the river’s fish, and explain the area’s geological past.

Spelunkers have mapped Kao Rao Cave for some 1,000 meters, and still haven’t reached the end. Natural steps descend to a narrow tunnel, but you can stand upright in the well-lit cavern as it opens up to chambers containing natural stone pools, dry formations, and wet-cave pearls.

The half-day tour ends after you exit the cave and return to your tuk tuk, while those opting for the overnight homestay continue to Ban Nam Eng. The Khmu village was established in 1972, though the locals’ ancestors have lived in Vieng Phoukha for more than 300 years.

They greet you with a massage, before the guide shows you villagers making baskets and preparing traditional meals. You can also try fishing in the Eng River and planting rice (seasonal). After dinner, villagers present an evening of traditional singing and dancing, and old folk tales before turning in for the night.
Update: 05 July 2016
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