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Hin Boun

Located in southern Laos, just over the border from Thailand, the Hin Boun National Park – also known as Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area - is a protected area with a rich diversity of bird species, and even a few tigers and elephants. The limestone karst scenery, and riverine life make it a great place to stop and soak in the beauty of unspoiled nature for a night or two during a trip through southern Laos.

Thanks to its position within the heart of the biodiversity zone and its Kong Lor cave complex, Hin Bound is one of the caving capitals of the world. It is also becoming a very popular rock-climbing spot, the limestone karsts making a perfect climbing environment. Despite this, it is still very much an off-the-beaten-path Laos destination, meaning you aren’t likely to see many other foreigners around.

Even if caving and climbing are not your cup of tea, it is still worth visiting Hin Boun if only for the stunning scenery and the chance of seeing some of the wildlife.

Nearby, Prabaht Ponsan stupa and Ban Ton Na Mae market are well worth a visit. The intricate and colourful dress of the H'mong people living in the area is a wonderful sight. Further south is the regional centre of Thakhek: this bustling Laos town is home to an old quarter, where you can see over the Mekong to Thailand in the distance. There are some wonderful caves just outside the town, including a cave that is seven kilometres long, and can be explored partly by boat.

Vientiane is the nearest significant city, lying around a 5 – 6 hour drive southeast. This journey makes for a particularly scenic drive. If you are interested in incorporating the national park into your tailor-made tour of Laos, we suggest combining it with places of interest that lie further south, to Pakse and beyond. The best time of year to go to the Hin Boun National Park is between November and March, when you will be assured of dry conditions.

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