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Saravan Eyes Upgrade of Phouphasouk Park to Entice Visitors

Source: Vientiane Times

Saravan provincial authorities have given the green light for the construction of visitor facilities at Phouphasouk Park, hoping to attract more visitors and at the same time generate more income for local residents.

The park contains several caves of which Tham Phouphasouk is one of the most striking. Visitors can explore the interior of the cave and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites, have a picnic, or go hiking. There are also plans for a campsite but no concession has been granted for this yet.

Head of the Saravan provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr. Malayvone Siphaserth, told Vientiane Times that provincial authorities have authorised the construction of an access road, toilets and viewpoints as well as the improvement of facilities inside the cave, at a cost of more than 24 billion kip.

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Authorities also want the company undertaking this work to build a guesthouse, a resort, restaurants, and treehouses, he added.

Phouphasouk Park is located at Pakpong village in Saravan district. Visitors can get there in four-wheel drive vehicles, minibusses, cars, or motorcycles after driving just 9 kilometres from the provincial capital.

The park has numerous limestone outcrops, rivers that flow throughout the year, forests with huge trees, and many large caves. The caves within the park include Maihere, Kaleng, Xongchod, Kao, Malai, Hi, Lom, Praleusy, and Phouphasouk.

Phouphasouk cave is the longest of the caves in the area, with a length of 4,630 metres. French experts consider it to be the most interesting cave in Laos after Konglor cave in Khammuan province, according to the Saravan provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department.

Saravan is endowed with a wealth of natural and cultural attractions as well as places of historical interest, and visitors to this largely unexplored area of Laos will not be disappointed. The province is home to 10 ethnic groups whose colourful way of life can be observed, while there are plenty of local dishes to be sampled and souvenirs to be bought.

Saravan has 50 officially-designated sites of natural interest, 38 cultural attractions, and six historical sites, of which seven currently have visitor facilities, according to a statistical report issued by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

The province is renowned for its stunning scenery, with the Tad Lor waterfall being one of the highlights and a jumping-off point for further adventures in this peaceful and little-known province.

Another must-see is the Kaengkou waterfall, which carries water from the Xedon and Xeset rivers, and is a great spot for a picnic.

The province is also home to Hor Tai Pi Dok, where Buddhist scriptures are stored, and which was named a national heritage site last year. Saravan province is located in the south of Laos about 690km from Vientiane by road. It contains the Phou Xieng Thong National Biodiversity Conservation Area, which extends over nearly 1,000 square kilometres in the western part of the province close to the Mekong River.