"Small, new and pleasant." Ban Thakhek by planxty

Ban Thakhek Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 20 photos

It is hard to think that a sizeable town like Thakhek, the Provincial capital of Khammouane Province, is actually not even 100 years old yet but that is the case. The town was founded as a trading post by the French in 1911 - 1912 and this is reflected in the general look of the place, which is decidedly more French in appearance than most other places in Lao. It is a pleasant place to spend a few days on the banks of the mighty Mekong, and readers of my other pages will know the deep affinity I have for that particular river.

However, the best thing you can do in Thakhek is get out of it, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. The surrounding scenery is simply stunning, with large limestone rock formations, cave shrines, beautiful pools and rivers etc. It really is spectacular, and relatively unvisited by travellers. The best way to see all of it is to do "the Loop" on a motorcycle, which should take about three days. I didn't have tome to do that but I did manage a wonderful one day excursion which is featured in my tips and a travelogue.

You really should stop off here on your way through.

Update December 2011.

I really cannot imagine how this happened. Whilst on my large tour of Southeast Asia in late 2009, early 2010, I was trying to keep up my tips as I went along and managed to do pretty well. Just yesterday, however, I was looking trhough my travel pages and found out that somehow or another I had created a "holding" page for this place with only one photo.

What I propose to do, therefore, is create a travelogue concentrating on the day I took off into the hinterland as briefly described above and hope it gives you a flavour of the numerous limestone formations and caves (many used as religious sites) that you can expect to see here.

Update November 2013.

It is almost inconceivable to me that I have still not managed to make at least a few tips on this rather wonderful place, but it appears to be the case. Believe me, I loved Thakhek and I really cannot believe why I have not made more tips on it. I have managed to find my photos from the place so I will try to construct a few but they do obviously come with the caveat that they are now over three years old. I offer them merely as suggestions, things may have changed. I'll let you know when I get back to this lovely place!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Peaceful atmosphere, stunning surrounding countryside.
  • Cons:Perhaps a little quiet for some.
  • In a nutshell:The French knew how and where to build a town.
  • Last visit to Ban Thakhek: Jan 2010
  • Intro Updated Nov 12, 2013
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planxty

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