"in the land of elephants and spirits" Khoueng Xaignabouli Off The Beaten Path Tip by picek
Khoueng Xaignabouli Off The Beaten Path: 2 reviews and 2 photos
Generally speaking Sainyabouly province is off the beaten path destiantion itself, but it has a lot of scenic qualities and diverse ethnic population.. It's also rich with wildlife and has been famous for one of the largest population of Asian elephants in Laos. Researchers say there are some wild elephants left in Nam Pouy protected area. Elephants must not be approached directly in matting season when they become dangerous when disturbed and can injure or even kill intruders. These are real stories from locals and should be taken seriously in case you go to jungle and cross elephant's way (also domesticated ones can be equally dangerous at that time). Aonther thing is related to animists beliefs - to many people Lao and ethnic tribes, forest is sacred place and place where they put the bones of their ancestors. That's why some trees and parts of forests aren't allowed to touch or visit.
To get to Nam Pouy you'll need to rent your own vehicle or a guide. Some agenices can arrange cycling through the area with their guide but in general these are very remote areas where foreign tourists and adventurers aren't seen often yet. In case you'll be doing the trip through the NPA entirely by yourself (which is doable but depends on the current weather situation) you make sure that your vehicle is in good condition and that you know how to fix it because those are sparsely inhabitated places and there aren't lots of mechanics. When there are they will do their best but they have limited choice of tools and spare parts. In the mountainous areas of NPA you cannot count on the signal either, so you won't be able to call anyone.
As for medical service - it's limited to the district capitals and there's a basic service in the bigger villages so bring some medicine with you.
You can enter Sayabouly from Thailand, there are 2 border check points and one near Hongsa has Visa on arrival facility. The border near Botene (Kentao) has no VOA yet and visas must be obtained in advance.