The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/169308209 (a VERY steep hill – 13% – and then a fantastic fast downhill, to a long unnervingly straight, and flat road to the cave)
The chat: A killer climb (12% in parts) – but spectacular scenery – brought us to Konglor cave, a famous tourist attraction in Lao. The waterfights continued unabated, and having dumped our bags at the clean friendly and cheap Chantha guesthouse, we joined the heaving masses of (exclusively Laos partiers) at the cave mouth. Caves are clearly the place to hang out for a water festival.
Konglor cave has to be experienced to be believed. Taking a tiny boat into a cave, powered by a surprisingly big engine and an unsurprisingly reckless Laotian teenager was an experience in itself, as we careered through in pitch black, cornering sharply every time a massive rock suddenly appeared out of the darkness in our torch-lit path. 8km later we emerged into light on the other side of the cave having passed through a series of cathedral-esque caverns dripping with stalactites – pretty surreal, to say the least. The pictures don’t do it justice. Suffice it to say, if you’re in the vicinity, it’s definitely worth the detour! Popping out into a lake packed full of partying swimming drinking dancing Laotians (splashing around in the water fully clothed) was almost as surreal, and we enjoyed the passably good band and definitely not passably good dancing over a beer.