Thakhek is a city in the central portion of Laos that is along the Mekong River. The city is located across the river from Thailand and is the capital of the Khammouane Province. Like many important cities in Laos, this was once an area ruled by France and so several French colonial style buildings are found here. The third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge is also located across the river between the two countries in this location.
A Little About Thakhek
With a population of about 85,000 people, this is one of the more populous cities within Laos. It is a beautiful area ripe with vegetation, that makes living there one of the more enjoyable places in all of Southeast Asia.
Adding to the great environment of the city is the fact that the average temperature during the year is about 69°F. In fact, the average temperature stays pretty consistently between 62° and 76°F, making sure that it is never really overly hot or cool in the area.
The one disadvantage is the heavy amount of rain that the city receives each year, often in excess of the hundred inches in one single year. In fact, both July and August can see as much is 22 inches of rain on average per month. This means that flooding is an ever present problem for the city of Thakhek.
Getting into the City of Thakhek —> BOOK FLIGHT
There is not an airline service that comes into the city of Thakhek, meaning that the primary means to reach year is either by bus or by taking a boat up the river. Most tourists choose the option of writing the bus either from Vientiane or Pakxe. The trip can last from somewhere between 7 to 10 hours and costs about $65 depending upon the time of year. Boats can be more expensive and can be quite unreliable depending upon how rainy it is at that particular time.
Buses are also available from Thailand. Those who opt to enter into Laos using this option should be aware that a visa is necessary for continued stay within the city. This can be obtained at the bus terminal once you arrive in the city.
What to Do in Thakhek
The Town is the common name given to the area where the city has his oldest roots. This is where you will find many of the older buildings from ancient times as well as during French colonial rule. You will find many large and small hotels, restaurants, vendors serving food along the curb, as well as shops and stores available. Situated right along the river this is a spectacular place to enjoy a day of dining and shopping, or a romantic walk or bike ride along the river. One of the things you will find served at the open markets in this area is an array of unusual meets that many Westerners are not used to partaking in, including squirrel, snake, frog, and bat.
The Konglor Cave is also a great place to spend some time. This is a nearly 4 mile long cave where the river travels through the cave itself. You will see spectacular limestone formations and can tour the caves either on the river in a boat or by walking along the shore. The Buddha Cave is another example of a great cave formation in the area where there are stunning limestone displays and great Buddha statues carved within the cave walls.