Most of our research usually comes from the Lonely Planet and Internet. After flipping some local pamphlet, we discovered the Kong Lor Cave. It peaked our curiosity but it was not so convenient to get to. After mapping the location, we decided we would take the local path. From Vientiane, we took a local bus to Vieng Kham, then a songthaew (a pick-up truck with benches and a hood) to Ban Na Hin, and then another songthaew to Ban Kong Lo. The total trip there took us one whole day.
On our last hop, we were packed in with people, a hand bicycle, and two large containers of gasoline. During the ride, the gasoline was leaking all over because the plastic containers were melting due to the heat. If that was not enough, one guy aboard was about to light up his cigarette until we screamed and jumped on him.
Our driver was nice enough to show us and the two other westerners aboard, several lodgings. We all decided to stay at the same place. It was a great night of dinner and drinks with our new friends.
The next morning, we did a 2-hour boat exploration through the entire limestone cave that spanned 4.5 miles long and up to 300 feet high. While inside, it was too dark to get any great shots. However, it was a nice relaxing ride through the impressive cave.
After our journey through the cave, we wandered through the village. Many of the residents were in their home sleeping or lounging, as it was a very hot day. The homes were made of bamboo and there was just enough material to have walls and a ceiling. The residents seemed to be self-reliable as they grew what they ate and even had cable.
Overall, Ban Kong Lo is a quiet place to escape to. There were only a few tourists including the helicopter that flew in filled with tourists who did not want to do the local trek in.