Dan Khou Ha Rock Park - a wonderful weekend getaway

Welcoming Visit Laos Year 2018, Vientiane Times is publishing a series of feature articles and images inviting you to experience the authentic nature, culture, history and hospitality of Laos, Jewel of the Mekong.

The Dan Khou Ha rock park, which is also known as Dan Soung, is currently being promoted by a private company as a tourist site that will help conserve nature.
This area with numerous rock formations is located at the top of Phouphanang hill.

Rocky boulders make striking backdrops for photographs.

The beautiful site is also within Tadxon nature park near Nanyang village, 4 km from Huakhua village on Road 13 North and 28 km from Vientiane city centre.
Visitors can relax amid natural forests and newly planted groves. The area has many kinds of plants, including industrial trees, fruit trees and ornamental species. The park has many species from Asean countries.
Among its special features is a  bornamsangkeo (a water bore) on a stony slope. When visitors stand at the top, they have a wonderful view over Vientiane. The many different rock formations can serve as intriguing backgrounds for photographs.
The developers say the site is a perfect location for families to relax in the fresh air, or while camping during weekends or holidays. The park can also be used as a location for pre-wedding photography.
Tadxon is one of the best known natural tourist sites in Naxaithong district as well as Vientiane, which has plenty of such sites.
Mr Khamphay Somsana, a well-known businessman who owns more than 10 businesses, said his vision is to develop this area and transform it into a place for people to relax.
He has been developing this site since 1990 and opened it to the public seven years ago. Besides the many tree species, he has built several facilities for visitors.
The total area of the site is more than 10,000 hectares. More than 4,000 hectares are Mr Khamphay’s own property and the rest has been granted to him as a concession. 
Visitors can also visit President Souphanouvong Cave, where President Souphanouvong and other Lao leaders took refuge after escaping from Phonkheng jail in 1959 during the Indochina war.
Mr Khamphay recently opened a zipline with a total length of 3.7 km at the Tadxon tourism site. This is currently the longest zipline in Laos, he said.
The site has 111 huts that can each accommodate 10 people and 40 guesthouses, 10 of which are currently open. There is a meeting room that can accommodate 300 people, a restaurant and 11 elephants for rides by visitors.
Tourists can visit the site all year round and bring food from home and camp there.
Tourists can access the rock park by cars, motorcycles and bicycles. Those looking for a challenge experience can even trek to the park, which is about nine kilometres from the entrance. However, it is difficult to access the park during the rainy season and those who have never driven in hilly terrain should be careful.
Mr Khamphay has plans to develop more scenic sites within the park and to install statues of important leaders. He will also continue developing the area by constructing more facilities for visitors, improving the access roads and creating a garden with flowers, ornamental species and a waterfall.
Naxaithong district has seven tourist attractions, including Pheuksa Garden and Tad Yao waterfall at Danxee village, Nadia Farm at Nakhounnoy village, and Tadxon. 
There are also natural tourism sites such as Nam Houm Reservoir, Nam Xuang Reservoir and Tad Xuang.
These sites attract tourists from Vientiane, neighboring provinces and overseas. The area has six hotels, 10 resorts and 55 restaurants.
Authorities in Naxaithong have also sought funding from businesses to develop three more tourist sites.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update June 12, 2018)

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