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Khammuan’s Phou Pha Marn set to be next adventure hotspot

Phou Pha Marn, one of the most environmentally stunning places in central Laos, is on its way to becoming a top-flight visitor attraction, designed to make the most of the dramatic landscape.
More activities and accommodation are being made available to deal with the projected increase in visitors under the ‘Lao Visit Laos’ tourism campaign to boost the number of domestic travellers.

The president of Green Discovery Laos, Mr Inthy Deuansavanh, told Vientiane Times his company is building 12 ziplines and bridges which will open at the end of this year.
“Our programme will also include a visit to Tham Nam (water cave) about 4km from the Rock Viewpoint, which we will start later this year. We will build capsule accommodation near the cave where visitors can stay overnight to observe the wildlife,” he said.
In addition, Mr Inthy said, Khounkeo Cave, which is located 5km from the Rock Viewpoint, will soon be open to tourists. The cave is one of the most fascinating in the area and is accessible by ziplines.
At present, the activities on offer at Phou Pha Marn include six ziplines, a tree canopy walk, a walk across a Spider Net, climbing over rocks to reach a viewpoint, and hiking.
Located in the Phou Hinboun National Protected Area in Khammuan province some 260km south of Vientiane, the site also has a restaurant which offers food and drink similar to that served at the Khop Chai Deu restaurant in Vientiane.
Green Discovery Laos has yet to open a hotel or resort at the site so that holidaymakers can stay longer to experience the magical atmosphere and virgin forests.
“We are building 26 cabins and treehouses and we plan to open all of them at the end of this year,” Mr Inthy said.
“Another activity we offer is kayaking on the Hinboun River. Tourists can spend half a day or one day on this activity.”  
Concerning safety measures, Mr Inthy said people who want to go ziplining are asked to sign a waiver indicating that they acknowledge the risks involved before they get on a zipline.  
“I assure you that the safety of tourists is our first priority. The equipment used on the zipline has been inspected and is accepted internationally,” Mr Inthy said.  
The Rock Viewpoint at Phou Pha Marn is a must-see place. Adventure activities opened up last year with a view to promoting tourism in the region.
Eighty percent of people passing through stop off for coffee or a meal and to take photos before continuing on their way.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 80 percent of people visiting the site came from Thailand, but the number of Lao visitors has risen significantly following the recent launch of the Lao Visit Laos campaign.
Mr Inthy said Phou Hinboun has huge potential for sustainable activities. The government wants tourism to preserve the beauty of the national protected area and involve local communities so that it truly benefits the area.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update
October 12,

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