The beautiful and large Chom Ong cave in Xay district of Oudomxay province will soon open to domestic and overseas tourists after the improvement of the road leading to it and facilities at the site.
The Deputy Director of the Information, Culture and Tourism Department of Oudomxay province, Mr Bounkuam Mitmeuangxay, who is also project director for the site, heard about the progress in improving the road running from the provincial capital to the cave, with a length of more than 40 km, and the facilities when he recently visited the site for an inspection.
“About 98 percent of the work on the road from Huayoun village to the cave and the infrastructure and other facilities is complete, with the work expected to be finished in June,” he said.
The remaining work includes the beautification of the area around the cave and once this is done, it will open to visitors, Mr Bounkuam said.
The facilities including a 4,000-square metre parking lot, shops, an exhibition room, public toilets and power lines to carry electricity for lighting up the inside of the cave.
The project is being funded by the Asian Development Bank at a cost of more than 108 billion kip (US$13 million), provincial authorities said.
Since the cave is likely to become popular with visitors, the province wants to ensure the site is well set up and able to cater to a large numbers of visitors.
The province is set to make the most of Chom Ong cave as a tourist attraction. It is located 48 km from the centre of Xay district, near a Khmu village called Chom Ong.
The cave is recognised as one of the longest in Southeast Asia. It is nearly 16 km long and ranked the sixth longest in the world. The longest cave in the world is 44 km, according to an European survey team.
While visiting the area, tourists can go trekking, swim in a nearby river, and take part in the traditional dances and lifestyle of the Khmu ethnic group, according to an official.
Oudomxay province is home to other places of interest to tourists. Both local residents and tourists love to cool off at Nam Kat waterfall, while the Singkham Buddha temple is one of the most striking in the province and a lovely venue to offer up a prayer. The beautiful Tad Talae waterfall is especially impressive after heavy rains.
Oudomxay is located 583 km from Vientiane and is accessible via all-weather roads and by air.
By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update June 8, 2020)