If I needed one specific reason to come to Laos, that would be Khong Lor. Picture a river that twists and turns through rice paddies on its way to a jungle-covered, karst escarpment, a jagged wall of soaring peaks. Entering the jungle, the river heads straight towards the massive limestone walls where it suddenly disappears through a cave opening.
Those who dare boat in through the opening into the pitch-black world within winding their way along 7 kilometers (4.2 miles) of underground river through a series of caverns until the river reemerges on the opposite side of the escarpment into the Phu Hin Bun National Protected Area. Reminiscent of Jules Verne’s greatest journey, Khong Lor beckons the adventurer with the lure of a boat ride into the underworld and visions of epic adventure beyond.