Getting Lost in 5 Greatest National Parks in Laos

Being the single landlocked region in Southeast Asia, the country of Laos is blessed with tropical forests, mighty limestone mountains, and diverse wildlife, which makes Lao national parks especially appealing to the thrill-seekers. Definitely, thanks to the adequate information, transport, and gear, taking a trip to the national parks in Laos is not only fantastic but also affordable. To get yourself immersed in natural beauty and enjoy spectacular adventures, let's explore our list of top 5 national parks in Laos.

1. DONG AMPHAN

Situated in  Attapeu province's northeast region with a dimension about 200,000 hectares, Dong Amphan is predominantly hilly area, which even reaches up to 2000m in height. In particular, the steep hills here seem to be more impressive when combining with the stunning streams and rivers. Apart from being an essential site for shifting cultivation, this place also stands out with semi-evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest, as well as secondary vegetation zone.

More significantly, Dong Amphan national park is like a huge collection of rare animals including Asiatic golden cat, tiger, clouded leopard, buff-cheeked gibbon, small elephants, and so on. Moreover, with around 280 bird species, this park is well-known as an International Bird Area where visitors can freely dive in superb birds’ rhythms.

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The road from Attapeu to Xanxai District which leads to the north of this preserved land is always recommended by previous comers. Coming here, how awesome it will be when you patiently spend time walking on foot to access the heart of Dong Amphan. What is more, please do not forget contemplating natural surroundings along your walking trails.

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2. DONG HUA SAO

With an area of 1,100 square kilometers in the Champasak Province, Dong Hua Sao welcomes its dear guests with the lowland plains which cover nearly a half of the protected land. In terms of the vegetation, this national park consists of the evergreen forest belonging to the land in modest height while dry and mixed deciduous forest fitting the uplands.

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If you are a wildlife lover, the varying kinds of fauna, especially the valued population of wildlife such as sambar deer, gaur, wild boar, civet, leopard cat, squirrel, and smooth otter will make you more exciting than ever. In addition, this spot even resembles a cozy home for 26 bird species and 41 reptile and amphibian species being safely protected. 

To safely get there, let's stick in your mind that you need to follow the route 13 south and from Pakse -Paksong north. If the roads from the coffee plantation to the uplands make you confused, please be quick and flexible to ask the locals for guide.

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3. HIN NAMNO

Hin Nam No national park, which belongs to Khammouane Province, has been acknowledged as a place of international significance for the biodiversity conservation. The reason lies in its variety of habitat and varying forest types provided by the landscape geomorphology, which contributes an admirable biodiversity of flora and fauna. Indeed, this site is like a setting of the stunning limestone karst formations amidst the limestone hills and valleys. In addition, only when you might have various opportunities to watch around 45 species of mammals (a fourth of them are Globally Threatened) can you feel excited during your vacation to this picturesque park.

More specifically, the Hin Nam No national park’ ecosystem also resembles a homeland for 217 bird species and around 46 reptile species that have inhabited there. In addition, the Xe Bang Fai River accounts for a large number of fish species which reach up to 130. Blessed with enormous forests, this ecotourism site is appealing to those who have a craze for discovering the mighty nature, but it is necessary to take note that the time for accessing is limited involving in 5-hour driving and another 9-hour boating.

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4. NAKAI-NAM THEUN

Going along Route 12 from Thakhek, you can more easily access to the protected area called Nakai - Nam Theun which covers 3,445,000 hectares. Getting lost in the natural heaven of this Southeast Asia’s most pristine wilderness, you will find the rugged Annamite Mountains, the nearby Nakai Plateau, and varying complex forest systems fantastically stunning.

Being truly untouched, this second largest protected area in Laos plays an important role in preserving numerous endemic the Annamites’ species recently discovered by scientists, including the Saola, small dark muntjac, Giant Muntjac, and the Indochinese warty pig rediscovered in 1997 after being considered extinct. Additionally, visit the park’s raw and exotic natural beauty, then let's try to spot unknown flora, herbs and even more than 300 species of birds. In a little more detail, this huge area is very safe for globally threatened and 19 globally near-threatened birds with extinction. 

In general, traveling to this national park doesn’t mean you can luckily see all of endangered creatures; it also contains a meaningful lesson for environment protection that you need to take care.

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5. PHOU KHAO KHOUAY

Covering 28,264 square kilometers across Vientiane and Bolikhamxay Provinces, Phou Khao Khouay which means “Buffalo Horn Mountain”, features a vast array of biodiversity ranging from the mix deciduous forest, dry evergreen forest to and coniferous forest. In addition, rivers and waterfalls, consisting of noteworthy Tad Leuk and Tad Xay – both of them are worthy of a single daytrip. Noticeably, spending time on a wild adventure may let you meet some endangered animals like clouded leopard, sambar deer, Sun and Asiatic black bears. Of course, it is obvious that the whole lively collection cannot lack the presence of 157 types of birds. 

To reach this protected eco-site, public vehicles, private car, or motorbike are always available for you to depart from Vientiane metropolis. Along the road, let's feast your eyes with spectacular waterfalls, charming lakes, ethnic villages, pine forests, and uncultivated orchids. Although the long path might take efforts, the escapade is still rewarding.

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In conclusion, whether you choose to discover which national park in 5 ones listed above, any of them also ensures that you can step into the primitive and peaceful world where is proud to have diverse kinds of fauna and flora. Therefore, why don’t you discover naturally untouched corners in these 5 protected areas right now?

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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]