Travel

This Mega-Size River Cave In Laos Is Stunning To Explore Via Kayak

Take a deep breath, because things are about to get epic.

The Xe Bang Fai River cave in central Laos is considered to be one of the largest known river caves in the world. Find the upriver entrance -- which is a forest-covered sinkhole, mind you -- and you'll journey on an underground river about four miles long, snaking through cave passages that can be more than 390 feet tall and over 650 feet wide.

The caverns are filled with hanging stalagmites, subterranean gardens, fossil passages and foot-long cave pearls made from minerals. Tourists only started accessing Xe Bang Fai about 10 years ago, and visitors can bring their own inflatable kayaks for exploring, or rent a boat from a local.

On a 10-day exploration in 2008, photographer Dave Bunnell spent as many as 17 hours per day paddling through Xe Bang Fai. His photos reveal a stunning paradise that we still can't wrap our minds around -- and one we need to visit ASAP.

David Bunnel
David Bunnell
David Bunnell
David Bunnell
David Bunnell
David Bunnel

In travel guides, Xe Bang Fai may also be called Tham Khoun Xe Cave. This natural wonder can be visited from November through April, during the high season in Laos.

See you there.

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