Roving reporter Emilie interviewed Remote Kong Lor Cave from its hidden location in Laos.
I am very remote, about six hours outside Vientiane. You can only get to me by a small bus that leaves once daily, or riding on the back of a Songtaew from Thakek.
There are mountains all around me, and fields where villagers are sowing seeds for new crops whilst children play barefoot. I’m surrounded by kilometers of emptiness. Living life very relaxed, day-to-day, with few disturbances.
The Nam Hin Bun River runs right through me, 7 kilometers from one end of my mysterious cavern to the other. A small village of around 10 people uses me to gain access to the outside world.
I can hear distant voices. I can hear the rudder of small boats coming through. The silent lapping of kayaks as the river leads them upstream under my rugged terrain. You can kayak right into the depths of me.
Remote Kong Lor Cave speaks
It's very dark where I am, quiet and peaceful. When people walk into me, I sense them starting to feel more relaxed, almost serene. Some get frightened at first as they leave the light, and try to adjust their eyes as they enter the darkness.
I hear echoes of their voices as they wander amongst my stalactites and stalagmites. I’m not a dangerous place, perhaps just a bit frightening if you're on your own.
Not many tourists come to see me. Most people don't even know I exist. Even those tourists who venture this far on motorbikes prefer the famous motorcycle loop to me. Those who do come are very grateful they took the time and trouble to find me.
I’m a hidden gem off the beaten track, one of the geological wonders of this part of the world.
Kong Lor Cave was interpreted by
Lisa Hinderdael, architect and co-founder of a design studio that makes unique products out of sustainable and recycled materials. She says, “My partner and I were researching what to do in Laos. We randomly found this cave that had a river running through it. I was absolutely adamant we were going to do this on our trip. Fairly warned that the location was remote, it took us a good day to get there because the roads are so bad and our little bus had an overheating engine requiring us to stop and cool it every 15 minutes.
"In the end it took us more than 12 hours to reach the cave, but it’s probably one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to. The cave set the tone for the rest of our trip. Finally, I was like, let's slow down. Let's not rush around. So we spent more time in each place, really getting to experience South East Asia and all it has to offer."
Lisa says to Kong Lor Cave
Thank you for reminding us to slow down and enjoy each place and every moment that is in front of us, rather than rushing to the next.
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Lisa was invited by her design partner Sofia Hagen, with whom she shares a passion for sustainable design and organic forms.