Route 12 Caves and Swimming Pools
Tha Kaek may be a small tourist destination but it’s home to the famous Route 12 that boasts of a 20-kilometre stretch filled with stunning caves, and pause-a-while pools.
Board on your most sturdy motorbike, brave the challenging yet exciting roads filled with quaint countrysides and impressive karst and indulge in Route 12’s most appealing tourist attractions. For those who are taking the route for the first time, a lot of caves are hard to resist — take for example Tham Xang Cave, also known as the Elephant Cave because of an elephant head formation found inside, and Tam Pha Cave, a place which houses more than 280 Buddha statues. Tha Falang is also a favorite stop — locals and tourists alike flock to this place for a quick relaxing dip in its pristine waters — especially during sunset time.
Route 12 is located east of Tha Kaek city.
Opening Days and Hours
These attractions can be accessed anytime.
Entry Fee and Bookings
Entrance to the caves and pools range from LAK 3,000 – 10,000 (USD 0.36 to USD 1.2) while guided tours range from LAK 450,000 – 470,000 (USD 55 – USD 57) per person in a group of 4.
How to Get There
- From Vientiane, board a bus to Tha Kaek.
- From the bus station, hire a tuk-tuk to take you to the city centre.
- If you’re traveling solo, hire a heavy-duty motorbike to Route 12.
- If you’re part of a tour, proceed to Khammoune Tourism Center to avail of the transportation service included in the tour fee.
- Backpackers/solo travelers
- Group of friends
Time to Spend
Tour can last 1-2 days.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
It is strongly advised that you should visit during the dry season which lasts from April to October.
- Cave hopping
Packed meals and drinks are included in the tour package. However, if you’re traveling DIY, it is advised that you bring your own food and drinks as stores in the area may be few.
- Khun Kung Leng Lake
For those part of the tour, an overnight stay in one of the nearby villages is included in the tour. For those who prefer to get back to the town center, you can stay in nearby hotels such as Inthira Hotel, Southida Guesthouse, Villa Thakek, Xailuedy Hotel, and Thakek Travel Lodge. Rates range from USD 20 to USD 120.