Caves

During the war thousands of local residents took shelter in caves and set up hospitals and schools; the army used the caves as well to store weapons and medical supplies.

Two major caves are open to the public:

Tham Piu Cave is located 6 km north of Muang Kham. It is one of the tragedies of the so-called Secret War. On 24th of November 1969 a single rocket fired from an aircraft caused the death of an estimated 374 people who had taken refuge in the cave. Their bones are still buried in the rubble. Directions: Take Route 5 towards Nam Nguen and turn left 3 km from Muang Kham; the paved road ends at the cave.

The Tham Xang Caves are located in a scenic karst area, the caves were used by the revolutionairy fighters. Inside the cave complex they set up a hospital, an arsenal and a medicine depot. Evidence can still be seen. Besides its war history the illuminated residential cave is worth visiting to see its natural beauty. The Hmong community of Ban Ta takes care off the caves and offers a local tour guide service. Directions: The caves are 36km northwest of Phonsavanh. Take Route 7, pass Nong Pet, then in Nam Ka village turn left into a dirt road; follow the signs to Tham Xang until you reach Ban Ta.