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Khoun Kongleng Lake
The legend has it that in the evening, on the full moon each month, the sound of a gong can be herd ringing from this lake, which was consequently named "Evening Gong Lake" or Khon Kongleng in Lao. Located approximately 30 km north of Thakhaek, this small but spectacular emerald coloured water springs from an underground river that is filtered through a mass of limestone in the surrounding mountains and bedrock.
This water is crystal clear and you can see large fish in the depths below. The area around the lake is very clean because of a strict code maintained by the local villagers. A shaded area near the access point provides an ideal picnic area. Swimming is only permitted in the cool, clean wawters of the lake's outflow stream, near the wooden footbridge. Fishing is not permitted in the lake itself, but villagers may fish in the river flowing from the lake. Trails lead around the lake and into the surrounding forest, which is well worth exploration (stay to the main trails). Both the lake and the forest fall within the boundaries of the Phou Hin Poun National Protected Area.
Getting to Khoun Kongleng Lake is quite challenging in itself, and a local guide is essential, Go north from Thakhaek on Route 13 to Km-25, turn right along a dirt road and go approximately 2 km to a major junction where you must turn right. Continue along this road for 16 km, climbing several steep hills and passing through several small villages before finally arriving at Ban Nakheu Village. Here ask permission from the local village authorities before proceeding to the lake, which lies another 1 km further along the dirt road. It is advisable to travel by tractor, off-road to Ban Nakheu with the Provincial Guide Service on the Phou Hin Poun 2-day Trek.
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