Hoping to draw more people to experience its natural beauty and establish its profile as a tourist destination, Xayaboury Province is opening up its largest forest as one of its visitor attractions.
An official has confirmed that provincial authorities surveyed the forest in Phieng District, which is 80 km from the provincial capital. After surveying the trees and the surrounding area, provincial authorities considered various ways on how they could develop the forest into a tourist attraction and open it up to the public.
The director of the province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Chanthi Simanichan, has stated
that the biggest trees in Phieng district are maitaekha (Sindora cochinchinensis) and can grow up to an impressive 15 metres in width and more than 10 metres in height. The maitaekha are hundreds of years old and are highly valued for their solid wood.
The area will be of interest to those with an interest in nature and those who can appreciate the preservation of the towering trees surrounding them . There is potential for a variety of outdoor activities for visitors who enjoy the great outdoors, as well as for individuals wanting to study tree species in Laos.
Apart from observing the massive trees and the serenity of nature, there are fascinating caves waiting to be explored, including the beautiful Lobphai Cave.
There are many officially designated tourist sites in Xayaboury Province but due poor road access, reaching tourist sites is difficult and dangerous, particularly during the wet season.
However, provincial authorities plan to build a road to the forest in an effort to bring development to impoverished Phieng District. Mr Chanthi stressed that it is essential to build roads to make more of the sites accessible.
Due to poor road conditions, Mr Chanti urges anyone who is looking to visit the forest to plan ahead and contact the Phieng District Information, Culture and Tourism Office to find out current road hazards.
“The provincial authorities plan to build a dirt road to the forest because there is no road access at present,” Mr Chanthi has stated. “Construction will start this year and then district authorities will officially open the forest area as a new tourist site. Locals and foreigners can visit at any time, but don’t forget to contact the Phieng district Information, Culture and Tourism Office so that officials can provide help”.