Tham Pa Seuam — Pa Seuam Cave
Alone, walking through the forest on a small path. Limestone karst peaks are everywhere, covered in lush, vibrantly green jungle. Through the jungle a lake appears, beautiful and shimmering in the afternoon light, backed by dark limestone peaks. A raised wooden platform leads out to a viewing area. Sounds of cicadas in the trees. A few minutes later I’m standing in front of a hole in the karst. It doesn’t look like much, that is not until I’m standing inside the cave. Spectacular stalactites and fluted flow stone cover the ceiling. In the clear water of the cave, fishes eyes catch the light, sparkling like underwater fairies. This is as far as I go without a kayak, but it’s well worth the trip out here. A beautiful, peaceful place to spend the last hours of the day.
Heading East from Thakhek on Route 12, around 4 kilometers turn left down a dirt road when you see the sign for “Buddha Cave and Pa Seuam Cave”. It’s 6 km on a dirt road. During the rainy season, the road has been known to get rough but was quite well graded in the dry season. After about 4 km take another left at the sign for the cave. It’s one of the first possible stops on the Thakhek Loop.
Park in the parking lot (3,000 kip) next to a bunch of stalls. From here you can also access the Buddha Cave nearby. At the back of the stalls, there’s a sign “Paseum Cave 800m”. Follow the path through the jungle. When the path forks just keep to the left. You’ll arrive at a narrow wooden bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path along the base of a karst mountain. Soon you’ll see Nong Thao Lake (actually “Nong” means “Lake” but this is how it’s written in many places). Keep going along the path and you see the opening for the cave. There are some wooden platforms/tables right in front of it.