The Hin Nam No National Protected Area is one of the 24 National Parks of Lao PDR. It is situated against the border with Vietnam in the district of Bualapha, Khammouane Province. It covers 82,000 ha of unique karst landscape which harbors rare wildlife species such as the Douc Langur, the Black Langur and the Great Hornbill.
The German Government supports a project aimed at building the capacity of the park authorities and 22 local communities to co-manage the park together. A key challenge is to develop a sustainable source of revenue for park management as well as for supporting livelihoods in the communities. The area has a good potential for eco-tourism which could become such a sustainable source of funding.
The biggest attraction is the large cave where the Xe Bang Fai river goes underground for 7 kilometers and comes out at Nong Ping village. With German support, villagers have formed service groups providing lodging in a village guesthouse and homestay, as well as boat and tour guiding services inside the cave. The number of visitors here is still small but increased with 50% from 332 in the dry season of 2013 to 465 in 2014.
Early 2014, the German-supported project developed two new tourism products in the northern section of the park. This area is part of the famous Ho Chi Minh trail which was used in the Indochinese war (known also as the Vietnam War, 1956-1975) by the Vietcong to smuggled arms and soldiers from North Vietnam through Laos into South Vietnam. The trail offers two types of tourism products:
These products are promoted with posters and leaflets through a network of local tourism operators (tour operators, guesthouses, motorcycle rentals etc.). Service groups in villages are trained to provide tour services. Overnight accommodation can be found in several guesthouses in Lancang city along road no 12 just before the border with Vietnam. For more information please contact: Ms. Vanhxay Keobounphan, eco-tourism adviser, IP-Consult, Bualapha,