It’s rare I feel the need to write about an individual place we stay on our adventures, but Springriver Resort near Kong Lor Cave in Laos was one of those rare exceptions.
In all my time travelling there are very few places more tranquil that we’ve stayed. In the shadow of a huge limestone mountain and at the confluence of a river and cool spring, SpringRiver is simply stunning.
The owners Vicky and Thomas have built wooden walkways through the grass, with bamboo lights that come on to dimly light up the evening. The wooden cabins are beautiful and have amazing views over the river while the restaurant serves up great local food.
Yes it costs a bit more than other places in Laos (though by Western Standards it is still ridiculously cheap), but for us it was worth every single cent we paid.
We spent two incredibly relaxing nights recharging at SpringRiver and look back on it as one of our favourite memories of the whole trip.
Below are some of the reasons I think you must stay at SpringRiver if you get the chance and some useful information about the Resort.
- 1. The Boat Trip to Kong Lor Cave
- 2. The Fantastic Food
- 3. The Surroundings
- 4. The Beautiful Bungalows
- 5. Exploring The Spring
- SpringRiver Resort – Need To Know
1. The Boat Trip to Kong Lor Cave
One of the biggest benefits of staying at Springriver Resort is its location just upriver from the famous Kong Lor Cave.
The Resort work with a local village who, for a cost of 150,000 kip (around £12 or $16US), will take guests both to and from the cave in a wooden long tail boat.
This turns the already special experience of Kong Lor Cave into something even more memorable. Our 45 minute trip up the river really added to the day, and made an amazing experience even better.
Read More About Kong Lor Cave – ‘The Thakhek Loop: A Complete First-Hand Guide [inc. Top Tips]‘
2. The Fantastic Food
Not only is the food at Springriver Resort great, but the view from the restaurant is second to none (the photo above was our table for breakfast each day).
They do a variety of food and drink, from fresh fruit shakes and local style fried rice through to chicken burgers if you’re looking for a hit of Western food.
My recommendation would be the local Lao curries and spicy papaya salad, fresh and delicious.
One nice touch from a drink perspective is that the mini-bar in the room is priced exactly the same as the drinks in the restaurant. This is because the shut the restaurant at 2030 to allow the staff to head home at a reasonable hour, but they want guests to still be able to enjoy a drink.
3. The Surroundings
Even if you don’t even leave the Resort itself you’re going to have a fantastic time at SpringRiver.
The wooden walkways, bamboo lighting poles and huge mountains – which are often blanketed in a calming mist – make for an unforgettable location.
The owners have also built lovely little seating areas, platforms and viewing areas in amongst the lush jungle and over the clear waters.
There is also the option to swim down in the river or take a canoe down the spring (more on this later) and that’s without even mentioning the famous Kong Lor Cave which is only 2.2km away by road.
SpringRiver is a perfect place to escape, relax and enjoy nature.
4. The Beautiful Bungalows
The bungalows, been sympathetically into the natural surroundings, were one of the biggest highlights at SpringRiver.
They managed to feel both rustic and modern at the same time.
Built with wood and bamboo, but with fast WiFi, white linen and whitewashed walls. This is the perfect combination of nature and luxury.
If you have got the money (costs below), it is well worth upgrading to one of the riverside apartments, where you can throw open the shutters and look out at the clear waters below, or sit on the balcony of an evening and watch the sunset behind the imposing cliffs.
5. Exploring The Spring
An unexpected bonus of staying at SpringRiver was being able to borrow one of the canoes and paddle down the calm spring opposite the Resort.
With the cool water of the spring mixing with the warmer water of the river it creates this permanent haze above the water, which is especially noticeable in the mornings.
Locally known as the Blue Lagoon it took us about 45 minutes to get to the source of the spring where the water comes from underground having burrowed its way down through the porous limestone mountains either side.
This was just another incredible experience to cap an awesome stay at the Resort. It felt like heading down some small tributary of the Amazon, no sign of human presence just the cool water, sound of birds chattering away in the treetops and a feeling of complete calm.
If you needed any more convincing to stay at Springriver Resort, then hopefully this has sealed the deal, it was one of those ‘once or twice in a lifetime’ kind of experiences that happen when travelling like this.
SpringRiver Resort – Need To Know
Types of Room at SpringRiver Resort
There are 16 bungalows in total at SpringRiver Resort.
10 of them look out of the gardens, five with double beds and five with twin beds. These ones have shared bathrooms and come in at a cost of $15USD a night
The other six bungalows look out over the river and have a balcony and private bathroom. There is a double bed and single bed in the room and they also have breakfast included in the price. The price however, is significantly steeper though at $55 for one person, $60 for two people and $70 for three people.
We opted for the luxury apartment and felt it was well worth the price for a couple of nights. Somewhere like this in Europe would be table the price, so we thought we’d treat ourselves to a little bit of pampering having spent six weeks backpacking through Southeast Asia.
How Much Does SpringRiver Resort Cost?
- $15 for one or two people (both double and twin rooms available)
Riverview Bungalows (breakfast included and private bathroom)
- $55 a person
- $60 two people
- $65 three people
Where is SpringRiver Resort?
Springriver Resort is on the Thakhek Loop.
Its is around 315km from the capital Vientiane, 185km from the town of Thakhek and just over 2km from the famous Kong Lor Cave.
Other Useful Information About the Resort
In no particular order:
- The WiFi is excellent, some of the strongest we found in Laos despite the remote location
- There are free wooden canoes available for self-guided trips to the spring
- The owners (Vicky and Thomas) were happy to organise activities around the local area including a 150,000kip trip to Kong Lor Cave and other local caving trips with village guides
- There is not much else in the close area around SpringRiver, so time to have a dip in the river or just put your feet up and relax
- Book in advance, especially at peak season as it can get very busy
- Drinks are the same price in the minibar in the room as at the restaurant to allow the staff to head home at 2030
- This place is in the middle of a jungle so make sure you are armed with bug spray