A small city found in the Khammouane Province in the central part of the country, Thakhek, Laos, is only starting to gain popularity among travelers in recent years. With the more Colonial-inspired Savannakhet more than two hundred kilometers to the south and the country's capital (Vientiane) about three hundred thirty kilometers northwest, Thakhek often gets skipped over by travelers.
It is true the city of Thakhek isn't entirely visually appealing, nor does it have much to offer in terms of tourist sights, restaurants, markets, or accommodation choices. But what is drawing travelers to this city is the breathtaking scenes and landscapes in the surrounding areas. Many travelers now make a stop in Thakhek to take on a motorbike journey across the plains and up through the mountains of the rural neighbouring areas. The Thakhek Loop is quickly gaining momentum amongst motorbiking enthusiasts and travelers alike.
The surrounding area around Thakhek boast some stunning landscapes, mountain ranges, caves -- some even with pagodas inside, waterfalls, cool springs, and visits to local villages. It also doesn't hurt that the tarmac is paved and smooth. Traffic is light, especially when it comes to having to share the road with large vehicles and transport trucks. The drive is a combination of curves and twists that will keep veteran motor-bikers entertained, but not too challenging for novice bikers to keep up. Thakhek is the base city to start this journey of over four hundred kilometers.
Some guesthouses even have motorcycle rentals available onsite specifically for travelers wanting to complete the Thakhek Loop. They provide contracts including applicable insurance options catering to renters wanting to borrow the motorbike for several days. They also often provide various motorbike options, as well as newer and more powerful models to help with the steep hill climbs that will come in the journey.
Accommodation options in Thakhek is a bit sparse -- there aren't many Thakhek, Laos hostels. There are several guesthouses that travelers wanting to complete the Thakhek Loop gravitate toward, which are ones that provide motorcycle rentals onsite.
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