Laos Phenomenal Cloud of Bats

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Laos Phenomenal Cloud of Bats

As dusk falls over Laos, an endless ribbon-like cloud of bats pours out of a cliffside cave at Pha Luang in Meuang Feuang.

Laos Bat Cave Pha Luang Meuang FeuangClick on photo to watch a 16 second video.

This natural phenomenon has yet to attract many tourists. Only a handful of Lao biologists and outdoorsmen had made the trek until recent years, when the expressway and upgraded road provided easy access to Meuang Feuang and its popular Nam Lik Riverside accommodation.

But even today, few outsiders know about the “Pha Luang Bat Cave”, and those who do need a guide and permission from the village chief to visit the vantage point for the show.

Local lore tells us that a Pha Luang villager first spotted the massive bat colony’s evening flight generations ago. Back then, the area was mostly a forest, where locals hunted. One day, the villager went hunting, and decided to spend the night in a clearing in the forest. As he sat admiring the limestone cliffs at sunset, he saw a silent black stream shoot out of the mountainside.

Laos Bat Cave Pha Luang Meuang Feuang

Unsure of what he had witnessed, he returned home the next day, gathered some neighbors, and ventured to find the source of this mystery. They headed to the base of the mountain, where the hunter said the black wave had emerged. Sure enough, as the sun sank, the black cloud was injected into the sky. They were close enough to see the individual bats, and traced the flow to a cave halfway up the cliff.

They stayed up all night, waiting to see the bats return, but they couldn’t spot any in the dark. They climbed the cliff in the morning, and entered the cave. They didn’t see any bats at the opening, and the cave disappeared into the darkness. However, they did notice plenty of bat droppings (guano), which they collected to use as fertilizer and gunpowder. Biologists say the bats head out at night to find food for their offspring.

Today, much of the forest has been converted into rice fields, and Pha Luang villagers are mostly farmers. The best time to see this natural bat marvel is at dusk (6:00-6:30) during October-February, when the skies are clear. Cloudy skies during Green Season obstruct visibility and change the bats’ natural clock.

Travel Guide

Other attractions in Meuang Feuang include Ban Lao Meuang Feuang, Sinxayaram Temple, and Angnamtong View Resort.

How to Get to Pha Luang Bat Cave: From Vientiane (about 90 minutes) and Vang Vieng, take the expressway to the Hin Hoeup exit and head west on the newly paved Nam Lik River Road to Ban Don, where you turn south on the Meuang Feuang District Road. Continue past Ban Na Dan, and take the turnoff west onto a dirt road and the 2.5 km (20-30-minute drive) to Pha Luang. From here, follow a trail through rice paddies and fields of grazing cows to the vantage point.

Laos Bat Cave Pha Luang Meuang FeuangClick on photo for Google Map

Note: No pin is available for Google Maps due to a lack of signal. Visitors should hire a tour operator or guide/driver (below), who needs permission from the village chief, to visit the vantage point. Access to the cave is prohibited.

Meuang Feuang Riverside Accommodation

Ban Lao Meuang Feuang

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 5247 3888

Facebook Page, click here

Meuang Feuang Ni Yome

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 5449 9298

Facebook Page: click here

VANGNAMTHIP

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 5478 7878, 5656 5611

Email: thip_lsa@yahoo.com

Tour Operators

Mina Travel

Website: www.minatravellaos.com

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 56 882 281

Email: somsak@minatravellaos.com

Asia Concierge

Website: www.asia-concierge.com

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 5858 9119

Email: thongsy@asia-concierge.com

Car Rental Services w/Driver Option

SP Car Rental Laos

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/spcarrentallaos

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 5858 9119

Email: thongsy.pmj@gmail.com

VTE RENTACAR

Website: www.vterentacar.com

WhatsApp/Tel: +856 20 8881 0101

 

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