Khun Nam Kham Dip, a new attraction of Khammuan

12/03/2024 15:11
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KPL (KPL) Khoun Nam Kham Dip is a well-known tourist attraction in Khammuan, a central province of Laos. It is located in Ban Lao, Mahaxay District. If you travel from Thakhek City, Khoun Nam Kham Dip can be reached by taking Road No. 12, turn right at KM 20 and continue for about 900 meters.

(KPL) Khoun Nam Kham Dip is a well-known tourist attraction in Khammuan, a central province of Laos. It is located in Ban Lao, Mahaxay District. If you travel from Thakhek City, Khoun Nam Kham Dip can be reached by taking Road No. 12, turn right at KM 20 and continue for about 900 meters.

Story about Khoun Nam Kham Dip has been told through several generations. The story says that villagers went looking for food in a forest.

As they were walking along a creek with clear water, they saw groups of fish swimming in the water, in the gaps of rocks where the water came out (spring). The villagers began to sit in the shade of trees on the creek side. Later they saw yellow stones. They went into the river and picked up the stones. The stones shone like gold. So the villagers thought they were raw gold. Since then, this place has been called Khoun Nam Kham Dip.

A story passing down from generation to generation suggests that there was a cave in the forest. The cave had a lot of jewelry. It could open and close by itself. Therefore, every year at the end of harvest season, villagers would bring food, desserts and a virginal girl to perform a ritual. When the door of the cave opened, villagers would enter the cave to take the jewelry and shared it to their fellow villagers. The ritual had been performed every year. The selection of a virginal girl for such a ritual purpose was an obligation for every family with a daughter. Any family failing to comply with the rule would be tortured and expelled from the village.

The ritual had been practiced on a yearly basis until one day when a king who loved his daughter so much made otherwise. He was very sad to learn that he would soon lose his only daughter. His wife told him, “If you don’t want to lose your daughter, you must find way to end this ritual”.

The king later came up with a trick. He told his daughter to pretend to be ill and he announced to the public that his daughter was suddenly ill. He summoned a fortuneteller to judge in his favour that the illness of the king’s daughter is caused by her disrespecting of the spirits in the jungle and she needs to leave the city otherwise she will die in seven days and there will be misfortune incidents for the town such as flooding, drought, and death of people and animals. Worried about this, people asked the king to seek an immediate solution.

The king told his ministers to announce that the town wants a man with magic power to help his daughter flee from the town. Since the town no longer had a virginal girl, the ritual wasn’t held. And finally, the cave door closed and has remained closed ever since.

Since 2020, the Khoun Nam Kham Dip has been developed as a comprehensive tourist site under a concessional project invested by the Tha Nong Phon Construction Company. The renovation project covers an area of 22 ha and costs 10.9 billion kip.

The participatory tourism project is designed to turn the area into a comprehensive tourist attraction with necessary facilities including conference rooms, restaurants, handicraft shops, guesthouses, waterside huts, flower gardens, weirs, artificial waterfalls, among others.

Leisure activities at the Khoun Nam Kham include swimming, boat rides, botanical garden walks, camping, petanque, etc.

KPL

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