The Phou Hin Phou park

Crédit Photo : Thomas Calame

The Konglor-Natane cave and the Valley of Natane are parts of the Phou Hin Phou national park, an area of ​​biodiversity conservation. This park sums up the exceptional nature of Laos, with rare flora and fauna. The park is located in a karst area and consists of fascinating geological formations.

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Several interesting plant species grow here, such as Bulbophyllum which is the most common orchid here, between 2,200 to 2,500 different species. It is also home of the Dipterocarpus costatus, a majestic tree. It is a deciduous conifer easy to recognize by its cracked and brittle crust. Its straight trunk may reach 40m. Its leaves are covered with hairs on the back of small star-shaped.

The park also houses a number of rare animal species, unknowned by scientists until the 90s for instance, the Gibbon pale cheeks (Nomascus Siki), is an ape that can measure up to 70 cm, that can jump up to 9m and can run up to 55 km / h. Due to the loss of habitat and poaching, this species is now threatened. Their number has declined by 50% over the past 45 years.

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A number of Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) also live here. These are recognizable birds by their large size, their colorful plumage, their characteristic beak 25 to 30 cm but especially thanks to their “helmet” between the beak and skull. It uses it as a sounding board for his birdcalls. Because of its limited population, this bird is difficult to be watched.

The Gibbon and the Caleo are also difficult to spot. However, you will probably get the chance to watch the white crest langur, because it is easier to observe. This monkey is characterized by a black fur body contrasting with its white head, topped by a black crest. Laos langur lives by the limestone cliffs with sparse vegetation. These monkeys are active during the day and at dusk. They live on land in small groups of 5 to 10.

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The bushy tail rat is an endemic species living here that has been recently discovered only in 2004. The bushy tail rat can be found only in the karst mountains of the province of Khammouane until Vietnam. It is now classified in the first category in the Laotian law on wildlife and aquatic animals (2007), which prohibits hunting, due to the restriction of its natural habitat and poaching.

At last, we can find here one of the largest spiders in the world: the heteropoda maxima. This species was discovered in 2001 in Khammouane province. This giant spider has a long body 4.6 cm and a wingspan of up to 30cm.

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