In January 2009 an international team of cave researchers conducted a very successful expedition to Oudomxay in Northern Laos. The most significant finding and major highlight since the expeditions in northern Laos started in 2002 is the exploration of the Chom Ong Cave System 45 kilometers northwest of Oudomxay town near the village of Ban Chom Ong.

The system stretches along a 4 kilometers-long mountain ridge and has a parallel running and interconnecting fossil and river passage. It was explored in three explorations (2009, 2010 and 2011) to a length of about 18,4 kilometers with some small, unpromising side passages remaining.

It ranks now as the 2nd longest cave in and the 9th longest in whole South East Asia. The typical passage dimension is 20-25 m width and 20-30 meters-height. There are two overlaying passages, a river and a fossil passage, which are linked at one huge hall with 100 meters-length, 30 meters-width and ceiling heights of 30-50 meters. The cave is a trough cave and could be entered with exploration equipment near the small stream inlet in the north and left at the outflow in the south. The full traverse would take about 5 hours with additional 1 and 3 hours respectively return walking time to Chom Ong village! But this traverse is not recommended for tourists as several climbing parts and slippery river walks are unavoidable.

The cave is not only one of the longest caves in South East Asia but also by opinion of the cave exploration team one of the most beautiful and interesting caves. With its two very different passages it has a diversity that is very rare. It impresses with several huge stalagmite and stalactite formations as well as vast glittering parts, sinter basins but also geologically interesting parts (shields, floe calcite etc.). It is said that Chom Ong cave is the most beautiful and diversified cave in Lao PDR.


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