Dong Natad


Dong Natad is a sacred, semi-evergreen forest within a provincial protected area 15km east of Savannakhet. It's home to two villages that have been coexisting with the forest for about 400 years, with villagers gathering forest products such as mushrooms, fruit, oils, honey, resins and insects. It's possible to visit Dong Natad by bicycle, motorbike or tuk-tuk from Savannakhet.

Marvelaos and Savannakhet's Tourist Information Centre offer various programs, ranging from multi-day homestays to one-day cycling trips. These community-based trips have had plenty of positive feedback and the combination of English-speaking guide and village guide is a great source of information about how the local people live. If you visit, there's a good chance you'll encounter villagers collecting red ants, cicadas or some other critter, depending on the season; all are important parts of their diet and economy. Make arrangements at least a day ahead.