Northern Lao - European
Cave Project 

Laos 2010 Expedition to Oudomxay -
the Heart of Northern Laos
Cross road of China, Vietnam and Thailand

Pre-Expedition Vieng Thong:  19.-21.January 2010
Main Expedition Oudomxay  23.January -5. February 2010

EuroSpeleo Project FSE


  Joerg Dreybrodt (coordinator) , Christiane Grebe Michael Laumanns, Thomas Matthalm, Helmut Steiner, Wolfgang Zillig

    Lica Ersek

    Emma Lundh

    Jos Burgers , David Eskes

    Dave Clucas

    Renato Serodino


Oudomxay Team:     Siegfried Moser (DED)

The team returned in 2010 to Oudomxay province. This province in the heart of Northern Laos has a rich cultural life due to its unique location. The roads from China, Vietnam and Thailand meet here. The expedition was warmly welcomed by the staff of the provincial tourism office. The director arranged on the occasion of our return a gala dinner with participation of the governor of Oudomxay province.

Four areas were known for caves and the expedition team was splitting in two subgroups to explore these caves:

Chom Ong:  A jungle camp was established in front of the northern entrance of the Chom Ong cave to avoid long hikes from the village. The team with Michael, Wolfgang, Thomas and David spent two nights here. The survey of the river area was finished and upper fossil caves connected to the known the system. The cave has now a length of 15.7 km with further potential. It needs ropes to continue.

Namor District : The 2nd group explored the area north of Chom Ong system. Two caves were surveyed that are 8 km and 16 km north of the Chom Ong system. The impressive active river cave Na Thong leads 5 km straight south into the mountain ridge without any side passages. Tham Mokfek is a three  level system with interconnecting passages. A river is flowing through the mountain. It drops about 15 m with nice waterfalls and cascades. The system is a through cave with seven entrances and frequently visited by local groups due to its idyllic location.

La District: Two caves were documented in the area used by the provincial tourism office for trekking. Tham Luang has a length of 400 m.

Houn / Pak Beng district: The area has several caves in the mountains north to the valley of the river Beng. Most of the them are small with a length of less than100 m. Remarkable is the altitude of 1500 m for some of the entrances. These are the highest lying caves known in Laos.

 A small pre-expedition team supported the paleoclimate studies from Oxford University prior the core expedition. Data loggers placed 2009 in Vieng Thong area were recovered and the research continued. Several caves near Xop Nua close to the border of Vietnam were surveyed.

The 2010 expedition surveyed in total 20 caves with a length of 10800 m.