Ban Kheit Ngong, Laos
Located in the "Emerald Triangle" at the crossroads of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, Kingfisher Eco Lodge offers a serene and environmentally conscious nature retreat amidst the wetlands of Xe Pian Natural Protected Area in southern Laos. Here, guests can enjoy elephant rides, birdwatching and nature walks for a complete immersion in the natural landscape. The lodge is designed to harmonize with its natural surroundings, using native building materials and traditional workmanship. Accommodations are in six stilted bungalows, each offering two spacious rooms and a private veranda with hammock. The front of each bungalow is glass, allowing for expansive views of the wetlands. Each bungalow has an en suite solar-powered hot water shower room, separate from the toilet area, which also enjoys a view onto the verdant marsh. Lighting is supplied by an individual solar-powered system or is directly connected to the hydroelectric grid. All rooms have a ceiling fan, electrical plugs, hairdryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and a small safe. Televisions are not provided in order to encourage guests to tune in to the sounds of nature, though Internet access and international phone calls are available. The lodge serves excellent, mostly organic Lao and western meals in an open two-story restaurant that overlooks the wetlands.