Four kilometres up the Nam Khan from Ban Phanom is the final resting place of Henri Mouhot, the Anglophile French naturalist and explorer best known as the “discoverer” of Angkor Wat. A simple memorial, made from stone donated by the Lao king Tiantha and erected by Doudart de Lagrée of the Mekong Commission in 1867, marks the spot, which is easily located by looking for the sign posted on the road above it. As you leave Ban Phanom, follow the right fork 3.7km until you reach a steep dirt path leading down to the bank of the river, a spot favoured by picnicking Lao from Luang Prabang on weekends. The whitewashed memorial lies 200m upriver from the path and about 20m from the river’s edge, in a dried-up tributary of the Khan.

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