Located: about 70 kilometers north of the Vientiane Capital
Total area: 15,927 square kilometers
Population: 439,090 (2023)
13 Districts: Phonhong, Thoulakhom, Keo-Oudom, Kasi, Vang Vieng, Meuang Feuang, Sanakham, Meuang Met, Hinheup, Viengkham and Meun
Capital of the province: Viengkham
Vientiane Province is located in the centre of Laos, about 70km from Vientiane Capital.
The landscape in Vientiane Province varies from the flat, fertile alluvial plains of the Mekong River Valley to rugged limestone mountains in the northern and western part of the province. Vientiane Province is well-known for having the highest mountain peak in Laos, the 2,819 meters Phou Bia. Outside of the main provincial towns, the countryside is a beautiful, lush green mosaic of rice paddies, tropical fruit trees, and jungle vegetation dotted with quaint villages where traditional architecture and lifestyles can be seen.
Close to Vientiane Capital is the Ang Nam Ngum (Ngum Reservoir), a picturesque inland lake formed by one of the country’s major hydropower schemes – the Nam Ngum Dam. Boat trips on the reservoir are a popular day-trip from Vientiane Capital but for visitors with more time, an overnight stay at Ban Na Kheaun or Tha Heua is possible. On a southern corner of the reservoir is the large Dansavan Resort where you can gamble and play golf. Visit the Thoulakhom Zoo at Ban Keun to see a well-kept collection of local species. At Ban Bo in Thoulakhom District are large natural salt deposits that are processed and packaged into the common table condiment using traditional technologies.
The small town of Vang Vieng, 150 kilometers north of the capital, is set in a dreamlike landscape of bizarre limestone mountain peaks and sheer cliffs with the Nam Song River bisecting the town. At the base of the town’s limestone mountains are a network of caves to explore. There are a variety of well-developed tourism services in Vang Vieng and a wide range of accommodations. Water sports such as kayaking and tubing are popular and rock climbing is also a growing pastime. For those who prefer less exhausting travel, Vang Vieng’s sights include several 16th and 17th century monasteries and the small Hmong villages of Nam Som and Nam Muang.
Just off of route 13 north are two of Vientiane Province’s better known attractions – a small man-made reservoir known as Nong Nok near Ban Sivilay that has great bird watching and the ancient Vang Xang Buddha images and sculptures that are carved into the side of a sandstone escarpment.
Because there are so many water bodies brimming with aquatic life, various types of prepared and preserved fish have become legendary in Vientiane province. First is the heavily-salted, fermented fish known as “pa daek” that can be purchased along route 13 near Hin Heub. And then there is “koy paa” (sour and spicy minced fish salad), “kaeng paa” (fish soup) and “neung paa” (a delicious dish of steamed fish and fresh herbs) served at floating restaurants on the arteries of the Nam Ngum Reservoir near Thalad Village and Vang Vieng. At the organic farms in Vang Vieng you can also try mulberry shakes and purchase mulberry leaf tea, mulberry wine, jellies and jams.
With so many water bodies and pleasant warm weather, Vientiane Province is a great place to get soaked during the Lao New Year or Pi Mai Lao celebrations in mid-April. In every village, district capital and especially the main tourist center of Vang Vieng, Pi Mai Lao is not worth missing.
Situated 150 kilometers from Vientiane Capital, Vang Vieng is a small city surrounded by rivers andmountains, making it one of the most beautiful places in Laos. Popular with backpackers, the main activities and attractions are caves, tubing and trekking to the Hmong hill tribe villages.
THAM POU KHAM (Golden Crab Cave)
Golden Crab Cave drive 100 meters into the ground after passing through the small entrance hole. However, the cave widens once inside, when where a reclining Buddha statue welcomes visitors to a place once serving as home to bats, gibbons, monkeys, and antelopes. Tham Pou Kham displays several wet rock formations including a pair of “Golden Crabs”. Don’t forget your torch. After discover cavern, go for a cold swim in the Ka River’s water hold. The water is clean, deep, and safe for jumping in from the trees, and a small shop and restaurant run by local serve meals and snacks.
Location: Cross the Nam Xong in southern end of town at the Paradise Island Bridge to Ban Houay Nyae. Follow the dirt road past the village and turn right (north) at the sharp left-hand turn at Nathong Tai Village. The trail to the cave starts about 1 kilometer past the junction in Ban Nathong Neua.
THAM CHANG CAVE
Considered by many as Vang Vieng’s most important cave, Tham Chang (or Jung) became the home for migrating people, who settled near the town’s southern Meuang Xong Village to rise vegetables. The locals stumbled into the cavern during the civil war, while seeking refuge deep in the forest. Because its high location offered perfect view of Vang Vieng, the entire village moved there to sit out the war, and named their haven, Tham Jung (Hang Around Cave). Years later during the colonial era, the local returned to cultivating the nearby fields and would bathe in the cave’s basin, where the water was so cold they said it could freeze your legs to a firm stiffness. Then they adjusted the cave’s name to Tham Jung, which mean “unable to move”, leaving locals no choice but to “hang around”.
Follow the river road south of Meuang Xong village, pay the entrance fee at the gate of Vang Vieng Resort and cross the bridge over the Nam Xong to the steps leading up the cliff to Tham Chang.
KHOUN LANG CAVE
This cave, decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone consists of narrow entrance, widening to single large passageway of about 250 meters-long, extending to four levels. Moisture percolating from the celling maintains an awesome array of shapes and patterns. Villagers have interpreted some of the feature as evidence that this cave is the ancient abode of Khoun Lang; Nang Oua’s suitor in the legend of Nang Oua-Thao Khou Lou; a romantic tragedy famous throughout both Laos and Thailand.
Location: in Kasi District of Vientiane Province, along a new road connecting Kasi with Nan district in Luang Prabang Province. This new road provides an alternative way of getting to the World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang for travelers coming fromVientiane or Vang Vieng, by passing the Phoukhoun mountain pass and significantly shortening the journey. It also is an excellent option for travel to Sayabouly Province from Vientiane. At the southern end of Kasi town (240 kilometers from Vientiane; 60 kilometers from Vang Vieng) turn vest and travel 17 kilometers to Ban Houay San. At Ban Houay San, call in at the visitors Information Center. A further 2 kilometers will take you to the carpark at Khoun Lang Cave Nature Park.
Tubing is the art of gliding downstream on a river perched on a rubber tube in varying states of intoxication. Vang Vieng is the place to enjoy this fun-filled pastime. Kayaking on this river is one of the most popular activities in Vang Vieng. Song River goes through breathtaking rural scenery and steep karsts, with opportunities to stop and visit some impressive limestone caves.
KAENG NYUI WATERFALL
Kaeng Nyui is a 30 meter waterfall situated on the eastern side of Vang Vieng town. Reaching the waterfall involves a walk along the Houay Nyui and Nam Lao streams past a number of cascades and a smaller waterfall called Kenlon falls. Kenlon has a drop of about 5 meters, into a lovely swimming pool about nine meters in diameter. Villagers from Ban Naduang are the traditional owners of the site, and have constructed the paths following the stream to both waterfalls, small bridges and other facilities, as well as maintaining swimming holes, and a picnic area along the stream and in the surrounding nature reserve. They also manage the car park and own the foodstalls. Pick up some local delicacies here for a picnic alongside the stream.
Village Guides: If you would like a village guide, you can enquire in Naduang Village. A village guide can show and explain the nature, as well as how they traditionally use some of the forest products encountered on the trails.
NAM NGUM LAKE
Nam Ngum Lake is located in Keo-Oudom District Vientiane Province. It is the biggest lake in Laos country, It has beautiful scenery, (looking for lifestyle of people who living in the islands and fisherman). So that it is suitable for relaxing, boat traveling and enjoy with food.
THA HEUA MARKET
Tha Heua Market is a parking place before arriving Vang Vieng District, there are so many interesting things such as: vegetables, fruits, fresh fish, local products and food (the main products are sold there is fish).
THE BLUE LAGOON
The Blue Lagoon is a must for any travellers visiting Vang Vieng, if only to escape the searing heat for a couple of hours. The lagoon pretty much does what it says on the tin. Its a Lagoon with very blue water – hence its name. Right, so basically you visit the lagoon to marvel at its beauty and relax, its not a complex or complicated place. You can lounge on the grass, swim in the cool water, jump from one of the trees into the lagoon if you’re in need of a wake up call from last nights antics. If you’re feeling a tad more energetic there is a volleyball court, but then again there are a few beds if you’re still half dead as a result of the previous nights jungle party. All bases covered. Entry to the water is either via one of a couple of wooden ladders, or from a grat height courtesy of a large tree overhanging the lagoon. Whilst the ladders would appear safer, its probably best to just jump out of the tree and just deal with the instant temperature change – like you have a choice once you’ve jumped. If you take the ladder you’re somewhat more likely to wimp out due to the chilliness of the water. Whilst the water is cold though, you get used to it and its actually very refreshing.
Located around a 25 minute tuk tuk ride or 45 minute bicycle ride from town.
BAN LAO MEUANG FEUANG: A REAL LAO ACCOMMODATION EXPERIENCE
While many big name resorts struggle to seamlessly blend with nature, Ban Lao Meuang Feuang effortlessly delivers a real Lao accommodation experience. Meuang Feuang, a 90-minute drive from Vientiane, began glowing on domestic tourists’ radar screens during the pandemic. Many stay at Ban Lao Meuang Feuang on the Nam Lik River and the surrounding nature, as the property offer san attraction in and of itself. Walking into the Ban Lao is like stepping into a traditional riverside village set in a forest, with towering limestone mountains as a backdrop. Families and groups can select from five different traditional Lao-style houses that sleep up to eight people. Twelve “Raft Houses” – bungalows for two – float on the Nam Lik………….More
LAOS PHENOMENAL CLOUD OF BATSaos
As dusk falls over Laos, an endless ribbon-like cloud of bats pours out of a cliffside cave at Pha Luang in Meuang Feuang. This natural phenomenon has yet to attract many tourists. Only a handful of Lao biologists and outdoorsmen had made the trek until recent years, when the expressway and upgraded road provided easy access to Meuang Feuang and its popular Nam Lik Riverside accommodation. But even today, few outsiders know about the “Pha Luang Bat Cave”, and those who do need a guide and permission from the village chief to visit the vantage point for the show…………..More
ANGNAMTONG VIEW OPENS LAKESIDE RESORT IN LAOS
Angnamtong View Resortand Draft House Restaurant, about 90 minutes from Vientiane Capital in MeuangFeuang, held its soft opening in March 2022, and is already attracting guests to its villas, floating pavilions, and water sports on the Nam Tong Reservoir. The secluded yet easily accessible propertyis set to fully open before the end of this year. The resort’s super-tall villasare perched on the hillside with stilts, and overlook the lake through floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors. The villas comfortably sleep two, but there is room to bring in extra beds for families. The interiors feature nicely varnished wood ceilings, walls, and floors, giving the room a modern, natural feel. Each villa opens to a balcony with ample seating and a net-like hammock that hangs from the base……………More
SINXAYARAM TEMPLE: KINGDOM OF BUDDHISM
Sinxayaram Temple presents a “Kingdom of Buddhism” in MeuangFeuang, about a 90-minute drive from Vientiane. The recently upgraded temple compound has been attracting the faithful from around Laos and northern Thailand for decades, and is now welcoming tourists. The sprawling Sinxayaram Temple grounds, surrounded by mountains and forest, presents hundreds of golden Buddha images alongsidereligious structures and sites. A long red carpet welcomes visitors to a walkway around the temple, and leads to several points of interest…………….More