Oudomxay Province


Location: Northern Laos

Area: 14,400 sq. km

Population: 327,622 (2024)

7 Districts: Xay, La, Namor, Nga, Beng, Hoon & Pakbeng

Capital of the province: Meuang Xay

  • Skilled handicraft production

  • Ethnically diverse

  • Rugged mountains

  • Caves & waterfalls

Tranquil, beautiful and sometimes hidden in the clouds, Oudomxay is located in the heart of northern Laos and is one of the most accessible of the far northern provinces. It is also known as “The Northern city – sea of clouds with different hill tribes”. 

The rugged mountainous landscape has peaks up to 1,850 meters covered in varying forest types and wider fields. The province’s three main rivers are MeKhong, Nam Park, Nam Beng and Nam Kor. Oudomxay is mainly populated by the Khmu, Hmong and lowland Lao, with a total of 12 ethnic minorities, each with their own languages, cultural heritage and lifestyles.         

There are many tourist destinations in the province, including Chom Ong Cave “the land of caves”, Tadnamkat waterfall – Namkat Yolapa Resort, the Sacred Phachaosingkham temple, Nam Hin Lake, the 600 hundred year old Phouthat stupa in the center of the town, “the symbol of Oudomxay” and many more.

Due to Oudomxay’s location, it is the most important traffic junction in Northern Laos and considered the Heart of Northern Laos.  

Pakbeng, located at the confluence of the Beng and Mekong Rivers is set on a scenic curve of the Mekong shrouded in green mountains. 

Explore Pha Ho-Pha Hong Cave in Beng District, or experience the shared Lao and Chinese heritage at Ban Theio or Ban Nam Xeng. Visitors can spend time in La District trekking to minority villages in remote and picturesque locations. If you are in Oudomxay during December inquire about the dates of the annual Hmong and Khmu new years celebrations – colorful festivals that include music, trade fairs and lots of local food and drink.

Oudomxay Province is famous as one of the places where ancient bronze drums were cast, which have been a symbol of status and wealth for centuries. Master drum makers continue to make these beautiful drums and purchasing a new drum supports this disappearing cultural heritage. Ban Bo village is well known for skilled handicraft production, especially rattan and bamboo basket weaving. Other quality local handicrafts include cotton weavings and shoulder-bag production, silk products.


The protected forestry area along the Nam Kat River. Situated in Oudomxay province in North Eastern Laos, this area is truly one of the most beautiful and desired eco-tourism destinations in Laos and South East Asia. FACET (Forestry Area Conservation Ecological Tourism) provides sustainable tourism services in the Nam Kat Yola Pa protected area. The services include jungle tours and rain-forest treks and we cater for eco-tourists, nature tourists, cultural tourism, adventure tourists, alternative tourists, thrill seekers and those of you that just want to relax in a natural peaceful environment. If you want to experience the complete wonder, the exotic beauty, the ethnic culture, the thrilling adventure, the natural serenity and the biodiversity of the flora and fauna that Laos can provide, then come visit Nam Kat Yola Pa. As well, the core ideology is encourage responsible travel, promote education and awareness of the Nam Kat Yola Pa environment and heritage, help finance future conservation and improve the well-being of local people and environment. There are so many wonderful experiences and adventures waiting for you in Nam Kat Yola Pa.

Welcome to Pak Beng town, situated on the narrow banks between the Mekong and Beng River, in the south west of Oudomxay province. Pak Beng, which means “mouth of Beng River”, offers a variety of tourism services including numerous hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. It is a popular location for taking a rest after a long boat cruise on the Mekong. During your stay you can visit the colorful market and the temples in town, and discover the unknown hinterland of the district. As an important doorway to Oudomxay province you can continue your journey from Pakbeng by traveling via Xay and La District to Muang Koua, Nong Khiew, Phongsaly, Oudomxay town, Vietnam and China. The tourist office branch in Pak Beng (50m form the boat landing) is delighted to help you with any questions regarding travel possibilities throughout the province.

Hundreds of grottoes dot Laos’ mountains, but few compare to the Chom Ong Cave system located some 45 kilometres from Xay Town. Spelunkers have investigated 13,5 kilometre of the roomy underground maze with overlaying halls, which run along a 4 kilometres long mountain ridge. Several side corridors remain unexplored, though one that was rediscovered ends in an 18 metres drop to the Nam Kaang River, which flows through the lower areas of the cave system. An hour-plus hike leads to the stream inlet in the north, and a full exploration with equipment can take eight hours before exiting at the river’s southern end.