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Oudomesay province, Laos

This is a view from a hill in Xay District, provincial capital of Oudomxay, Northern part of Laos.

Oudomsay province is truly a crossroad province, located right in the heart of Northern Laos. Oudomsay shares border with Luang Prabang province to the east, Phongsali province to the northeast, Luang Namtha province to the northwest and Saiyabury province to the south, and even shares a border with China’s Yunnan province. The diverse population is made up of more than 20 ethnic groups such as the H’mong, Akha, Khamu, ThaiDam and Yao.

Photo: The local Provincial Tourist Office (in Oudomxay City)

Muang Xai is the provincial capital, and one of the busiest commercial centers in Northern Laos. High on a hill overlooking Muang Xai, or the city of Victory, stands the majestic that Phuxay monument. If you are interested in Lao Buddhism, visit the peaceful Ban Cheng temple downtown. At the local market you will find all sorts of people, including hill tribes villagers dressed in their traditional costumes. Goods include exotic spices, coffee, pastries, and products from China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Not far from Muang Xai, there are a number of attractions to keep you busy. A beautiful Waterfall cascading over a limestone cliff lies just 11 km east of the city on route 1. This is a perfect place for a picnic. Just a short walk from the waterfall takes you through the forest to a Khamu village, where you can view a way of life that has remained almost unchanged for centuries.

While in Oudomsay, you might also explore one of the province’s more remote districts. To the north is Muang La, featuring natural hot springs along the Phak River, from which you can view the district’s beautiful primary forest.

West of Muang Xai, Pakbeng district lies at the convergence of the Bang and Mekong rivers. A popular stopover for travelers making their way by boat between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai, this small district boasts two temples, a market, and many beautiful caves and waterfalls.

Meuang Namo lies 52km north of Meuang Xai and offers much for the adventurous traveler. The district is known for its limestone formations and mysterious underground caves. You can also visit a deserted camp used by the French during the Indochina War.

Getting there and Away

By air:
Lao Aviation provides regular flight between Vientiane and Muang Xai, a trip of about an hour and twenty minutes.
By road:
There is regular bus and pick up service between Muang Xai and Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha, Boten and Phonsali.
By river:
Regular ferryboats run between Luang Prabang and Oudomxay’s Pakbeng district.

For more information about this province, visit: http://www.oudomxay.info/

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