Oudomxay is idyllic, picturesque, and sometimes hidden in the clouds as it is located at a high elevation. The province looks romantic and spectacular like a mountain basin between some green hills. It offers the dreamlike scenery for photography all year round. If you’re seeking for a photogenic site in Laos, then come to Oudomxay.
About Oudomxay in Laos
Oudomxay (also called Muang Xay) is the capital city of the province of the same name in the northern Laos. The destination is served by Oudomsay Airport. Geographically, it refers to a mountain basin in the middle of the lush forested hills. Photogenic and charming throughout the year, this town becomes one of the most accessible sites in the far north of Laos. It shares the border with Luang Prabang to the east, Sayabouri to the south, Phongsaly to the northeast, and a little connection with China. With the rugged mountains, the diverse forests, and the spacious fields, Oudomxay can enchant almost every visitor from the very first sights. Any corner becomes flattering once recorded. The province is supported by three major rivers including Nam Ou, Nam Tha, and Nam Beng. There are up to 23 ethnic minorities living there, and each follows their own culture, language, and costumes. The ethnic, cultural heritage is one of the most fantastic highlights to experience. Also, the ethnic villagers are excellent photogenic objects that you might love to take pictures of their happy or daily moments.
What to See in Oudomxay
The heritage of That Phouxaya is located outside of the town, on top of the mountain. From this attraction, the visitors enjoy contemplating the surrounding valley and tranquil countryside. It is the bird-eye view that makes this attraction worth visiting and worshipping. While the monument is revered, the panoramic view enchants your eyes.
Chom Ong Cave
Located 45km from Oudomxay, just nearby the Khmu village, Chom Ong Cave is quite mysterious and sacred. Creeping around the cave system sounds adventurous to the cave explorers. The so-called spelunkers are predominantly interested in the roomy underground maze. Some parts of the system remain unexplored. In this context, you see some mountain ridges. Also, there notices the Nam Kaang River which flows just beneath the lower areas of the cave system. It might take hours to explore what is inside the cave and then reach the exit at the southern end of the river. The grotto discovery is best experienced with a tour guide’s support. Otherwise, make sure you come equipped with the necessary tools for cave exploration in groups!
Ban Yor Village
This is the village of the ethnic Tai Lue and Khmu people. In a remarkable manner, Ban Yor Village is specialized in the hands-on pottery workshop. It is where to witness how the villagers get the clay, identify some kinds of clay and create the different stylish pottery and bowls. Visiting this traditional village, you get some lessons about the local ethnic pottery. The available courses can help the visitors to get the real experience in shaping and decorating their own pots. Besides pottery, you can further learn about the handmade cotton in this long-lasting village. There stand out several workshops along the site for you to try dyeing and weaving cotton. In the end, pieces of the handmade cotton cloth are yours if you would like to bring them home.
Phachao Khamtan Buddha Cave
The day trip to Khamtan Buddha Cave (or Buddha’s Protective Shield) brings you the revered underground world where hosts a wide range of Buddha statues in various sizes. In the past, this cave functioned as the hidden retreat for the residents to hide during the Indochina War. Nowadays, Phachao Khamtan becomes the favorite pilgrim site that both the locals and foreigners like to stop by and do homage to the mysterious Buddha. The most interesting way to depart from Pakbeng by tuk-tuk to reach Pak Ngeuy, then experience a short boat trip and walk along the Mekong River to step into the mystic cave. Just don’t ignore it if someone else suggests Phachao Khamtan to you! In fact, the name of Pachao Khamtan is often put on the list of the must-see sites in this southern region. Stepping into this religious cave, you should always show respects to the long-lasting, sacred objects. It’s common that this natural attraction is filled with many pilgrims, so don’t be surprised that the cave is quite touristy.
Nam Kat Waterfall
Hiking to the isolated and spectacular Nam Kat Waterfall is one of the greatest things to do in Oudomxay. That said, this waterfall is buried in the dense jungle, and some people might forget about this found pristine world. But the trekking trail to the natural site deserves your attempt. When you see the 20m cascade, the colorful fish, and the far-off mountain, you say “this is a beautiful hidden paradise.” There is a transparent pool for a relaxing swimming activity. Later, you might want to come back to the exceptional Ban Faen Village to get some bamboo handicrafts, and take some unique photographs of the hidden site.
Saymoungkhoune Rattana Stupa
This is the well-known Buddhist stupa in Oudomxay that offers the ultimate relaxation for the tired feet. Once you figure out the address of Saymoungkhoune Rattana Stupa, make sure you go there to rest and relax. The refreshing moments in this Buddha stupa are valuable. You’d better come there to enjoy the Laos spiritual belief and get the fantastic shots.
How to Get to Oudomxay
The province is served by Oudomsay Airport, which makes it one of the most accessible regions in Laos. A good option is to fly from Vientiane to Oudomxay supported by Lao Airlines.
It is easy and comfortable to reach Oudomxay by road from the provinces of Bokeo, Luang Namtha, or Luang Prabang. The destination is accessible all year round, as the routes to Oudomxay or Muang Xay are well paved. The public services of bus/coach are available for passengers to take advantage of them at any time of the year.
When to Visit Oudomxay
This province shares the moderate monsoon climate of Laos, with the two major seasons of the rainy and dry time. Nonetheless, there must be something unique about Oudomxay due to its high elevation which results in some variations of temperature. Also, the cold time in this northern area is likely to be colder than the rest of the country.
- May – October: These months bring Oudomxay some rain and high humidity. Such condition makes nature in this northern site fresh and green enough for the ideal ecotourism. Notice that the average temperature in May can climb over 31 Celsius degrees.
- November – April: These are the dry months in Oudomxay. In particular, there are the high variations of temperatures from day to night from October to January. Because of the location between mountains, the town is mostly covered by fog. The night here becomes quite chilly that requires you to have a warm blanket for a sound sleep. In the early morning, the fog begins to dissolves for the town to show itself. From the sunny morning to the chilly night, November-April seems to be the best time to see Oudomxay – the beautiful mountain basin between lush hills, and many people agree on this perspective.