Welcome to Oudomay Province “The Northern city – sea of clouds with different hill tribes”. Let’s discover Oudomxay, The land of the charming nature, livelihood, tradition, culture as well as different ethnic groups. This beautiful region links to Vietnam, China and Thailand. Ouodmxay is now identified as a target trading and investment municipality.In the past 50 years, Oudomxay was only a part of Luangprabang Province. It was upgraded to be another province of Laos in 1960 (19th Century). In 1961, The King of Luangprabang first named the province “Souvanhnaphoum Province”. After a few years, the name of the province was changed again to “Lan Xang Province”. In 1965, it was changed to Meuang Xay Province and then the province got the final name called “Oudomxay Province” in 1969. The name has been using until today.
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. 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.
Oudomxay xay is considered as one province that has lots of potential on trade. It creates lots of interests for both domestic and foreign business investors. The majority of business activities are agriculture, livestock, and entrepreneurship, investment in different industries like dam, hydro power, mining, rubber tree plantation, crops and others. Most of the business investors are from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar as well as some domestic investors from different provinces. Moreover, the province is also focusing on tourism development, marketing and services. The whole income of each year is approximately 10 million US Dollars. The number of tourist visiting Oudomxay each year is around 180,000 people (22% increases each year). Oudomxay is the center of all Northern provinces, so people always pass through and we do hope that the province is going to be one of the most attractive places for people in the future. There are quite many tourist destinations in the province. For instance, 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.
The population of the province is 300,447. The exact proportions of the approximately 12 different ethnic groups “more than 20 different clans” living in Oudomxay are still not precisely known. According to the province administration, the following estimations can be assumed; Khumu (among them Khmu Lue, Khmu Khong, Khmu Ou, Khmu Bit) 60–80%, Lao Loum 25%, Hmong (among them Hmong Khao, Hmong Dam und Hmong Lai) 15%. Other ethnic groups living in the province include Akha, Phouthai (Thai Dam & Thai Khao), Phou Noy (Phou Xang, Phou Kongsat, Phou Nhot), Lao Houy (also „Lenten“), Phouan, Ly, Yang, Ikho and Ho.Since some years, efforts are taken to support tourism in Oudomxay, which is considered a chance to solve poverty of the population. A tourism office has operated in Meuang Xay since 1997, supported by German Development Service (DED) since 2005. The support of DED aims to raise the incomes especially of the rural population and small-scale enterprises by tourism and thereby protect natural resources.In August 2007 the tourism office was upgraded to a “Provincial Tourism Department”. Due to Oudomxay’s location as the most important traffic junction in Northern Laos – We call “Oudomxay is the Heart of Northern Laos”. The Provincial Tourism Department was joined together with the Oudomxay Provincial Information and Culture Department in 2012. It’s now the Oudomxay Provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department. In the past few years the province was mainly visited by foreigners on the journey through. The average length of stay was low. But now due to many tourist attractions are developed and the increasing number of tourist is getting higher and higher. We do hope that in the future Oudomxay will certainly become one of the most attractive places to discover for all domestic and foreign tourists.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.
How to get Oudomxay
|Air: Oudomxay Airport (ODY) is served by Lao Airlines, which offers regular flights from and to Vientiane Capital. The airport at Oudomxay is located about 5 minutes by tuk-tuk from the city center. At Vientiane airport please go to the terminal for domestic flights. Flights can be booked directly at the airport office or at Litthavixay Guest house. Flight services to Oudomxay are run by MA6-planes.|
|Inward flights (Vientiane-Oudomxay)
|Outward flights (Oudomxay-Vientiane)
|Land: Travel by Bus to Oudomxay, Laos
Interprovincial buses as well as the bus from/to Pak Beng arrive at and depart from Oudomxay Bus station. We advise you to buy your bus tickets 1 hour before departure time. For inner-provincial to the districts (except Pak Beng) buses. Phone Bus station: +856-81-212217-8.
|Trasportation from Provinces to Oudomxay
|Trasportation from Oudomxay to Provinces
|Trasportation from districts to Oudomxay
|Boat: Travel Oudomxay by Boat, Pak Beng Boat Landing Pak Beng, located at the Mekong in the Southwest of Oudomxay province is the key node between Luang Prabang and Thailand, served by slow and speed boats. A regular bus service connects Pak Beng with Oudomxay city. From Houysay, the border town to Thailand, connections to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and further on Bangkok are available.|
|Boat time table
|Remark: *Prices subject to change without notice!|
Explore northern Laos’s largest labyrinth, journey to a cave that used a wartime hideout, join a hands-on handicraft workshop, trek to Nam Kat waterfall, and select from four natural and cultural excursions in Muang La.
CREEP AROUND CHOM ONG CAVE
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.
HAPPENING HANDICRAFT IN BAN YOR
Handicraft hounds heading to Oudomxay can strike the mother load 57 kilometres south of Xay Town in the ethnic Tai Lue and Khmu village of Ban Yor. A hands-on pottery workshop shows you where villagers find the clay, how they gather and prepare it, and how to distinguish various types of clay and the different styles of pottery and bowls. The course culminates in throwing and decorating your own pot. Those curious about cotton can participate in three separate workshops, where eager weavers learn to yearn, dye, and weave cotton. The end result is a piece of handmade cotton cloth you can call your own.
BUDDHA’S PROTECTIVE SHIELD
Those stopping overnight at Pakbeng on a Mekong cruise have a great reason to spend a full trekking to Khamtan Buddha Cave. Half and full-day tours take you to the hidden haven for locals during the Indochina War. Prayers to Buddha asking for protection from the bombings led to its name, “Phachao (Buddha) Khamtan (Valuable Protective Shield)”. The tour depart from Pakbeng by tuk-tuk to Pak Ngeuy and its two temples before a short boat ride and walk along the Mekong to Phachao Khamtan Cave. The full-day tour follows the same itinerary before trekkers embark on a 5-6 hours march through nature.
HIKE TO HIDDEN NAM KAT WATERFALL
You can follow to local guide on the high or low path from Ban Faen village, but both one-day treks lead to Nam Kat waterfall buried in old-growth jungle in the limestone outcrops east of Oudomxay Town. Massive boulders surround Nam Kat’s 20 metres cascade, and create a series of smaller cataracts. The easier 13 kilometres path follows the stream, along which you can see a large variety of colourful small fish. The rough 13,5 kilometres route, with a 500 metres ascent over Phou Pha Daeng Mountain, presents far-reaching views before descending to the falls and a dip in its pool. Back in Ban Faen, shop for quality bamboo handicraft.
MEANDER TO MUANG LA
Muang La, 28 kilometres from Xay Town, offers four tour packages with English-speaking guides that take you into the district’s mountains and cultural diversity. A one-day tour visits ethnic villages and Singkham Temple with its 400 years-old Buddha images, hot springs, Nam Kai Waterfall, and Phachao Singkham Buddha Cave. Other day tours head to Phavi Village and a Khmu ethnic experience before trekking to Houay Kai waterfall, and No village to uncover the ethnic Akha’s way of life. A two-night, community-based tour focuses on the ethnic Khmu with overnight stays in two villages and treks to Phachao Singkham Buddha Cave and Houay Kai Waterfall.
OLD TAI LUE VILLAGE
Old Tai Lue village in Oudomxay Province is one of Lao’s the hidden treasures in the north.