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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.
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
AKHA ETHNIC GROUP IN BAN AA NO VILLGE
Akha is one famous minority in Oudomxay.This Akha tribe moved originally from China to Vietnam and finally to Laos in 1882 (129 years ago)
Aa No is the name of the leader who led his people (40 families) to Laos and the village was named Aa No after he passed away. The village’s population continued to increase, including through migration of Akha people from other places. Aa No Village is situated in the Northeast of La District (Meuang La), about 32.5 km from Meuang La. Access to the village is possible all year round, but it’s quite hard during the raining season. There, you can experience more about their traditional culture, daily lifestyle, and many more things in the village.
OLD TAI LUE VILLAGE
Old Tai Lue village in Oudomxay Province is one of Lao’s the hidden treasures in the north.
The candle tree forest is situated in Ban Chom Laeng Village about 23 Km from Houn town. The tree is just like candle, tall with no branches until the top. All the trees are grown naturally in one area with no ealsewhere. The only one place in Oudomxay maybe even in Laos. It’s recognized as the amazing candle tree of Meuang Houn.
TARD LUK 11 WATERFALL
Plateau No. 11 is located in Ban Nangyu, Chaiyay District, Oudomxay Province. The distance from the municipality to the south is 13 kilometers above the 11 km. As a small village, a family head is now a manager of a non-historical service called in the 11th kilometer because of the 11th kilometer. It is very small, about 30 meters wide and 10-15 meters wide. In the tropical zone, there is a cool, cozy tree that is suitable for sightseeing and relaxation for tourists traveling through, and not far from the municipality proper to the wildlife tourism of Oudomxay.
NAM HAENG WATERFALL
Nam Haeng is an extremely beautiful waterfall in Ban Katangya Village, Meuang Hoon District. (24 Km from Meung Hoon to the waterfall). There, lots of natural plants and species can be found and seen. Every where is green and you can also swim in the pure water there. It’s a famous picnic place for Meuang Houn residents, especially on weekends. It’s said that people love to refresh themselves on weekends after 5 days working.
Talae is an amazing waterfall, located in Ban Talae from Meung Houn town about 45 km. The waterfall is in the district protected area. When you reach the waterfall you will also get fresh atmosphere under the pristine forest. The length of the waterfall is about 600 meters and consists of 7 different beautiful waterfall levels. The best time to visit this waterfall is during June to February of every year. A famous picnic place for the local people there.
HMONG NEW YEAR
Most Hmong people are in Meuang Xay, Meuang Namor , Meuang Hoon, Meuang Beng and Meuang Pakbeng District. Hmong new year celebartion is in mid December, The festival celebration is just after the Agriculture “rice, con, ect…” harvest season. the main purpose of the festival is to celebrate for the new year and for all the successful outcomes that the Hmong people done for the past year and to ensure the living standard. The activity includes playing games between men and women by throwing a small cotton ball to each other, Hmong Khaen blowing plus dancing, flute playing, Hmong traditional singing and orthers.
The Hmong New Year celebration features colorful displays of traditional costumes made from green, red and white silk and ornate silver jewelry. Music from traditional Hmong instruments such as the teun-flute, Hmong khene and Tree leaf blowing is enjoyed. Other activities related include the Makkhon (cotton-ball) throwing ceremony, ox fighting, spinning-toy races and crossbow demonstrations.
The paradise mountain (Buddha footprint Temple)
This paradise mountain is located in Ban Longya Village about 25 Km from Xay town on the same direction to Tadnamket waterfall. It’s one of the oldest Thai Dam villages in Oudomxay Province. The paradise mountain is approximately 200 meters away from the village.
The key point of this area is because of the three sacred Buddha footprints which discovered by a local man for many years ago. People in the area always believe that such footprints are sacred. In 2004, the village decided to develop the area as a religious place for worship and afterward many different Buddha statues and animals were built around the area. It’s now extremely famous for all Buddhist believers in the province as well as other people from different places.