Muang Xay, located in the Oudomxai Province, is frequented by tourists from all over the world. The French colonial influence can be deeply felt in the town, and it’s perfect for a family vacation. This place is brimming with outdoor activities, and there are plenty of museums, national monuments, and villages for you to explore. Here are the 10 best things Muang Xay has to offer:
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Best Things to Do in Muang Xay | Laos
1. Meet interesting locals at Ban Chom Ong
On the outskirts of Muang Xay lies the quaint village known as Ban Chom Ong, home to the Khmu tribe. As you attempt to hike your way to the Chom Ong Cave, you will find this wonderful village. This village has beautiful surroundings, complete with wide-open paddy fields and incredibly tall mountains.
You will quickly become accustomed to the traditional way of life of the Khmu people on your visit. If you start pining for a longer stay, this village also has affordable accommodation.
2. Revel in the beauty of Nam Kad Waterfall
To reach the astonishing Nam Kad waterfall, you would have to start your journey from the majestic Ban Faen village. The route to the waterfall consists of a picturesque rainforest, and it takes a half hour to get there. In addition to that, you will also need to cross the river numerous times on your way. Thankfully, the beauty of this waterfall makes up for the extra effort. The pool beneath the waterfall is refreshing, and ideal for swimming.
3. Dine at exotic steamboat restaurants
It is quite normal to find restaurants housed inside steamboats in the town of Muang Xang. These restaurants have a variety of Laotian cuisine on their menu. Some of the dishes served in the restaurant are similar to Korean barbeque. You will be able to grill the meat or seafood yourself and add your choice of ingredients to give it a unique flavor and aroma. However, the restaurant will charge you separately for the additional ingredients.
4. Appreciate the spectacular Phuuthat Stupa
Only a short distance from the Oudomxay Museum, the Phuuthat Stupa is one of the town’s most fascinating historic sites. The steps leading to the Stupa lie in front of the museum’s main entrance. The Stupa can be traced back to the 14th century and is roughly 18 meters long.
Even after being completely worn out during the French colonial period, this place was renovated to resemble its former look. Inside the Stupa, you will find a gigantic golden statue of Buddha. This is also a popular destination for sunset-watching.
5. Hike to the astonishing Ban Thin Temple
If you are in the mood for hiking, you’re in luck! Muang Xay has some incredible routes for you to explore on foot. The most popular route is the one that leads to Ban Thin Temple and its nearby villages.
Start your journey from the Chinese market, known for its organic produce. It wouldn’t take too long to reach the scenic Ban Thin temple from there. As you keep hiking for another 40 minutes, you will reach the spectacular Hmong village.
This is a great place to observe locals leading the traditional lifestyle, engaging in activities such as embroidery, metalwork, and much more. If you still have energy, don’t forget to hike to the nearby Tai Lue village to watch workers produce the famous Laotian noodles.
6. Tour the famous Chom Ong cave
Are you a thrill-seeker looking for an unparalleled adventure? Come on down to Chom Ong, one of Asia’s lengthiest caves. This cave is only a short distance from the main town. Unlike many other caves, this place has both dry and wet passages.
Inside the cave, you will be able to engage in activities such as tubing or spelunking. You could also spend hours exploring this exceptionally long cave. To come to this cave, you need to arrive at Ban Chom Ong village first, from where you will be able to rent a cycle or a motorbike to reach the cave.
7. Attend a pottery class at Ban Yor
Pottery classes held at the Ban Yor village have gained quite the reputation in Muang Xay. If you want to explore your creative side, make sure to visit this amazing village. You will be able to learn how to obtain and work with a variety of clay.
Moreover, the instructors will be pleased to give you a quick lesson on how to produce simple pots and bowls from clay. Afterward, you will also be allowed to decorate your creation. Other than that, this village also has a handicraft center selling a variety of pottery goods.
8. Go shopping at the marvelous Chinese Market
The bustling Chinese Market is near the well-known Luxay Market. This open-market is particularly praised for offering an expansive selection of Chinese commodities, like food and wearable. To top that off, the market also remains open to the public at night. This means you should have no problem visiting this place after a day full of adventures.
9. Travel back in time at the Oudomxay Museum
Oudomxay Museum is the best place to learn about Muang Xay’s rich history and traditions. Although the museum is pretty small, it showcases a wide selection of ancient artifacts and statues in its marvelous galleries. Reaching the museum may prove to be a bit difficult for some people, due to its location on the top of Phou Sebey Mountain. However, the trip is truly worthwhile as you will be greeted by a heavenly view.
10. Treat yourself to the region’s baked goods and fast food
End your trip to Muang Xay by feasting on some of the best-baked goods in the region! You will find all sorts of pastries, loaves of bread and cakes throughout the town. One such place is the well-admired Siso Bakery, recognized for its delicious sandwiches and cookies.
If you are craving for some fast food instead, try out Oudomburger located in the town’s bus station. This place has gained a large following for its exquisite burgers.
Although the town of Muang Xay may seem a bit lackluster on the surface, there are numerous activities for you to participate in. The town is perfect for sightseeing, and outgoing tourists will find several opportunities for going on an adventure. It’s hard to get bored with this place!