Houaphanh Tourist Attractions

Thursday - 26/05/2022 03:23

       KeoLakMeuang (Glass ball monument).

The construction of the Glass Ball monument began on September 24, 2007 and was completed on June 17, 2008.  It was built by the provincial politburo party committees of Houaphanh Province and is symbolic of Houaphanh’s heroes who fought against their right wing enemy from 1963 – 1973. Houaphanh province became a stronghold of the LAO Revolutionary Party or LAO movement at that time; which in turn led to the independence of LAOS in 1975.  As a result this region is often referred to as “Houaphanh the birth place of Lao PDR”. Nowadays this monument is one of the main tourist attractions in the province and the local people of Houaphanh hold the ‘Glass Ball Frestival” annually on 17 May.

Syboun Heuang  Temple.  

The Syboun Heuang temple was built between March 2009 and May 2013. The temple is located in the SamNeua district downtown, approximately 1Km from Patee Road. It is home to a very old Buddha image dating from 1956, which weighs 3,850 kg and is named Ongteua pagoda.  This Buddha image was moved from Seuay Village to Watphoxay sanalam in 1984, and on May 24, 2013, the Lao Buddhism Federal Organization decided to remove the Ongteua pagoda to Wat Sybounheuang where it continues to reside. The sybounheuang temple is situated at the top of the mountain where there is gorgeous and fabulous scenery.   It is the highest mountain in the town, and boasts wonderful panoramic views. The visitor can easily access this place daily, from 8:00 am to 5 pm.  The panoramic views after sunset are especially beautiful.  


Phoxaysanaram Temple.

Wat Phoxay is located in SamNeua town. The temple was constructed in 1956 but rebuilt after the war in 1984. The Phoxay Sanaram shrine is one of the previous locations of the Ongteua pagoda.  It has always been a place of worship for Samneua people. Since Fa Ngum became the Lao leader/precursor to command the country of Laos in 1956 he led Lao citizens to construct the temple. Images of Buddha in the Lao Lanxang Kingdom (Vientiane Capital) were a symbol of Fa Ngum that led Lanxang to the war  against the Burmese  to defend their territories at that time.

Heuim Hot springs.

Heuim Hot spring is located in the Heuim District of Houaphanh Province, which shares borders with LuangPrabang to the west, Vietnam to the north, and Xieng Khouang Province to the south. The prefecture is around 150 Km from Samneua. A key stopping point along route 1 (the route to Luang Prabang) is the small town of Heuim which has simple guesthouses and restaurants. Close to the town you can visit a complex of hot springs that are very popular in the cooler winter months. as the water reaches temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius. This site offers opportunities for medical bathing, or even cooking your breakfast or lunch of boiled eggs! The Hot Springs are situated approximately two kilometers from the district town center. The two hot springs are the primary natural attractions in the park. The springs are located in a clearing within the evergreen forest setting that surrounds them. This forest is considered part of the buffer zone for the Nam Et-PhouLoeym Nation Protected Area (NPA) and consists of mainly secondary forest with some primary forest still remaining.  The area is also part of the district’s wider watershed conservation zone, part of a catchment area that sustains surrounding villages and the springs. The Hot springs have been officially opened and there are tourist facilities for visitors such as a restaurant, Sara for rest and bathing rooms for your Onsen.  
Getting here
Heuim Hot spring is accessed from Houaphanh Province’s Heuim town, along Laos’ Northern heritage route, which connects Houaphanh Province on a thematic route including LuangPrabang and Xiengkoang Provinces.  

The SaLeuy Waterfall.
The SaLeuy Waterfall is situated at Phonxay Village, along Laos’ Northern route which connects Houaphanh Province by a scenic route including LuangPrabang and Xiengkoang Provinces.  A short, easy walk on a flat trail from Road 6 leads to this tree-lined waterfall. The waterfall drops some 100 meters, as it cascades over rock slabs to a final leap into a relaxing pool and on to calm steam. A trail alongside the fall takes the adventurous to the top. Vendors on SaLuey village’s roadside sell locally made textiles.  Food and beverages and other essential necessities are also available.
Getting here
SaLeuy waterfall is accessed from Houaphanh Province’s Samneua town, along Laos’ Northern heritage route, which connects Houaphanh Province on a scenic route including LuangPrabang and Xiengkoang Provinces.  Visitors can easily access the site by bus  to/from Phonsavanh-Samneua, or you can take your motorbike..  


Mysterious Standing Stones.

The origins of the Standing Stones at Hintang Archaeological Park remain a mystery, but they are known to mark a gravesite and pre-date the early Plain of Jars. So far, over 1,500 stories have been identified in 70 plus groups of the Stones scattered along a 12-km long mountain ridge. This can be explored on foot. The Hintang Archaeological Park is situated at HouaMeuanng Prefecture which is approximately 65Km to the south from the centre of the province.

Getting here

The Hintang Archaeological Park is accessed from Houaphanh Province’s Houameuang town, along Laos’ Northern heritage route, which connects Houaphanh Province on a thematic route including LuangPrabang and Xiengkoang Provinces.  

The Nam Et-Phou Leuay National Protected Area (NEPL).

The Nam Et-Phou Leuay National Protected Area (NEPL) NPA is located in Heim District in the northern region of Lao PDR. The area shares common territory with two provinces, Xiengkouan and Luang Prabang. Nam Et-PhouLeuay NPA  covers a total of 410,720 hectares, and it is the biggest National Protected area in the country.

The protected area is marked by a steep mountainous topography with an elevation that ranges between 336 and 2,257 m. Most of the land in NEPL is hilly and covered with mountains, with a large jungle area that covers over 60%; it is also combined with a bamboo forest. The Nam Et-PhouLeuay NPA is a significant sub-tropical Forests Eco region and is endowed with some of the highest faunal biodiversity and endangered animals and bird species in the area. The World Wildlife Conservation (WCS) awarded financial assistance in 1998 to protect the tiger population and other important mammal species. There are Guar, Banteng (Bos guarus), White cheek Gibbon, Samba Deer, leopards and more than three hundreds bird species have been identified .

Muang Hiam (formerly Viengthong) is the location of the Nam Et-Phou Louey NP headquarters and Visitor Center, where tours into the park can be booked directly. Basic accommodation is available in town, as well as a handful of restaurants serving Lao food.

The town is a rural paradise, with many biking and walking trails to follow, and one of the best hot springs in the country. To get to the start point of the Nam Nern Night Safari, you can meet your guide in Muang Hiam and join them in taking public transport to the start, or you can travel to Ban Son Koua independently

Getting here

Departing from Samneua

By bus: the public buses and mini vans are operates every day from Samneua bus station to Meuang Hiem daily between 7-8 am. The journey time is approximately 4-5 hours. 

Departing from Phonesavanh

Public bus: there is no longer direct public transportation between Phonesavanh and Heim. You should take a bus You should take a bus with  destination “Sam Neua” and  get out at the Ko Hing junction. The bus drive is around 3.5hours. A pick-up can be arranged from the junction to Night Safari starting village.

Departing from from Nong Khiaw

PUBLIC BUS: Catch the bus from Luang Prabang heading to Sam Neua, which stops at Nong Khiaw daily around 12o’clock. Get off in Muang Hiem where the Head Office is located. The bus trip to Muang Hiamis about 5-6 hours
For more details:
Phone number: +856 20 2860 0038, email: info@namet.org, Website: www.namet.org

The Houaphanh-Kouangning Public Gardens. 

One of Houaphanh’s most overlooked and most affordable hidden gems, the Houaphanh-Kouangning Public Gardens is a must-visit for both visitors and locals alike. It is an abundance of greenery and beautiful gardens in Houaphanh Province. It is a gorgeous place year-round, but is especially popular in spring and autumn for the Dokkai blossoms and fall colors. One place to enjoy the season that’s often overlooked by visitors to Houaphanh.  The garden was founded by the Vietnamese Kouangning mayors in  2012. The public garden is around 4.4 hectares and has an impressive 5 species of plants. Visitors can access on foot  or by bike in order to get around.  The Gardens are open daily between 5 am to 8: 00 pm.  

Kaysone Phomvihanh’s Cave

In 1963, Viengxay was surrounded by dense forest. The forest was the home of many animals. There were tigers, deer and bear. The No.1 Hunter was called Konghanh.  The cave, was named after the hunter, Tham Pahanh, and then re-named Kaysone Phomvihanh Cave after a Lao Leader.  

The American War  against Lao started in 1955 and lasted  until 1975. For nine years  (1955 to 1963) the War was Underground. From 1964 to 1973 Air Planes were used to drop the bombs.
From 1973 -1975 there were ongoing  political negotiations which reached settlement in December 1975 and the Pathet Lao was then able to liberate the  whole country . During the War Mr. Kaysone Phomvihanh was Secretary General of the Lao PDR and this continued until 1990 when he was President for one year, 1991 to 1992. When President  Kaysone Phomvihanh moved  to live in the cave  in 1964  all the government, staff and local people also moved to live in the caves . 

Specific information about Kaysone Phomvihanh’ cave.

In Vientiane in 1973 the Pathet Lao signed an agreement with the Americans to stop the bombing. The government decided to build the houses, Kaysone Phomivihanh’s kitchen, his house and the meeting house. In 1973  the bombing stopped and in 1974 the big building was built as the conference house. 

President  Kaysone Phomvihanh’s cave was originally a natural stone cave but after he began living  and working in the cave they sometimes needed to have meetings with many people. In 1968 they enlarged the cave bigger by using dynamite. It took about 5 months to finish building and about 15 people lived with him in the bigger cave. Sometimes, when he had free time, he played table tennis with his three bodyguards and two chefs in the dining room. From 1964 to1969 there was no electricity.  Candle light and lamps were used. After 1970 they used a Generator.  


During the war he lived in Santirath Cave from 1964 to 1966 and from 1967 in Lovkpoungtay Cave. When his cave was finished he had to move to live here. In 1975 he became the leader of the Lao Front for National Construction also in 1975 the Government chose him as the first President of Lao PDR, until 1989. He was not in good health he became the advisor of the Lao Government.  In front of his cave is a very nice garden with a tennis court and a swimming pool which was made from a bomb crater.  

In 1973 the Pathet Lao was able to liberate about 80% of the country. He was an engineer and this home, in the style of a French villa, and the garden he built was planned by him. He lived here from 1973 until 3 April 1974.  In July 1975 the government moved from here to Vientiane city for liberation and in December the same year the Lao people became independent. The red flowers you see in the garden have important meanings for Lao people. The red flowers represent the blood of the Lao people who died during the bombings. 


This cave was called Tham Parcow, ‘Parcow’ meaning white. White cheeked gibbons [apes] once lived outside the cave and a hunter tried to shoot them with a gun. The gun would not explode so the hunter would never hunt at that cave again. During the war he lived in Lovkpaung Neua. He was a Politburo member and Minister of Finance. After President Kaysone Phomvehane passed away he became President of Lao PDR. This cave is quite small, but after he began living and working here from 1964-1973 they dynamite was used to make the cave bigger. After Laos signed the agreement to stop bombing  new houses were built outside and they were built on a bomb crater. The bodyguard’s house, kitchen and the new house were all built on a bomb crater which had been leveled.


On the right of the entrance to the garden you can see a mountain. This mountain was once very high but it was made smaller by the bombing.  As you can see in this garden there are many bomb craters.  Mr. Khamtay Siphandone was a Poliburo Member responsible for Military, defense and his title was Supreme Military Commander. He later became a President of Lao PDR. Within these caves there is a sealed tunnel maybe as long as one kilometre and filled with water on the way to connecting with the biggest cave.  There could be as many as 2,000 soldiers living in the cave all at the same time.  This stage was used for ceremonies to award soliders medals in recognition of their war efforts; it was also used for entertainment purposes during the war time. 


Tadkon Waterfall.

One of the best known among the province’s waterfalls is Tadkon,  located at Xone district, which is  about 30 km from the centre of town. It has a drop of some 400 meters, as it cascades over rock slabs to a final leap in to a relaxing pool and on to a calm steam. A trail a long side the fall takes the adventurous to the top. This natural scenic site is a popular picnic spot for local people, especially during the Lao New Year festival. Visitor can easily come out to easily recharge your life with this gorgeous natural scenery  at any time. 

Getting here:
Tadkon is accessed from Houaphanh Province’s Heuim town, along Laos’ Northern heritage route, which connects Hiem district on a thematic route to Xon prefecture, it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.  

Houaphanh’s Textile. 

Houaphanh province is well known for producing the most intricate textile motifs and patterns in the Lao PDR. Weaving skills are passed down from generation to generation of women, with many girls starting to weave when they are around eight years old.

Over many generations, different ethnic group have adopted and adapted different styles and approaches that today identify not just an ethnic group, but also individual clans and villages. For example the Tai Deng, Tai Kao, Tai Dam and Tai Puan ethnic groups each have their own distinctive motifs and produce different sophisticated patterns and costumes for special shamanic ceremonies.

Phonesavhanh, a village in Samtai district about 2 to 3 hours from Viengxay is the most prominent of Houaphanh’s many weaving villages. A visit there is a must for anyone interested in Lao textiles. Most villages in Houaphanh produce their own textiles, most commonly the traditional Lao Sin (Lao skirt). There are  high quality sins, which are brokered both nationally and internationally.

In recent years several weaving houses have been established in Samneua and they welcome visitors. Most weaving houses employ around a dozen weavers, many of whom may come from Xamtai.
It takes around 4 or 5 days to produce a single sin. Worker are paid for each item they create, and often compete to produce the best quality textiles.

The weaving houses have different items for sale including table clothes, wall hangings and scarves. If you buy these traditional and beautiful textiles direct from villages and weaving houses prices are often cheaper than in markets. You can also meet the person who can created your unique textile.

Another, famous textile weaving houses can be seen at Ban Meuangvan,  where villagers produce mixed cotton and silk textiles, using the mat mee method of colouring.  They mix also, natural and synthetic dyes to make very marketable products. They have studied about the traditional patterns and legends are woven within their designs, and modern stories are now being told through weaving developing a new tradition. MeuangVan, a village in Samneua prefecture it takes 2 hours drives from Samneua downtown by following the unsealed road for 30 km,  to Ban MeuangVaen Village. Please note that during the wet season or on rainy days the unsealed section of the access road may only be navigable using a four wheel drive vehicle or off-road motorbike. 

Fish Conservation -  Et district. 

Fish conservation is situated in the centre of Et district, which is approximately 75Kms from Samneua. In 2008 a poverty reduction fund was granted with the purpose of supporting and preserving fish species in the region.  The local authority in this village has taken the role of protecting the site from poachers. The villagers  have organized their own village co site conservation outreach team, and this is dedicated to local people’s participation in the management of  Fish conservation.

KaengLit Waterfalls

Kaenglit falls can be found in the Et prefecture, and are said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Houaphanh province. This natural scenic site is popular with local people, especially during the Lao New Year festival. It is a worthwhile visit as there are plenty of other things to see while enjoying the views of the waterfall. Visitors can enjoy rock-climbing while visiting the falls.  

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