Visiting Houa Phan Province Laos

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Pathet Lao Caves
Pathet Lao Caves
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Visiting Houa Phan Province Laos

Houa Phan Province Laos is composed of some misty hills that have bowl-shaped lush green valleys. Making this part of the world a magical wonderland. The images of this landscape are reminiscent of fairytale scenes. Houa Phan province in Laos is sparsely populated. It is home to numerous ethnic communities, and it is one of the largest National Biodiversity Conservation Areas with some of the highest mountains in the region. This region will definitely impress tourists who like places that are commercially untouched.

Houa Phan Province Laos
Houa Phan Province Laos

The Pathet Lao Caves

When war broke out in Vietnam, Staff General Curtis LeMay speculated that the Americans would bomb their country back to stone age period. However, living in caves is what gave the North Vietnamese Army and the Pathet Lao a greater advantage over the American Army. These caves were the perfect hiding spots, and soon their forces were reinforced by the Viet Minh who were fighting against the French. In the 1960s thousands of people who joined the army lived in more than hundred caves located in the valleys east of Xam Nua. The caves were, however, abandoned after the war ended. The caves have been kept a secret for a long time, today, they have been opened for tourists to visit and have the chance to see them.

Pathet Lao Caves
Pathet Lao Caves

Viang Xai

In English, Viang Xai means victory, but it’s impossible to believe that once you see the area. After Pathet Lao and his allies won the second Indochina war, the City of Victory, was established. The building involved the Russians, Vietnamese, North Koreans, and Lao. Situated in a valley that is surrounded by the Pathet Lao caves, Viang Xai only has very few things of interest for the traditional tourist. However, if you are looking to visit and experience something, a little different, then there is more to see than victory statue, the victory arch which commemorates their victory and a stupa. This region has a haunting nature and is majorly a ghost town.

Karst Formation Viang Xai
Karst Formation Viang Xai

Xam Nua

Xam Nua is the capital of Houa Phan province. You can literally drive for miles in this area before you can find structures of anykind. The city is located in a lush forest, in a valley that has a bowl-like structure. The Nam Xam River gently passes through the heart of the town. Xam Nua does not have that much which many traditional tourists will love to see. But often traveling is much more than monuments. It is the way a place makes you feel. It is those little memories that you will never forget, that stay with you forever.  For the more traditional tourist, there are the haunting Viang Xai Caves to visit.

Suan Hin Pha
Suan Hin Pha

Suan Hin

When you travel 50Kms southwest of Houa Muang, you will be able to find Suan Hin. SuanHin is also known as the stone garden and consists of gigantic stones in large circles. These large stone structures are just like the Stonehenge UK.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Great article and a really good basic list for first time travelers. I always encourage new travelers to try and chat with experienced travelers if they have the chance. I find this can alleviate fears and provide first hand inspiration 🙂 🙂

  2. You travel blog is quite appealing to people to travel the people to Vietnam. I too have a dream to explore tourist destinations outside my home country, but not sure when would I get the chance. 🙂 🙂

  3. Great article for learning more about Vietnam . But I have a question what is your opinion on a staying in a hostel vs. staying in a villa?

    • Hi Molly, there are a range of hotel, hostels and apartment for rent throughout Vietnam. Hotels are very afforable and you can often stay in a Hotel, normally family run for the same price as hostel accommodation. Hostel accommodation does however offer an opportunity for people to meet and share their travel expeiences.

  4. I have a great passion to visit new places and have a dream to visit the entire world. I really enjoyed this post and loved the all images that actually reminded me my old memories which I created one of the most worth-seeing country Vietnam. 🙁 🙂 🙂

  5. I’m always looking for travel inspiration, so I love lists like this! Great list!! You are very inspirational. Yours are the best travel blogs I have read so far .Keep traveling. Keep inspiring. Happy to see .

    • Laos is relatively untouched by the Western world however this is changing quickly as more and more people visit Indochina. Enjoy your travels.

    • While Laos, is still very much a developing country, if you are adventurous and really love to explore cuisines and cultures, Indochina offers a unique experience, very different from your normal tourism hotspots.

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