Nam Xay Viewpoint is the most popular of the viewpoints overlooking the spectacular hills and valley where the popular Laotian tourist town of Vang Vieng is located. Nam Xay Viewpoint is more developed and easier to climb than other local local viewpoints such as Pha Ngern or Pha Poak.
About Nam Xay Viewpoint
The first of several challenges you will encounter in your attempt to reach Nam Xay Viewpoint is getting to the start of the walk. The walk up to Nam Xay Viewpoint begins at car park a fair distance from Vang Vieng town. Its too far to easily walk so you need transport. There are quite a few transport options:
- Taxi: As with everywhere in Laos, you need to negotiate a price before you set off. Taxis in Vang Vieng, however, are particularly expensive. Expect to pay around 100,000 Lao Kip (approximately $10 USD) for the return trip with the driver waiting for whilst you climb to the viewpoint.
- Motorbike: You can rent a motorbike for 50,000 to 70,000 Lao Kip ($5 to $7 USD) per day. This option can be very expensive if you damage the bike.
- Buggy: An option which is very popular with Asian tourists is to rent an off-road buggy. These are robust vehicles which cost around 1000,000 Lao Kip (approximately $10 USD) an hour to rent.
- Bicycle: Mountain bikes of varying quality are available to rent for around 30,000 Lao Kip (£3 USD) per day. It takes about an hour by bicycle to reach the start point for the path to the the viewpoint.
Nam Xay Viewpoint is open every day from 06:00 to 18:00, which is basically a bit before sunrise until a bit before the sun has completely set. There is a 10,000 Lao Kip ($1 USD) entry fee. The way up to the viewpoint is well signposted so you won’t get lost although you may struggle to make it if it is rainy or has been raining recently. The reason the walk up is a struggle in the rain is that the ‘path’ largely consists of steps cut into the bare earth with few pieces of wood, and no concrete or rocks, for traction. There are crude bamboo rails to hang on to, and some short bamboo ladders to climb up, on the steeper stretches but that is about it. Sensible shoes are recommended, long dresses are not. This attraction is also not suitable for young children or anyone with mobility issues. Once you do reach the top there are some bamboo huts and viewing platforms, and a motorbike chained to the very top of the hill which is popular with people taking photographs to display on their social media accounts. There aren’t any shops or vendors beyond the car park at the start of the walk so bring drink, food or whatever else you might need for the walk with you.
Location of Nam Xay Viewpoint
Nam Xay Viewpoint is located 10 km by road from Vang Vieng Town.