ViengXay ( also ViengSai) is a District and town in Hua Phan Province.
The town is located on Rte 6 ,30 Km from Sam Neua ( Province capital ) and 55 Km from the Vietnam/Lao border in Ma Meo.
The Biggest attraction of the town are the caves.
The former Pathet Lao (PL) Revolutionary headquarters of Vieng Xai sit in a striking valley of fertile hills and limestone cliffs riddled with caves, several of which were used to shelter PL officers during the second indo-china war.
During the 1960s, political development in Laos were influential in the future of this whole region.
The United States believed that Laos was crucial in the prevention of communist expansion, so this small country became caught up in the conflict between the US and the north Vietnamese. In 1964, the US began intensive bombing of the Lao communist movement – Pathet Lao – base area in Xieng Khouang. The Pathet Lao moved east to Vieng Xay and these limestone karst cave networks sheltered their headquarters during their struggle wite the American-backed Royal Lao Government.
In these caves the Pathet Lao established a “Hidden City” which supported around 20,000 people. During nine years of almost constant bombing, they sheltered in caves and surrounding jungle. Most of their daily lives were led under cover of darkness. Schools, hospitals and markets as well as government ministries, a radio station, a theatre and military barracks were all hidden in the caves.
In 1973 a ceasefire stopped the bombing and the new town of ViengXay was established as the capital of the liberated zone. On the 2nd of December 1975 the Lao People's Democratic Republic was declared, and the capital city was transferred to Vientiane.
songthaew run regularly between Sam Neua and ViengXai, the songthaew departs from the locel bus station in Sam Neua – about 4 Km north from the center of town (1-2 km after the airport )
the ride takes 0.5 – 1 hours and costs 10,000 ( as to november 2010 )
you can hire a bicycle from the Caves Visitor center.
Standard bicycle :10,000 Kip / tour 20,000 Kip / Day
mountain bike: 15,000 Kip/ tour 30,000 Kip / Day
Discover the “Hidden City”
There are tours to the caves in english every day at 9:00 , and 13:00 (costs 60,000 kip)
you can also take a tour at other times during visitor center open hours for an extra 50,000 kip per group.
ViengXay Caves visitor center- (8:00-12:00 , 13:30-16:30 all week - 064 314321
has also tourist information for the town and region.
Thavisay hotel- 020-5665026 , a two storey hotel, all rooms have private hot-water bathroom a fan and a double bed with a mosquito net. Simple but the setting is nice and the owners are very friendly. (50,000 – 60,000 Kip )
Xailomyen G.H – A large timber guest house that sits on stilts over a small lake. All rooms have a mosquito net, there is also a restaurant and beer. ( 50,000 – 60,000 Kip)
NAXAY G.H – the cute wooden Bungalows have mosquito net, hot water bathroom and a fan
located near the Caves Visitor center, ( 50,000 – 70,000 )
Thongnakay G.H – a new building, all the six rooms have a fan, Double bed with a mosquito net and private hot-water bathroom. (50,000 – 60,000 ) , 030 99907206 , 9120250
Tontavan G.H -
Phathao G.H -
Sam Neua – meny songthaews a day ( 5:40 , 6:40, 7:30, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 15:00 ) , costs 10,000 Kip , takes 0.5 – 1 hours. departs from the market
Nameo ( lao/Vietnam border ) - 7:15 approximately - a songthaew that departs from SamNeua at 6:45 , you should wait on the main road from samNeua to Nameo ( approximately 1 km from ViengXai town center ) 2.5 – 3 hours 22,000 kip