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Phonsavan (ໂພນສະຫວັນ, Phonsavanh) is the capital of Xieng Khouang province in Central Laos. It is known primarily as the gateway to the Plain of Jars.


Phonsavanh is the provincial capital of Xieng Khouang province. It was built in the late 1970s and replaced the old Xieng Khouang which had been destroyed during the Second Indochina War. It is located in the centre of the Plain of Jars and has a pleasant climate all year around, although it can become pretty cold during winter nights (it is on an altitude of 1100m). The long winding main street of Phonsavanh looks like the setting of a David Lynch inspired Spaghetti Western minus the tumbleweeds. As soon as you leave town the countryside is dominated by green hills and pine forests. Villages consist of colourful wood houses and often raise cattle. You will see more than one Hmong cowboy with brown and violet cowboy hats. During Hmong New Year there are even bullfights in Phonsavanh. Also during Hmong New year many American Hmong come back to choose their bride and to see their relatives back Its not only the bullfights but also the ethnic traditions they still have till today ,that makes this festival unique in this region as Xieng Khouang has the biggest Hmong population in Laos

Its most famous attraction is the nearby Plain of Jars, which is to be nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status. The main economic activity in Phonsavanh is based on government administration, mining companies from China and Australia, tourism and the work of NGOs related to UXO clearance. The uxo center and Mag centers gives you a good view on the history of Laos and also its daily life Around Phonsavan you can find multiple authentic sceneries as the Tad kha waterfall ,the tam piu cave ,the mulberryfarm and the hot springs in Mouang Kham ,the spoonvillage

Phonsavanh is home to various ethnic groups, such as the Phuan, whose ancestors once founded the kingdom of the same name, the Hmong, which New Years celebrations in Xieng Khouang are famous throughout Laos, and the Khmu and Tai Dam. There is also a minority of Laotian Chinese and Vietnamese as well as some international workers and missionaries from Korea and the USA. Typical local products from Phonsavanh and the surrounding area are natural dyes and textiles each with individual pattern depending on the ethnic group, basketry, mulberry paper umbrellas, spoons made from war scrap or Hmong embroidery. A special drink is Matsutake Whiskey made from Hed Wai, a highly valued mushroom from the pine forests of Xieng Khouang.

For general information vist the Provincial Tourism Department near the market, Thalat Nam Ngum, on the road to the airport. [email protected]

Get in[edit]

Phonsavan's Xiang Khouang Airport (IATA: XKH) - You can now (Oct 2019) fly from Luang Prabang on Lao Skyways on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 11:10 - it takes 30 minutes and costs approaching $USD50 - they also have flights from Vientiane on the same days. Lao Airlines offers six flights a week in peak season and four flights in low season.

Bus services connect Phonsavan from Vientiane. You can either take VIP buses or local busses. The busses leave from the northern bus terminal and take about 8 to 9 hours. Note: The roads are paved but there are plenty of serpentines. The bus trip from Vang Vieng takes 7-8 hours. Busses run daily from Luang Prabang via Route 13 and 7 and take 8 hours. There is a regular VIP bus from Paksan bus terminal (inside the market) at 7:30 to Phonsavan that takes 7-8 hours.

Coming from Vinh or Hanoi in Vietnam, visas are available on arrival at the Nam Ka border, which is open daily from 6:00 – 18:00. The bus from Vinh leaves four days a week and takes 8 to 9 hours.

Minibus services run from both Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, which can either be booked from a travel agent, guesthouse or directly with the station. These may or may not include pick up from your guesthouse, so ask when booking Other directions available from Phonsavan are ,Thakhek every 2 days ,the other day there is the bus to Vientiane that stops in Paksan from there you can take another bus to Thakhek There is also a bus that goes to Pakse If you would like to travel to Hanoi .you will need to wait in town til the nightbus coming from luang Prabang passes direction Hanoi ,this one stops in phonsavan

Get around[edit]

To get to other towns in the province you can take local buses or pick-up trucks. Inside Phonsavan, there are plenty of tuk-tuks, which might not be available without prior booking very early in the morning or late at night. A normal tour inside the town should cost about 10 000 kip. There are 9 travel agents in Phonsavan that arrange bike, motorbike and car rentals. A bike costs depending on quality from 20 000 Kip per day. You can rent mostly scooters for about 100 000 kip from a tout or 70,000 kip from an agency along route 7. Note that tuk-tuks are not allowed to take tourists to the Jar sites. You can visit the site with a certified guide or individually.

Stay safe[edit]

There's been a recent surge in motorcycle accidents due to poor brakes and equipment. Ensure the fundamentals are in good working order before taking it out any further. Also keep your motorcycle visor down at all times especially during the late evening around 16:00 as insects have a nasty habit of flying into your eyes which can cause to lose control and crash.

Recommend using Happy Motorcycles which contain some level of insurance.

Stay on Marked Pathways[edit]

Warning - Phonsavan is one of the most heavily bombed places in the world. Many unexploded ordinances remain from the Secret War, and while you're in Phonsavan you may see or hear MAG teams detonating the live UXOs (usually around 15-15:30hr) they've found during the day.

60 people die each year from UXO explosions. Take extreme caution when wandering around any off-the-beaten paths. Stay on the paths unless it is absolutely necessary to do otherwise.

See[edit][add listing]

Indochinese war sites[edit]

During the Second Indochina War, Xieng Khouang was the scene of extensive ground battles and intense aerial bombardment due to its strategic importance. The provinces of Houaphan and Xieng Khouang had been the stronghold of Pathet Lao forces and their Vietnamese allies. Extremely heavy carpet bombing by the US turned the Plain of Jars into the Plain of Scars, and it is the most heavily bombarded area in the world. In addition to bombs massive quantities of defoliants and herbicides were dropped.

Evidence of the intense fighting can be seen in the cratered landscape and in war relics such as bomb shells, tanks and military positions. The resourceful locals refashion war scrap into items for everyday use, e.g. spoons in Ban Napia village, vegetable planters, fences, tools, pumps and barbeque fireplaces.

The extent of the bombardment is in particular evident at Baan Khai, 36 km northeast of Phonsavanh. The landscape is pockmarked with craters. Driving north along Route 7 plenty of creatively modified war scrap used in local architecture catches your eye. In Tajok, a Hmong village along Route 7 (30 km northeast of Phonsavanh), you can discover lots of bomb casings reused as barn pillars, fences and for other uses.

Baan Tajok is located on the main road (Route 7) northeast of Phonsavan. Drive to Nong Phet, then 2 km further to Baan Tajok. Once in the village, turn right to a side road and explore the houses. Although not littered with structures built from UXO, with a bit of browsing you will find some scattered about (such as corn and grain storage with the occasional planter) the village. There is a good mechanic directly opposite the petrol station.

Baan Khai: From Phonsavan, drive northeast to Nong Phet, then turn left and proceed a further 7 km or so. The turn is located in a market area. If in doubt, show the locals the name of the village written in Lao script (ບ້ານ ຄາຍ), and they will direct you to the turn. Look for a large, reddish brown plain dotted with craters on a small hill to your left.

Pho Kod War Memorial 20 km SW of Phonsavan along route 7

Long Tieng tours might be arranged by several tour operators in town.

Caves - refuges for thousands of people[edit]

During the war thousands of local residents took shelter in caves and set up hospitals and schools; the army used the caves as well to store weapons and medical supplies. Two major caves are open to the public:

Tham Piu Cave is located 6 km north of Muang Kham. In one of the many tragedies of the so-called Secret War on 24 November 1969, a single rocket fired from a US aircraft killed an estimated 374 people, rumoured to be an entire village, who had taken refuge in the cave. Their bones are still buried in the rubble. The cave is far away from Phonsavan but it's an amazing drive through pine forests, mountains, fields and past the many villages along the route. The journey to the cave also allows for stopovers at other points of interest, including Baan Ki, Baan Tachok, Baan Nathong & Tai Dam/Khom crafts provided you leave no later than 09:00. Directions: From Phonsavan head NW along route 7 for about 55km until you reach Bang Sa and turn left just after the Western Union next to the Post Office. Drive past the signposted road to the Plain of Jars (50 km) on your left hand side, over the bridge and past the small cemetery on the left for about 5 km until you reach the sign to the cave for then turn left. From here the road becomes extremely cracked and uneven. After short drive (about 3 km) through a small village you will arrive at the Tham Piu entrance. Route 5 will also lead you there (signposted on route 7 but after the post office/Western Union) however, the way is not direct and nor signposted after the initial left turn so you will have to ask for directions or make educated guesses. The entrance fee is 5,000 kip. The caretakers are friendly and if they're not busy then they are more than happy to show visitors around the grounds which contain statues, shrines and even a small museum. They will even open up the shrine if it is locked away and conduct prayers if you purchase incense and candles. To reach the caves walk past the shrine/museum and follow the winding concrete steps past the Buddha and aqueduct for about 5 minutes to the mouth of the cave. Small piles of rocks with incense and offerings are there to honour the dead and there is also a simple shrine at the entrance.

The Tham Xang Caves are located in a scenic karst area, the caves were used by the revolutionary fighters. Inside the cave complex they set up a hospital, an arsenal and a medicine depot. Evidence can still be seen. Besides its war history the illuminated residential cave is worth visiting to see its natural beauty. The Hmong community of Ban Ta takes care off the caves and offers a local tour guide service. Directions: The caves are 36km northwest of Phonsavanh. Take Route 7, pass Nong Pet, then in Nam Ka village turn left into a dirt road; follow the signs to Tham Xang until you reach Ban Ta. The drive to Tham Xan is very scenic and possibly one of the best in the area. You’ll drive pass thatched huts, large open fields and into the mountains. The booth to the cave is sporadically manned, as is the toll booth. As of November 2012 the medical depot was left open but the munitions cave was locked.

Scenery & nature[edit]

Xieng Khouang is widely known for the Plain of Jars, but beyond its jars the natural beauty of the province is waiting to be discovered. Xieng Khouang’s scenery is characterised by the highest mountains in the country (Mount Phou Bia), its pine forests, deciduous woodlands, rolling hills and grasslands. In the cold season the green hills of the Plain of Jars turn reddish brown giving it a touch of the “Wild West” with yellow sunflowers and pointsetta in full bloom. Nam Ngum, the largest river in the province originates from the mountains in Paek District and is one of the major tributaries of the Mekong. Nong Het and Phaxay District in particular offer stunning karst scenery with plenty of caves, cliffs, underground rivers and waterfalls. Visiting the area is very beautiful during peach and orchid tree blossom in February.

Nong Tang Lake. Nong Tang is a large picturesque natural lake flanked by high limestone cliffs. Locals use it for fishing and it is a favourite picnic site. Enjoy the peaceful setting in the local restaurant. Overnight stay is available in a guesthouse along the shore. Nongtang is located 48 km from Phonsavanh on Route 7 going to Phou Khoun.

Hot Springs can be visited in the vicinity of Muang Kham off Route 7. The big hot spring Baw Nyai is 67 km from Phonsavanh, has been developed as a resort with bungalows and indoor bathing facilities. You can walk through the forest to the spring source, but swimming in the pool is not possible. The Jar Site of Ban Nam Hom is just a 2 km walk away. This jar site offers an insight in how the jars were made as part of the jar site is a jar quarry area. Taking a guide to visit the site is recommended.

Tad Ka Waterfall in Nong Het. This impressive waterfall is surrounded by spectacular limestone karst. The water runs down in cascading steps alternating with steep areas for more than 100 metres and flows all year round. To get to the falls follow Route 7 to Nong Het, at Khang Phaniane Village turn left into a graveled road (100 km from Phonsavanh) and drive for about 3 km; take the trail to the left and walk about 30 minutes to get to the waterfall. Taking a guide is recommended.

Tad Ka Waterfall in Tajok. The waterfall is located near Tajok village, 32 km north of Phonsavanh. The water flows over several tiers. A spectacular jungle trail winds its way up the waterfall crossing it several times. Tad Kha is a popular picnic spot for locals, especially during the Lao New Year holidays. To get there turn right at the end of Tajok village; follow the road until you see a building to the right. Walk along the ridge and take the right trail down. Local tour companies offer day tours including a picnic lunch and a hike up the waterfall.

Tad Lang Waterfall. Tad Lang is located near Jar site 3 just 700 metres off the road to Ban Nakang cascading down ca. 800 metres. To enjoy its whole beauty follow the trail down to the bottom of the valley. It is a good picnic spot, but because you must cross a river to reach it, access is difficult in the rainy season. before the waterfall Waterfall is dry now due the building of a barrier

Thathom. Travelling to Thathom, located 130 km south of Phonsavanh, is still an adventure. Driving mainly on dirt roads you pass thick deciduous forests, stands of bamboo, remote villages and cross rivers several times. Thathom offers a gorgeous karst landscape with plenty of rivers, caves and historical sites, but so far, tourist services are scarce. Song thaews (pick-up trucks) leave Phonsavanh daily, but there are no regular trips in the rainy season. Boat services are available once you reach the Nam Xan River going to Paksan in Bolikhamxay province.

Do[edit][add listing]

The SOS orphanage in Xieng Khouang was founded 1998 to take care of the many children who lost their parents in accidents related to UXO. Today 145 children live in 12 family houses. The associated kindergarten and primary school are open to local children. You are welcome to visit the centre during office hours Mon - Fri from 8:00-16:00, Check in at the administration building first.

The local fresh food market is an excellent place to sample the variety of unique foods that Xieng Khouang has to offer. The cool climate and high altitude of the province produces many food items and forest products that are not available in other parts of Laos, e.g. mushrooms, peaches, plums and passion fruit. Some people also sell exotic meats, such as living bamboo rats or pheasants. Please remember to support wildlife conservation and do not eat endangered species.

The Navang Craft Centre is famous for woodcarving. This family business produces wood crafts made from scented Long Leng Wood (Fujian Cypress), a rare wood. You can watch the carvers work and buy souvenirs daily from 7:30-20:00.

There is a Hmong Crafts Centre in the city centre offering products made by Hmong. In the same shop is also a Thai massage parlor run by a group of 4 experienced Thais. The boss is training locals in masssage.

There are several War Memorials in Phonsavanh that were constructed to commemorate the thousands of Pathet Lao soldiers who lost their lives during the Indochina Wars and to honour the Vietnamese soldiers who fought alongside them. Climb up the small hills and you will be rewarded with great views of the town and surrounding areas.

The Mulberry Silk Farm of Lao Sericulture Co, [6] a fair trade company, is dedicated to enabling Lao village silk producers in the Northern provinces to revive the art of high quality local silk production. Villagers are trained in sericulture, the process of raising silkworms, processing and improved weaving techniques and natural dying. Leaves, bark, vines, berries and seeds create colour choices to match virtually any taste. To learn about the whole process you are welcome to visit the farm. A free guided tour which takes about 30 minutes leads you through the production process. Any purchase of souvenirs will help the local communities and enabling them to rise out of poverty. It is located in Ban Li (just west of Phonsavan on Route 7) and is open Mon - Sat 08:00 - 16:00.

At the MAG Office-UXO Visitor Information Centre [7] in the centre of Phonsavanh (opposite Craters restaurant) the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) informs about the UXO (unexploded ordnance) problematic in the province. MAG began its Lao program in 1994 and started the first internationally supported UXO clearance operation in Xieng Khouang. MAG works to help people to rebuild their lives and alleviates suffering by responding to the needs of conflict affected communities. Local staff has been training to clear away the brush, to use a metal detector and recognize ordnance. Their village assisted clearance approach allows communities to participate in the process. Open Mon - Fri 08:00-20:00 and Sat/Sun 16:00-20:00. Documentaries are screened daily (16:30/17:50-18:30-'Bombies') free of charge. Visiting local UXO clearance sites can also be arranged but only if you have obtained permission from the Veng Vieng office. Visiting the centre is free but donations are appreciated. T-shirts are available for $10.

The UXO Survivor Information Centre is in the main street of Phonsavan, two doors along from MAG. The Centre is operated by the Quality of Life Association (QLA) which is a provincial not for profit organisation that provides support for UXO survivors. They cover the cost of initial and ongoing medical treatment of UXO survivors and manage a range of livelihood training initiatives to help them to have a sustainable livelihood after their accident. A common cause of UXO accidents is digging on the farm, so for many UXO victims, farming is no longer an option. The organisation is also about Lao people helping Lao people; the QLA team and also their Board of Directors are Lao nationals, some of whom are UXO survivors themselves. The Centre has an exhibition with information about the various programs and short stories about some of the people they have helped. The Centre also includes a small shop comprising handicrafts that have been made by UXO survivors and UXO affected communities. The proceeds go to UXO survivors and towards buying more materials for making more products. Well worth a visit. Open all week, Mon & Tues until 4pm, Wed to Sun until 8pm.

Old Cemetery and Lake Jao Supanouvong. This large cemetery is located on a hill 1 km north of Phonsavanh. What makes it unique is that Tai Dam animist tombs are mixed together with Catholic tombstones, Chinese graves and Lao Buddhist reliquary. The hill top offers sweeping views and is an ideal spot for watching the sun set of the green hills. The lake 3km north of town is named in honour of Prince Supanouvong the first president of the Lao PDR. Once the site of the provincial jail, it is now a place for relaxation.

Participate in English classes at Phonsavan school (English Centre, Phonsavan school). English speaking tourists are welcome to participate in English evening classes in the local primary - junior high school. It is a beautiful experience, and you don't have to be a teacher! My friend had seen a sign in the Craters Cafe. The lovely staff transfered us to and from the school, which is not far from the bus terminal.

Nathong Cultural Village from Phonsavan head NW along route 7 (towards the Tham Piu caves) for about 45 km and turn right at blue the sign in Laos/English for about 1 km until the the gravel road forks out. The village itself is nothing special and pretty much the same as any of the others you'll pass, however, the locals are extremely friendly and will burst into laughter when you ask to take their picture!

Muang Nam from Phonsavan head NW along route 7 for about 40 km on the way towards the Tham Piu Cave. There is little of interest here aside from the view from the Kham bridge, the house just past the bridge surrounded with UXO and the friendly locals.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Typical local products from Phonsavanh and the surrounding area are natural dyes and textiles each with individual pattern depending on the ethnic group, basketry, mulberry paper umbrellas from Ban Mixay, spoons made from war scrap from Ban Napia or Hmong embroidery. A special drink is Matsutake Whiskey made from Hed Wai (known in Japan as matsutake), a highly valued mushroom from the pine forests of Xieng Khouang. Finely woven silk scarves and textiles can be purchased from the UXO Survivors Centre, Mulberry Farm and Khom Districts Craft Centre.

Recycled UXO bracelets, bottle openers and the collectible spoons can be purchased for 20,000 kip each from the Khom Districts Crafts Centre far from town. The spoons can easily be bulk purchased cheaply from the local market on the road parallel to route 7 behind Nice guest house. However, should you wish to purchase the spoons, bracelets or bottle openers from the source and therefore directly benefit the villagers who make them you will have to hire a bike and go Ban Napia yourself or hire a private guide.

  • Please note: COPE requests that tourists refrain from buying souvenirs made from UXO due to the possibility that demand will encourage villagers to risk their lives seeking out and handling dangerous materials in order to retrieve scrap metal to make them with. Remember that the scrap metal trade in bomb parts is officially illegal in Laos.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Phonsavanh has a surprisingly broad offer of food for a provincial town its size. There over 30 restaurants and many Pho soup shops. You can easily find Chinese, Vietnamese and Lao restaurants but also some specials:

Simmaly on the main street is a favorite of visitors and locals. Offers local and Vietnamese dishes, and Western breakfasts all day. Lower prices, bigger portions, and better quality than most other places in town makes it a very good value. Service is friendly, and free bananas will often appear at the end of a meal.

Nisha is an Indian restaurant that serves Indian and Lao food for both vegetarians and meat eaters. The interior is unassuming but the food is recommended. Service can be very slow when busy (1-2 hr from ordering to table).

Bamboozle is a popular partly foreign owned and run restaurant-bar located next to Nisha with an extensive bamboo-designed interior. It caters for Western and Asian tastes - specialities including goat cheese, mulberry-everything sourced from the local silk farm and "the best burger in town." There is live music on some nights. One of the owners, Mark, is friendly and a good source of local information.

Craters caters to Western tastes with a menu of pizza, burgers, and bland pan-Asian food. A movie about MAG and UXO clearance can be shown on the large TV by request. Service slows way, way down with the restaurant is full.

Bombie restaurant & Bar E-mail: [email protected] Lao, asian and western cuisines for budget/mid range & top end you are also welcome to watch the documentary "The Most Secret Place On Earth" about the US war over Laos. Mr. Noud the owner speak very good English & he give good tourist information and he offer daily tour to the plain of jars - Ho-chi-min trial - War site LS 20 A, LS 85 & other unique places.

Lao Falang is an authentic Italian restaurant located just off the main road in the centre of town. Pizzas, burgers and pasta dishes dominate the menu.

Maly Hotel Lao food in an unusual interior design made using with bombs.

Sangha Restaurant A long time favourite with Lao and NGO workers. Simple but good food at very reasonable prices. Food is mainly Lao but there are nice steak or chicken and chips. Service can be indifferent.

Vasana Hotel has a good and nice restaurant with a pleasant view.

Auberge de la Plain des Jarres - Phoupadeng Hotel has an excellent French restaurant with cuisine influenced from the Alsace. Recommended but not cheap.

Sindard Phompid If you are a group of people have some Lao-style hotpot, called Sindard, this is best place (also known as Wave Bar in some travel guides) opposite Maly Hotel.

More Information on restaurants at the official Lao National Tourism homepage Lao National Tourism Organisation, there click through to Phonsavan

Drink[edit][add listing]

The restaurants are the natural place for a drink. On the main street, Bamboozle! is an ambient spot with a range of beers, whisky, wine, cocktails, etc. and live music on some nights. However there are many Lao beer places in town. The One ,opposite Maly Hotel, is located on a small lake. They serve Tiger Beer and have a good menu with fresh fish. There is a similar place on the other side of the lake, directly opposite the hotel. There is a discotheque at Chittavanh Hotel popular with the locals and well, catering to local tastes. The only alternative is a very similar place aptly named Highway Karaoke, which is at the crossing from the mainstreet to the airport street. Opposite Highway Karaoke is a new place popular with the village youth (and owned by the same family that runs Simmaly restaurant and internet cafe).

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are 12 hotels and 39 guest houses in Phonsavan. Most guesthouses are located on and around the main street - travel books normally recommend Nice Guest House, White Orchid or Dok Khoun Guesthouse (there is a hotel of the same name).


  • Lao-Falang, +856 20 285 858 58. Dormitory for 25.000 kip a night. Laundry at 20,000 kip per kg. Free show about the Secret War in Laos every evening at 18:00. Free Wi-Fi. Internet-room for 10,000 kip per hour. Motorbikes, scooter and ATV/Quad for rent, starts by 60,000 kip. Bus and airplane tickets available. Visa and visa extension for Vietnam and Cambodia. (CLOSED for long term work as of Feb. 2015 !)  edit
  • Kongkeo Guesthouse, +856 61 211 216. 100,000 kip for a double in the new block, fan and en suite bathroom, fantastic hot shower with great water pressure. Bungalows and dorms are also available. Nights get cold in high season, and owner Khong tends two long firepits that become natural gatherings for meeting other travelers. Tours of the Plain of Jars (in 12-seat vans rather than open songthaews) are also offered; our price in Feb 2018 for Jar Sites 1, 2 & 3 was 200.000 kip per person even with a group of 10.  edit
  • Dokkhoun Guesthouse, +856 563 4792. 60,000 kip for a double in a room with hot water and seated toilet. Some rooms have windows. Free wifi. Laundry service available.  edit
  • Jennida Gouesthouse. checkout: before 12 am. 80,000 kip for a double with private bathroom with hot water. Free wifi, water in the lobby and tea. Prices updated July 2016.  edit
  • Nice Guesthouse, +856 61 312 454. checkout: before 12 am. The name tells it all. Popular with backpackers. Located on the main road. 70,000-100,000 kip (60,000 kip double fanin low-season).English speaking staff. Rooms have fan option only. No air-con. WiFi is available. Laundry costs 20,000 kip/kg, with next door cheaper at 15,000 kip/kg. They can arrange bus tickets. Prices updated July 2016.  edit
  • Sabaidee Guest House, (Signposted from the main road), 0205067990 (). Located off the main road, just along from the Fresh Market. Double or twin rooms with a bathroom from 60,000 kip. Breakfast and tourist services available. Prices updated July 2016.  edit
  • Vanraloun Guesthouse, (On the main road, across the street and a few doors down from the MAG office. Doubles as Jars Cafe.). Basic rooms with decent bed, 60,000 kip for a single, bathroom en-suite. Eager-to-please staff-person, though his English is not the best. Free bottle of water given daily. No windows in the room, the sound of motorbikes will seranade you until after midnight; running the fan (loud) helps. Prices updated July 2016 50,000 Kip.  edit


  • Banna Plain of Jars House, +856 61 212 484. Located next to the BCEL Bank. Typical Xiengkhouang War Architecture decoration. Prices up to 15 USD.  edit
  • Dokkoun Hotel, +856 020 55113791. Large hotel and guesthouse of the same name. Popular with backpackers and tour groups. Organizes tours. Be sure to get a receipt for any funds paid and that the dates of stay are written clearly on it, as hotel owner will claim payment wasn't made and threaten to call the police if payment isn't made again. The manager is quite surley and rude. Rooms are mediocure at best for the price; better can be done. Rooms have both fan & air-con (costs extra to get remote control). Bottle water is provided free daily, as tap water is not safe to drink. This hotel should be considered a last resort as there are many better guesthouses and hotels with better facilities, lower prices and honest owners. *Warning* recent reports concerning theft - Money was stolen from the room Prices from 10 - 15 USD..  edit
  • Maly Hotel, + 856 61 312 031. Located in the southern part of town. Very good restaurant. The better rooms are much nicer than the basement rooms. Idiosyncratic UXO and local ethnic themed decorations. The owners are very knowledgeable about recent history. 150,000-400,000 kip.  edit
  • White Orchid Guesthouse, +856— 61) 213403 (). Popular place on the main road. Organizes tours. Decent rooms. Rooms start from 80,000 kip with no breakfast.  edit
  • Xieng Khuang May Hotel, +856 61 312 049. Decent rooms, and bit off the main street behind Xieng Khouang Hotel. Rooms for arund 10 USD  edit


  • Anoulak Khen Lao Hotel, +856 61 312 308 (), [1]. Bright, clean and ample-sized with clean and new bed sheets minibar and shower. Costs around 200,000 kip per night. Breakfast included. Only hotel in the province with a lift.  edit
  • Auberge de la Plaine de Jarres / Phouphadeng Hotel, +856 30 517 028 2. Located on a hill just on the outskirts of town. Wonderful view. Good restaurant. Professionally managed. Rooms ca. 60 USD.  edit
  • Chittavanh Hotel, +856 61 213 777 +856 61 312 038, [2]. New hotel with bright medium and large sized rooms. Fast wifi in room. The nightclub in the backyard is popular with students and young people in town. Rooms from 15 USD (120,000 kip) and up..  edit
  • Duangkeomany Hotel, + 856 61 312 104. New and very modern hotel with clean rooms and internet. Rooms from 30 USD..  edit
  • Phouxang Hotel, +856 61 312 097. Another hill top hotel.  edit
  • The Hillside Residence, +856 61 213300, +856 20 22967213 (), [3]. On the road to Vansana Hotel this nice colonial style villa mainly made from wood offers charming rooms with a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy the balconies if you rent a room upstairs and the upper sitting terrace. Rooms from 25 USD.  edit
  • Vansana Plain of Jars, + 856 61 213 170 (), [4]. Professionally managed hotel with sister hotels in Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Modern, clean and spacious rooms at around 50 USD or more.  edit
  • Xieng Khuang Hotel. On the main road. Free Wi-Fi. Big rooms. Functionalist Vietnamese architecture. US$24-30, single 150.000 KIP including breakfast. + 856 61 213 567.  edit


  • Vanaloun Guesthouse.  edit
  • Sengdavan Guesthouse, +856 61 211 131.  edit
  • Samphan DouangPaekob Guesthouse, +856 61 212 338.  edit
  • Say pha souk Guesthouse, 856 20 587 528 4.  edit
  • Kong Keo Guesthouse, P.O. Box 158A, Phonsavan, 856 (20) 551 6365 (), [5]. No Internet/wifi, Plains of Jar tours between 130-150k kip, restaurant (but closed in rainy season). starts at 40k kip single / 50k kip double.  edit
  • Pukyo Guesthouse, Phonsavan, 856 (20) 9731 0523 (). runned by a Belgian owner and his lao wife ,they provide bicycles ,mountain bikes ,motorbikes 115 cc and 250cc,the rooms are spacious and there are also dorms and an honest price including a big continental breakfast ,all day coffee and tea and also fresh fruit  edit


There are plenty of internet cafes located on the main street with connection sufficiently fast for skype. There is a DHL drop off point at the main market and a post office. Nisha restaurant and sometimes the post office sell postcards, which can otherwise be difficult to get in Phonsavanh.

Get out[edit]

  • Plain of Jars
  • Vientiane. Bus 110,000-150,000 Kip at 6:30am/7:00am/8:30am/4.30pm/6.40pm/8:30pm. hours can be changed, most notably 7:00am and 8:00am can be merged into a single bus at 9:00am bus. 8pm is VIP bus. All have air-con.
  • Vang Vieng. 7.30am, 95,000 Kip, air-con.
  • Luang Prabang. Bus air-con, 7.30am, 90,000 Kip. Minivan from Phonsavan Market, 8:30am, 110.000 kip in Feb 2018. Wise to come early if you care where you sit in the van.
  • Sam Neua. Two daily minivans in the morning (8:00 am) and in the evening. Departs from the main (western) bus terminal. 8 hours, 80,000 kip (morning) and 100,000 kip (evening).
  • Lak Sao local bus at 7:30am for 110,000 from the first south bus station. From Lak Xao songthaew to Ban Nahin and further on to Konglor cave are available.
  • Xaysomboun (Anouvong District) local minibus or songthaew (Tu, Thu, Sun) at 7:30am for 100,000 Kip from South bus station (Bunmixay). The bus is going in the direction to Long Tieng, but actually bypassing this site at a (new?) road about 15 kilometres to the east, and then further south to Namngon.


  • Vinh. 6.30am, 150,000 Kip, air-con & very comfortable. All days except Mondays. For roughly 30,000 Kip more, your hotel will arrange pick-up, which is not strictly needed, as the bus will also stop in town (you need to know where, though).
  • Hanoi. 1:30am-2:00am, 250,000 kip, sleeper. You join the bus from Luang Prabang. Locals will charge up to 350,000 kip to get picked up from your hotel. Shop around as it leaves from the main street, probably next door to your hotel.

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