Vieng Xaia city in Hua Phan Province is just 55 km from the Vietnam border and fairly close to the Provincial Capital of Sam Neua. This region of Laos suffered intensive bombing during the Vietnam War sometimes just because as it was perceived as an ally of the enemy so dropping unwanted bombs was acceptable.
The town was the headquarters of the Pathet Lao, a good choice because of the nearby caves in limestone hills that were good both for shelter and storage. Indeed a ‘’hidden city’’ housing 20,000 was established. The War and bombing lasted nine years so life was one largely of darkness with schools, hospitals and markets, everything in daily life, within the caves.
These days the setting is stunning; limestone hills set above rice paddy fields.
How to get there
The Vietnamese border is under 3 hours away by regular bus. The capital Sam Neua is just an hour’s journey and onward connections are quite good. Indochina tour packages can be tailored to clients’ interests and those who want to know more about war and the struggles in the area will usually want to see such caves.
Best time to visit
The high season avoids the monsoons which occur between May and October. Our Laos travel guide recommends the drier months as travelling around Laos is so much easier when the roads are dry.
Things to see and do
Other than take in the lovely scenery, Laos travel packages take in Vieng Xai in order to give people on holiday in Laos the chance to see how the locals lived during the War. It does not take a great deal of imagination.
There is hotel, guesthouse and bungalow accommodation in the Vieng Xai for those not staying in the Provincial Capital. .