Vieng Xai

Vieng Xai (or Vieng Xay, Vieng Sai), is a district and town in Hua Phan Province. The town is located on Route 6, 30 Km from Sam Neua (Province capital) and 55 km from the Vietnam - Laos border in Na Meo.

This is a neat town set among beautiful karst limestone mountains that rise out of the rice fields. Manmade lakes spot the landscape and wildflowers explode in crimson and yellow to join the emerald and karst backdrop.

vieng xai

The biggest attraction of the town is the Vieng Xai caves, an extensive network of caves in limestone mountains. Four hundred eighty of these caves were used by the Pathet Lao during the Second Indochina War to shelter from American bombardment.

Up to 23,000 people lived in the caves, which contained a hospital, a school, military offices, bakeries, shops, and even a theatre. The area was home to the Communist army, who were fighting the royalist forces, based in Vientiane.

viengxai locals

After the war, the caves were used as re-education camps for officials and soldiers of the former government.

Houaphanh province is one of the most ethnically perse provinces in Laos. It is home to 27 different ethnic groups, including Mien-Yao, Hmong, and Tai Daeng. Ethnic minority villages dot the roads in the province. At the market in Xam Neua and other district towns, they can be seen selling their home-grown fruits and vegetables along with traditional clothes.

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