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Muang Xay

Travel Guide Asia Laos Muang Xay



Muang Xay, also referred to as Oudomxai, is the capital city of Oudomxai Province, Laos.



Sights and Activities

  • Oudomxay Museum - The museum doesn't have much, but the view you have from the top of "Phou Sebey" mountain is very nice. Go there early in the morning, when the sun is still low. You can watch the town centre waking up and enjoy the morning light as it starts caressing the roofs before the day gets too hot.
  • Phuuthat Stupa (Opposite the stairs to the museum there are similar stairs to climb, leading to an 18-metre high stupa) - The stupa was built in 14th century to allow all people of the region to come together to celebrate religious festivals. When the French came to control the land, the stupa grounds were made into an army camp until independence from France. During the first Vietnamese war the stupa was destroyed and only bricks were left. Reconstruction started in 1994 and finally concluded in 1997. Every full moon religious celebrations are held at the stupa. Since Apr 2010 there has been a golden, 15-metre high Buddha statue watching over Muang Xay from the top of Phou That, seeming to spur locals to new heights of devotion. Enjoy the view over the town and see the stupa and Buddha shining in the sunset. The monks at the nearby temple are always happy to practice their English with foreigners.



Getting There

By Plane

The town is served by the Oudomsay Airport, with fligts to/from Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

By Car

Oudomxay is connected to Luang Prabang by National Road 1.

By Bus

  • Buses from/to Luang Namtha cost 40,000 kip and take up to 4 hours. Departures from Muang Xay are at 08:30, 11:30 and 15:00.
  • Buses from/to Nong Khiaw cost 45,000 kip and take up to 4.5 hours. Departure from Nong Khiaw at 11:00.
  • Buses from/to Luang Prabang cost 60,000 kip, leave three times a day and take about 5 hours.
  • Bus to Kunming costs 350,000 kip (for a sleeper), takes up to 15 hours. Departure at 12:00.
  • Other daily buses come from/go to Vientiane, Phongsali, Pak Beng, Muang Khua, and Bokeo. Buses to China also.




  • Muang Neua Restaurant - International dishes and cocktails in a nice garden atmosphere. Prices are a bit higher than the norm and portions a bit smaller.
  • Souphailin's Restaurant - A broad range of fresh Lao, European and vegetarian dishes. Portions are big, quality excellent, and low prices. The banana-coconut iced coffee, and the curry rice with pineapple and banana are recommended. Be patient with cooking times or order in advance when she has many customers



Keep Connected


Most provincial capitals have internet access, particularly those that a more popular with tourists. Most hotels and hostels will provide wifi for free in touristic places. In Luang Prabang and Vientiane rates at an internet shop are usually very reasonable at about US$0.50 to US$1.50 per hour. In more remote towns where competition is low, rates are a fair bit higher at around US$3 to US$6 per hour. If you're looking to save a bit of money, it's best to save your emailing until you reach the larger towns and cities.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code for Laos is 856. To dial out of the country, the international access code is 00. There are plenty of public phone booths in Laos but these are pretty useless as phonecards are no longer sold and the technology is rather archaic. For long distance calls it's much better to use a post office or internet cafe. The best place however is the local Telecom Office.

Mobile phone users can use their own GSM mobile phone in Laos. Roaming tends to be expensive, so if you're planning on using your phone a fair bit it may well be worth buying a local SIM card and purchasing prepaid minutes. SIMs are normally around US$5 and both Lao Telecom and ETL have good network coverage.


For the best postal services, send your mail from Vientiane as the post in the provinces is less reliable. In general it takes anywhere from 1 to over 2 weeks to send post to/from Laos. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, with some having shorter hours on weekend days as well. If you are going to Thailand, post from there as it's more reliable and faster. If you are worried about sending home valuable items there is a Federal Express office inside the main post office in Vientiane. You might also check possibilities with companies like DHL, TNT or UPS.


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This is version 1. Last edited at 12:28 on Aug 12, 16 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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