Lies right on the river bank of Mekong river, share the boundary with Thailand and settle down in far northwestern of Laos, there you can find a calm but also bustling of local’s simple life - Houay Xai. This city is best known for water activities of boat riding, to enjoy the idyllic site of which, tourist will have spent hours on mechanic engine boat.
Due to its delta topography, the region is the city base and provides many activities. To travel to Houay Xai, you can take a boat, bus or buy a fight ticket for fast arrival.
2. BEST TIME TO VISIT HOUAY XAI
From October to March, the dry season takes place, the city is in cool weather and has an average temperature of 28°C.
Among all the month, November and December is the peak season to visit Houay Xai, when humidity and temperature are manageable and the sky turns really blue.
From April to September, the region starts to catch rainfall. Note, from July to September, rain occurs the most, you can be stuck all day long in rain. Also, many activities on the Mekong river will not available at this time.
3. THINGS TO DO IN HOUAY XAI
Have Gibbon Experience
Many people had come to Houay Xai to experience the adventure of Gibbon. While you are ziplining, you will surpass the whole mountain to reach to the other side, which you can observe the outstanding view. The experience will beyond what you can imagine.
Gibbon adventure is available in Bokeo National Park, which costs difficult and long trekking, after that, your effort will be paid when you stay in a gorgeous tree house in the middle of the jungle.
Do sports on Mekong river
Mekong river has been an important part of local life and also be an indispensable spot for tourists. On the other side of which, there is a town in Thailand, people in both countries share the river together and also their culture.
As tourists, you can start your journey to Thailand by crossing the river or just enjoy the fun sports, like go boating, Kayaking, swimming, catching fish, etc. the river provides fantastic site along with your journey, there you will find peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable in your feelings.
Visit the Unique Temple of Wat Chomkao Manilat
Temples is what you shouldn’t miss whenever you travel to Southeast East Asia countries. Right here in Houay Xai, you can find those gorgeous temples that stand out from the region. Wat Chomkao Manilat is one typical of the area, it is best known for its murals, which can still conserve the beauty despite war time and nature factors affects.
The temple not just provides eye - catching design, it also owns the enormous Reclining Buddha at its back. A short visit to Wat Thadsuvanna Phakkam will be a worth-time paying as well, it is famous for gold - covered Buddhas, which are in mediation shape.
Shop at the Morning Market
While you are still in the city, you should have a look at the morning market. Locals people wake up early in the morning and they sell items on the ground. Diverse products from food, snack, fresh fruits, clothes, etc. are available as well. If lucky, you can catch vendors, hawkers selling handicrafts, they got small stuff of keychains, brocade wallets, small baskets, simple bracelets and so on. It will be a fun morning exercising.
Explore the Nam Nyon Waterfall
27 km away from the North of Houay Xai and after a long way of walking, you will reach to the Nam Nyon waterfall. It owns an astounding beauty, which makes us feel fresh and calm when swimming in its cool water. What can be better when you and your friends gather for a day picnic by this lovely waterfall.
Try Some Amazing Cuisine
when people travel to any country, they all hunger for the local cuisine. In Houay Xai, the region provides many restaurants that can bring to tourist unforgettable flavor, you can try the fried crocodile or stir-fried, grilled frog, chicken and beef of Laos style, baguettes with a mixture of meat and salad stuffed inside. Then, you can choose the best site of a coffee shop on the river bank and chat with your friends till late. What a satisfying day!
4. THINGS TO BUY IN HOUAY XAI
Laos has diverse ethnic that scatters all over the country. Each one owns a special traditional skill and provides unique handicrafts. When you come to Houay Xai, the city has many gift shops and markets available. You can stop by any of the stores you like and buy some of these special:
- Laos traditional costume: they embroider pattern and texture on the fabric, super eye-catching and typical of Laos culture.
- Laos jewelry and gemstones: craftsman carves unique and beautiful textures on each bracelet, necklace, brooch hairpin, earing. They look really special and perfect to every detail, which appropriates to match with Laos costume.
- Handicrafts: they made brocade bags, handy bags, wallets, small baskets, elephant teddy bears, colorful mattress, hats, vases, ceramic products and so on. Just buy your favorite stuff, they print little price.
- Traditional food: Laos is famous for the dry meat product, sticky rice, grilled river fish, laap (minced meat salad), Fer and Kopiak (noodle soup). Try these particular when you enter restaurant or food store.
5. DOS & DON'TS
People in the region is friendly and they don’t push tourist in their frame rules, just behave well to them.
- You can say “SA – BAI - DEE” (hello), when you meet them or when you buy something.
- Take off your shoes when you entering Laotian houses.
- Dress nice and modest.
- Only bargain when you really want to buy something.
- Keep silence in religious lands and temples.
That’s the “recipe” to have a wonderful Houay Xai trip, hope this post can a bit help you, have fun out there.