alexametrics Oudomxay
Le Grand Pakbeng Hotel in Oudomxay Province.
Le Grand Pakbeng Hotel in Oudomxay Province.
Oudomxay

Destinations

Oudomxay

Oudomxay is populated by over 300,000 people from some 23 ethnic groups, mainly Hmong, Akha and Khmu. It borders China to the North, Sayabouly to the South, Luang Prabang and Phongsaly to the East, and Luang Namtha to the West.

Due to its proximity to China, Oudomxay has experienced rapid economic growth and infrastructure developments, including improved road access to the provincial capital, Xay District. Oudomxay also has outstanding natural sceneries that are worth visiting in the area, such as the Tad lak Sip Et, the Muang La District and the Phouxay Mountain.

Destinations

Brief History

Oudomxay was part of Luangprabang Province till 1960 where it was upgraded to be its own province. In 1961, Oudomxay was first named “Souvanhnaphoum Province” by the King of Luang Prabang and a few years later, it was changed to “Lan Xang Province”. It was changed again in 1965 to “Meuang Xay Province”. The last and final change of the name to “Oudomxay Province” was made in 1969.

Destinations

The People of the North

Oudomxay Province, with its mountainous terrain, is home to several ethnicities that are more commonly found in Northern Lao.

Austro-Asiatic groups such as the Lamet and Khmu were the first people to inhabit this region. Sometime around 1200 years ago, the many Tai-Kadai groups - including the majority Tai Lao people - arrived in Laos and made their home primarily along the Mekong. Akha, Hmong and Yaogroups have migrated into Laos from Tibet and Yunnan Province in Southern China within the last 200 - 300 years.

The Khmu people form the biggest ethnic group in Oudomxay Province, as they are a part of the Lao Thoeng, the Upland Lao. They are considered the ‘guardians of the land’ and the ancestors of the Khmu are considered to be the ‘first people’ of Laos. Their traditional lifestyle include living in the mountains, dry-rice cultivation and using slash-and-burn techniques to grow crops. Many Khmu women choose to wear market-bought clothing these days rather than weave their own, but bamboo weaving is still widely practiced among Khmu men.

The Hmong people are part of the Lao people and are renowned for their strong cultural identity despite war, diaspora, resettlement and changing lifestyles. They came to the current territory of Lao PDR around 150 years ago after they lived several thousand years in the Southern region of China. Today, around 450,000 Hmong are located in the mountainous areas of northern Laos. They too generate their income mainly through dry-rice cultivation and slash-and-burn techniques. Their traditional beliefs are strongly related to Animism and Shamanism. In Oudomxay, they are the second biggest ethnic group after the Khmu people.

The Lahu people, known as Mousseur, speak a Sino-Tibetan language and believe in animism. The Black Lahu are renowned for their highly skilled appliqué work, which adorns their skirts and jackets. White Lahu wear undyed white and brown natural cotton clothing.

The Yao Mun people are more commonly known as ‘Lanten’ (from the Chinese word for indigo). Women wear simple shorts and tunics of handmade natural indigo blue-black cotton with a distinctive white or magenta tassel down the front. The Lanten people practice Taoism.

The Tai Lue are famous for their silk and cotton production and weaving. Like many of the Tai peoples, their belief system blends Buddhism with animism. Animism is the belief in spirits of the natural and built world, such as spirits of the forest, cotton harvest, houses and river.

There are also the Akha people, which is elaborated in the Phongsaly section.

Destinations

Handicraft of the People

Producing new handicrafts for sale to tourists is a sustainable way for local people to earn extra income while maintaining their traditional artisanal skills. It is preferable to selling off their antiques and family heirlooms, as locals can retain their cultural artifacts and heritage.

A visit to a Khmu village shows that bamboo can be used to create almost anything a villager needs: storage and carry baskets, shelving, spoons, chairs, fish traps, rice cooker and the house itself! Usually, women are behind the arts and crafts of Laos, but in the case of Khmu bamboo weaving, it is generally the men who learn and practice the craft.

The Hmong are skilled at various textile arts, including hemp production, beeswax batik printing and indigo dyeing. They are particularly well-known for their meticulous and precise decorative embroidery and appliqué. Traditionally. these skills are used to adorn clothing, especially for occasions such Hmong New Year. These days however, inventive Hmong women use their skills to create purses, toys, ornaments and other goodies.

The White Lahu people, at villages like Ban To Lae, make beautiful heavy natural cotton. It is a labour-intensive process; they have to plant, grow and harvest cotton, hand spin yarn, hand weave cloth on the loom and then hand sew the clothing.

The Lanten people are known for their skill in making bamboo paper. Bamboo is pulped and boiled to make a watery solution, which is evenly poured across a fabric screen and left to dry in the sun. It is used mainly in religious ceremonies of the Lanten people. They also make carved wooden and paper masks, and darkblue indigo-dyed cotton for clothing.

The Tai Lue are the master weavers of Laos, creating elaborate brocades in natural cotton and silk for religious and everyday purposes. They are also well known for their proficiency with natural dyes made from forest products such as leaves, flowers, woods and insects. Some Tai Lue weavers in Bokeo export their goods to high quality textiles stores in Luang Prabang and beyond.

Akha women also hand produce heavy bolts of natural cotton. You may see them spinning cotton yarn with their unusual hand spindles, shaped like spinning tops.

Destinations

Overall Weather

Oudomxay has three seasons:

- Cool-dry (November to February). During this time of the year, average temperature hovers around 22C. The temperature may reach as low as 14C and soar as high as 31C. Small showers may still occur during this season, so it is advisable to bring along an umbrella. Do take note that temperature starts to drop rapidly after sunset, so do bring along warm clothing. This season is the best period to visit Oudomxay due to its comfortable and cool temperature.

- Hot-dry (March to April). During this season, the average temperature is around 30C. The temperature may soar as high as 36C and drop as low as 17C. Visitors should visit the waterfall or stay under shades to get some relief from the heat.

- Rainy season (May to October). During this time of year, the average temperature is around 26C. The temperature may reach as low as 16C and reach as high as 35C. Rain is heavily expected especially during the months of July and August where rainfall is the highest. Visitors should be careful especially during trekking as the jungle floors are muddy and slippery.

Destinations

Flights to Oudomxay

Domestic flights from Vientiane

09:00 am

10:00 am 

  Lao Skyway 206

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

   VTE-ODY

09:00 am

10:00 am

  Hahn Air Systems 16464     

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

   VTE-ODY

11:40 am

12:30 pm

  Lao Airlines 501

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

   VTE-ODY

 

Destinations

Public Bus details in Oudomxay

Transportation from Provinces to Oudomxay

Departure

Destination

Kind of Bus

Distance

Departure Time

price*

Remark

Boten (Border)

Lao-China

Oudomxay

 

82 Km

09:10am

28,000 Kip

 

Luang Namtha

 

115 Km

08:30am
12:00am
14:00pm

32,000 Kip

 

Luang Prabang

 

194 Km

09:30am
12:30pm
15:00pm

45,000 Kip

 

Pak Mong

 

28 Km

09:00am

20,000 Kip

 

Nong Kiew

 

114 Km

08:00am

30,000 Kip

 

Phongsaly

 

236 Km

08:30am

60,000 Kip

 

Vientiane

 

583 Km

06:45am
13:45pm

110,000 Kip

 

VIP 1

16:00pm

155,000 Kip

VIP 2

17:00pm

130,000 Kip

Huay Xay (BoKeo)

 

310 Km

09:00am
12:00am

80,000 Kip

 

Huay Xay (BoKeo)

 

102 Km

09:00am

35,000 Kip

 

China -Muang La

 

162 Km

08:00am

50,000 Kip

 

 

Transportation from Oudomxay to Provinces

Departure

Destination

Kind of Bus

Distance

Departure Time

price*

Remark

Oudomxay

Boten (Border) Laos-China

 

82 Km

08:00am

28,000 Kip

 

Luang Namtha

 

115 Km

08:00am
11:00am
15:00pm

32,000 Kip

 

Luang Prabang

 

194 Km

09:00am
12:00am
15:00pm

45,000 Kip

 

Muang Beng

 

64 Km

08:00am
09:30am
14:00pm
16:00pm

14,000 Kip

 

Muang Houn

 

92 Km

12:00am
14:00pm
16:00pm

20,000 Kip

 

Pak beng

 

114 Km

08:00am
10:00am

30,000 Kip

 

Muang Khao

 

105 Km

08:30am
11:30am
15:30pm

28,000 Kip

 

Nong Kiew

 

114 Km

09:00am

30,000 Kip

 

Pak Mong

 

82 Km

14:00pm
16:00pm

20,000 Kip

 

Phongsaly

 

236 Km

08:00am

60,000 Kip

 

Vientiane

 

583 Km

11:00am

14:00pm

110,000 Kip

 

VIP 1

16:00pm

155,000 Kip

VIP 2

18:00pm

130,000 Kip

Huay Xay (BoKeo)

 

310 Km

12:00am

80,000 Kip

 

China -Bohan

 

102 Km

07:30am

35,000 Kip

 

China -Muang Laa

 

152 Km

07:30am

50,000 Kip

 

 

Transportation from districts to Oudomxay

Departure

Destination

Kind of Bus

Distance

Departure Time

price*

Remark

Muang Beng

Oudomxay

 

64 Km

10:00am

15:00pm

14,000 Kip

 

Muang Houn

 

92 Km

08:30am
10:00am
12:00am

20,000 Kip

 

Pak Beng

 

144 Km

09:00am
12:30pm

30,000 Kip

 

Destinations

Boat in Oudomxay

Boat time table

Destination

Boat 

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Price*

Houay say

Slow Boat

8:30am

18:00pm

110,000 Kip
 

Speed Boat

8:30am

12:30pm

150,000 Kip

Luang Prabang   

Slow Boat

8:30am

18:00pm

95,000 Kip

Speed Boat 

8:30am

12:30pm

150,000 Kip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boat: Travel Oudomxay by Boat, Pak Beng Boat Landing Pak Beng, located at the Mekong in the Southwest of Oudomxay province is the key node between Luang Prabang and Thailand, served by slow and speed boats. A regular bus service connects Pak Beng with Oudomxay city. From Houysay, the border town to Thailand, connections to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and further on Bangkok are available.