Nam Xay Viewpoint in Vang Vieng is the best spot for one of Laos‘s most breathtaking views. From the top you will get unbeatable views of jagged limestone cliffs, lush forests and rice fields. After a 30 minute intermediate hike, you will reach the top, where you are almost guaranteed peace and quiet, as well as an amazing photo opportunity with a motorbike, which was mysteriously placed there by the locals. But before you start taking photos, catch your breath and relax in the hammock.
How to get to Nam Xay Viewpoint
The easiest way to reach Nam Xay Viewpoint is by renting a motorbike. The cost is usually around $6-8 USD per day. From Vang Vieng town it will take you around 20 minutes to drive to the Nam Xay viewpoint parking lot. If you live on the right side of the stream (where the majority usually do), then you will have to pay a bridge-crossing-fee of $0,50 USD. This is a one time fee for crossing and coming back. Keep that in mind and make sure to have change ready when you reach the Namsong Bridge.
WARNING: be careful when renting a motorbike in Vang Vieng. They will need your passport and often this can lead to a motorbike scam. A motorbike scam is where they ask you which hotel you’re staying in and then they go there and damage or steal your rented motorbike. This results in them not giving you your passport back unless you pay them for the ‘damage’. Renting via hotel is a little more expensive, but you don’t need to give your passport to anyone. This is what we did and had no problems.
Once you reach the parking lot, you will see a wooden stand on the left side of the trail start. In 2019 the entrance fee cost was 10,000 KIP, which is around $1 USD. After paying, you can start your hike!
In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.
When to Visit Nam Xay Viewpoint
No matter the time of the year, the best time to visit Nam Xay Viewpoint is an hour or two before sunset. The heat isn’t as intense anymore and you’ll see a beautiful sunset from the top. Make sure you don’t stay too long after the sun goes down though, the hike back down is more scary in the dark.
Hiking to the top of Nam Xay point takes around 30 minutes and is intermediate to difficult, depending on your fitness level. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes, since it does get very steep and slippery at times. You will walk on stairs, mud, stones and all combined. I would suggest you bring a small towel with you, Laos tends to be quite humid and this hike gets very sweaty. Don’t forget to bring water and a snack or two if you plan to stay on top for longer time.
Take in the View
Nam Xay Viewpoint is best enjoyed with a can of beer or a bottle of water. This depends on how you like to celebrate 😉 We brought a couple of beers with us and decided to watch the sun go down while sipping on some Lao.