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Nam Xay Viewpoint Vang Vieng – A Complete Guide

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.

Best time to Visit

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 down is scarier and more dangerous in the dark.

Good to know: If you’re the last person to make the hike down, the locals who keep track of all the visitors will wait on you.

Nam Xay Viewpoint Laos

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.

Entrance Fee

Once you reach the parking lot, you will see a wooden stand on the left side of the trail start. The entrance fee to Nam Xay Viewpoint is 10,000 KIP, which is around $1 USD.

You do not need a guide to do this hike. The path is well marked and you are not likely to get lost on your way up.

The hike to the top

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, because it does get very steep and slippery at times. You will walk on stairs, mud and stones and the hike could be dangerous in bad weather. If you have one, I would also 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 a longer time.

I’d say that the 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.

Nam Xay Viewpoint was one of my favourite things to do in Laos and I hope this guide helped you in your planning to visit it.

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Jennil Julian

Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Patricia. we will be travelling to Laos on the last week of January 2020 and reading this most definitely made me include it on my list. so i wanted to ask whether there are tour guides for the hike or the the trails are too obvious that there is no need for a tour guide? and is it possible to camp on top of that mountain or everybody has to go down after the ascend. thank you so much. your response is greatly appreciated. cheers.

Patricija

Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Jennil! How awesome to hear, this will definitely be one of your highlights there - it's a slightly tougher hike, but so worth it for that view! The trail is very obvious, you really can't miss it. It's some rocks, but always obvious where to go. You 100% do not need a guide. I am not sure on the camping part, but I don't see how it would be possible to do it to be honest. They also wait on the last people to hike down so they know everyone got back safe when it's dark. I know this because they waited on us because we were last :) I definitely don't recommend hiking down when it's dark though - it can be quite slippery if it rained before! Hope this helps and ask away if there's anything more. Enjoy Laos!

Charlotte

Monday 25th of November 2019

Great guide! I've wanted to visit this place for so long! It looks absolutely incredible :D

Patricija

Monday 25th of November 2019

Thank you Charlotte! I love it too and the view was spectacular :)

Christine

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

I'd love to do this hike one day. The views are beautiful! Thanks for the information on when the go - it does seem like it's a good idea to leave pretty quick after sunset while there is still light.

Rachael

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

What an amazing hike - the view point looks incredible

Rachael

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

You’ve given me major wanderlust with this post! I really want to go!