Ban Houay Xay (Ban Huay Xai or Ban Huoeisay) is the chief town of Bokeo province, north of Lao, on the border with Thailand.
This small town is located on the banks of the Mekong River and opposite Chiang Khong in Thailand. Although Houay Xay is considered just as a stopover to other destinations, it also remains a beautiful place for tourists to study the lifestyle of the Laotians. Indeed, it would be great to sit on the edge of the Mekong by tasting Lao beer with a guide who will tell you his quarter.
There are many interesting activities that you can find in Ban Huay Xai, namely:
- Visit the local market located in Ban Muangkeo suburb. We advise you to arrive there in the morning because it is the moment when the sellers start to expose their goods.
- Discover the ruins of Fort Carnot during the period of French colonial in the city center. It is possible to climb up one of the towers for a panoramic view.
- Have a Gibbon experiences in the Bokeo Nature Reserve. It is a forest conservation project. You will begin your hike from a village to this reserve where you will spend your night in one of the magnificent tree houses that are built on huge trees about 40m high. This activity is quite adventurous as you should slip on a cable from the surrounding hills.
- Excursion in Bokeo province (including activities such as kayaking, cycling, trekking, etc.). Here is a project entitled 'New discovery of the challenge' of Laotian youth in order to help and support poor children. In addition, other plans are the safeguarding of forests and the education.
- Visit the Daauw village in the heart of city where you will have the chance to adapt to the Laos traditional lifestyle and to better understand its culture with villagers. In the afternoon, it is sure that children want to learn your language. Then, in the evening, just taste the traditional dishes of local people!
- Enjoy the massage and sauna in a building near the center of the village (Laos-Thailand ferry and the Wat Chomkao Manilat temple)
As for the means of transport, there is a domestic airport in Houayxay with regular flights to the Vientiane capital and Luang Prabang (depending on the season). In addition, boats (fast and slow) are also used for the transfer to Pakbeng and Luang Prabang. If you prefer the cheaper way, the buses will be a perfect choice. There are buses between Houay Xai and Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxai.