Destinations nearby the Capital
Want some peace and quiet and plenty of fresh air?
Then consider a day’s outing to Phutawen farm. Just 70 km from bustling Vientiane, it’s a great opportunity to get in touch with nature. Supplier of organic products to a number of grocery stores and households in the capital, this model farm is spread over 20 hectares of verdant gardens. Visit the farm, to enjoy nature, recharge a tired and stressed body and to observe how farmers and other locals engage in sustainable agricultural practices. Phutawen Farm is a great learning experience and is ideal for schools and colleges wishing to teach their students understanding and appreciation of the environment.
In just less than an hour and half drive heading south from Vientiane, tourists may reach the model farm of Phutawen in Naxay Village in Thaphabath District, Bolikhamxay. Aside from being a go-to for farming lessons, Phutawen is also a great place to escape after a long week of working in the city. With less than USD20, tourists may get to enjoy two sets of healthy, clean and fresh meal with the mountains as its backdrop. Excursionists may also enjoy playing with or feeding domestic animals in Phutawen Farm. The owners of the farm also plan to open an annual festival showcasing the farm’s organic-certified products during the sunflower season which the name “Tawen” is derived from.
Supported by GIZ, ADB, MICT and NAFRI
Phutawen Farms also at:
- Hai Village, Pak Ngum District, Vientiane
- Xay District, Oudomxay
- Padsum Village, Paksan District, Bolikhamxay
Getting there: Take a local bus heading south from Vientiane or arrange your own transportation. You can also inquire from Phutawen Farm about transport arrangements.
Tad Xai (Xai Waterfall)
Tad Xai is probably the most beautiful waterfall in the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, especially during the rainy season. It’s easily reached by boat and a trek from Ban Hadkai near Tad Leuk in Thaphabath District.
Tad Vangluang (Vangluang Waterfall)
Further south, a few meters after the Phutawen Farm turnoff, turn left before the big signage to the waterfall is Vangluang. Since its opening, it has been drawing hundreds of visitors, especially on weekends.
Tad Leuk (Leuk Waterfall)
This beautiful waterfall is 16 km from Wat Phabath on Route 13 South in the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, camping, and trekking or just relaxing. There is a Visitor Center and “Nature Trail”.
Climb to the elephant observation tower at Ban Na to observe wild life that was once featured on Discovery Channel. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some wild elephants as you enjoy a traditional Lao meal while in the lookout.
Ban Yang Kheua
The ethnic Meui villagers at Ban Yang Kheua are famous for their basket weaving which is much in demand. Watch how they transform bamboo and rattan into items of art.
Wat Phabath & Wat Tha Phonsane
This revered site is 83 km from Vientiane on Route 13 South. The huge “footprint” of Buddha draws devotees from all over. Many believe that one must stop and respects for a safe journey. Just 2 km away is Phonsane Temple on the Mekong. Phonsane is famous for “Bang Fai Phayanak” or “Naga Rocket”, a still unexplained phenomenon, occurring each year on the 15th day of the 11th month (of the lunar calendar), when small balls of fire shoot into the sky.