"Authentic Laos" Xam Nua by aemilys

Xam Nua Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 20 photos

Here is where I fell in love with Laos

Sam Neua or Xam Neua or as VT would have it Xam Nua is fairly off the beaten path. Most tourists (or travellers if you prefer) are just passing through on their way to or from Viet Nam.

I liked this place because it was so non touristy. No begging, everyone gives the correct change back and they all seemed to just be busy living their lives. As such it is rather a challenge to find souvenirs but you may get lucky and meet the weaving ladies who sell beautiful things for much less than you'll pay in Luang Prabang...Sam Neua is known for its weaving and for that reason alone it's well worth the trip.

What's with Authentic anyway

Sam Neua was like a breakthrough place for me. I just got so depressed doing the floating market tour out of Bangkok and being obliged to go to the gemstone store and look at stuff I didn't want and couldn't afford....what was the point of coming halfway around the world to be herded around like a sheep? I started to think I'd spent all this money and all this time planning and I was just going to be disapponted on my great Asia adventure.

So thank God I came here. No gemstone shops! No tour operators! Just a real town with people in it (I know that sounds dumb but it's the truth). Doesn't hurt that the landscape is gorgeous as well.

I love Sam Neua

This place is just going to stay in my heart forever. Perhaps someday I will get back (I hope so). If not, well that is just destiny and in any case, I'll never forget.

Thank you Sam Neua.

And especially thank you for having a bank that could give me a cash advance on my VISA card cuz I was so worried on the flight in with only 25 USD in my pocket...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very few tourists and so untouched and authentic
  • Cons:The usual authentic power outages etc
  • In a nutshell:A wonderful place
  • Last visit to Xam Nua: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 2, 2006
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (11)

Comments (14)

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2009 at 2:16 AM

    Your page brings back some memories. We will be in Laos this winter. Nice to see that they have recovered. good tips, nice photos and smiling writing. thanks, j

  • picek's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2009 at 5:43 AM

    Hi... this place has become one of my favourite Lao destinations, too. I hope one day I can see it again.

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Wonderful page, Aemilys. Thank you for sharing.

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2007 at 6:50 AM

    Going there by plane sounds a bit scary to me, but I'm sure Xam Nua is worth a visit. Thanks for useful tips.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2007 at 7:58 PM

    Nice page of Xam Nua. Laap and cold beer for lunch! Must try that one day. Cheers, SL :)

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    I will be in Laos in September and will definitely go to Sam Neua too. It looks just like my kind of place! Thanks for the excellent tips!

  • Purpleshade's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2007 at 10:16 PM

    Sounds like a lovely peaceful place! I like peaceful for holidays. Lesley

  • davequ's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2007 at 2:49 PM

    Pretty cool, pretty neat (ar ar) Thanks for sharing

  • aussiejen's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2007 at 4:40 AM

    Love the scarf :) And the food too!

  • BeatChick's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2006 at 3:54 PM

    Wow, your fried rice with the egg on top looks delish, Emily! And a room for just $5USD - can't get over that. Looks like the only real expense is the flight over. What beautiful silk pieces. Great pics, too - excellent page!


“Proud to be a tourist”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 0 9 7

Badges & Stats in Xam Nua

  • 11 Reviews
  • 18 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 4,263PageViews

Have you been to Xam Nua?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Xam Nua

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (3)