"Sam Neua" Xam Nua by picek

Xam Nua Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 20 photos

thinking of you

On a rainy day we arrived to Sam Neua, the remote Huaphan capital near Vietnamese border. It was april and it was cold, and my leg was burned from falling over the moped a few days before. It took us many hours by bus to get here from Phonsavan, between 8 and 9. Time seems not important anymore, I only have a few days before my visa expires and that means many hours, indeed.

It's a small town, 20 higher buildins altogether, maybe... that include guesthouses and hotels and governmental palaces'. They are high by local standrads, 2 or 3 storeys ... the higher the richer is owner, so... the other are small houses, scattered arounnd the town.

In 2008 they built 'diamond' sculpture in the main cross road of the town - monument in the city centre, see my photo here. Behind there is a wall with communist artwork, the golden relief with red flag upon soldiers. The axis ends in a large municipal building. Huaphan province is a birthplace for Pathet Lao whom were 'winner' of bloody and long civil war, therefore it's (most) important place of visit for present and future leaders or any kind of officials in Laos.

Sam Neua is town with small town's centre by Sam river.

But it's lot more... you'll need to go to countryside to see some of the most interesting Lao scenes and landscapes. I immediately fell in love with it. And just take any direction - but for the nicest, go beyond Viengxay, the Pathet Lao 'capital' during civil war.


Viengxay is hour drive from SN, small village of big historical importance and natural beauty.

For Viengxay information read on my Houaphan page, since there's no Viengxay in VT database (I wonder, I wonder).

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:brilliant road to explore, near stunning landscapes
  • Cons:none I could find
  • In a nutshell:absolutely place to visit in Laos, it's worth every minute of your time and every 'pain' you take on crumpy buses
  • Last visit to Xam Nua: Jan 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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