Photo: Mountain views.

Where to stay in Vieng Xai

Vieng Xai

Vieng Xai has a few budget guesthouses of a fair standard for such a remote town.


Main street, Vieng Xai
Under US$10

Lattanaphon Guesthouse

Main street, Vieng Xai T: (064) 315 026

Located on Vieng Xai’s main street, Lattanaphon Guesthouse is an average Lao guesthouse that represents the best all round value in town. It is a solid pick for a backpacker looking for a clean, comfortable place in Vieng Xai.

Looks like the sat TV is sorted.

Looks like the sat TV is sorted. Photo: Cindy Fan

Lattanaphon is a peach coloured two-storey building set a few metres back from the road, across from Chitchareune Hotel and near the market/bus station. Unlike Chitchareune, which is an impersonal motel-style affair, rooms at Lattanaphon are smaller, cosier and have a bit more personality with green tile floors and cream coloured walls. Rooms sport typical Lao guesthouse accoutrements like wooden furniture, wardrobe, full length mirror, box TV fed by satellite, fan, bed with thin mattress and WiFi. The generously sized double windows, which are protected by insect screens, can be opened for fresh air. Towels are provided and beds are topped with clean looking cotton linens though we noticed there was no top sheet. The whole room is modest and very tidy.

The clean wetroom-style bathrooms are also of a generous size, equipped with an electric shower heater that would be ineffective during the province’s notoriously cold and long winters. While strong, large water heater units are standard in guesthouses in Sam Neua, this isn’t the case in Vieng Xai.

That should keep you warm.

That should keep you warm. Photo: Cindy Fan

Average shower aside, Lattanaphon is a solid guesthouse option and represents the best value in town. It’s certainly fine for a night or two. To get to the Vieng Xai caves, which most tourists want to do, it’s a 750 metre walk to the cave ticket office.

Lattanaphon’s central location is boring but there are some advantages: guests will be mere steps to the town’s limited food options and the bus station. Guesthouses like Naxay 2 or Sailomyen are outside the centre. These do offering more scenic locations and balconies to hang out on.

More information

Walk–in rates: 70,000 kip—70,000 kip
Book online: Agoda
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º13'39.27" E, 20º24'36.45" N

Across from Caves Visitor Centre
Under US$10

Naxay 2 Guesthouse

Across from Caves Visitor Centre T: (020) 9891 2048 khonpaphan@yahoo.com

Naxay 2 Guesthouse is a plot with bungalows happily nestled at the base of karst formations. Not only does this guesthouse boast a more scenic locale than those on the main road, it is also a convenient one for seeing the Vieng Xai caves. Naxay 2 is located directly across from the cave ticket office which is the starting point for the tour.

Bungalows in a leafy setting.

Bungalows in a leafy setting. Photo: Cindy Fan

There are 18 rooms in total, all individual bungalows and a few trees that face a central garden. The buildings vary in construction. Some are plain concrete and others are wood, their exteriors covered in prettily painted bamboo thatch. All have solid walls, a sturdy corrugated roof and front porch that would be enjoyable if you can scrounge one of the plastic chairs. In any case, the guesthouse is highly unlikely to be full so guests can pick which suits them.

Inside is what you’d expect of a simple, basic Lao guesthouse. The wooden bungalow we saw was surprisingly spacious and bright, with plenty of uncluttered area for moving around and windows allowing in lots of sunshine. There was a slight unfinished quality to it, as the walls were sheetrock and the floors covered in contact paper. These are nitpicky observations for a budget room that offers rotating fan, thick blanket with duvet cover, insect screens on the windows, power point, TV and an ensuite bathroom. There’s mildew on some of the tiles, something that can be lived with since the shower has a large hot water heater.

The interiors are plain, but will do at a pinch.

The interiors are plain, but will do at a pinch. Photo: Cindy Fan

The tradeoff to being so close to the Vieng Xai cave visitor centre is that you are away from the town centre, the life line for food and public transport. It’s 750 metres down the hill from the bus station and Sabaidee Odisha Restaurant. Bring a torch if walking back from dinner as it’ll be dark.

More information

Walk–in rates: 80,000 kip—80,000 kip
Book online: Agoda
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º13'40.25" E, 20º24'6.43" N

Main street, Vieng Xai
Under US$10

Chitchareune Hotel

Main street, Vieng Xai T: (030) 515 0458

Occupying the back of an enormous you-can’t-miss-it concrete plot in the middle of Vieng Xai’s main street, Chitchareune is a modern Vietnamese-style budget hotel with comfortable rooms and not so comfortable front of house.

We think they forgot the gardens.

We think they forgot the gardens. Photo: Cindy Fan

A recent build, the two-storey hotel was constructed with a large parking pad and adjacent building block with shophouses, most of which are unoccupied. The accommodation itself is motel-style with doors to the rooms accessed from the exterior, and this may not feel safe for solo female travellers. It’s all cold, quiet and impersonal, and the person at the reception is as chilly as you’d expect. If you can look past this odd, empty set up, the rooms were in good condition when we inspected in 2018 and they were the most modern to be found in Vieng Xai.

Rooms are well appointed, laid out with solid wood furnishings including a bedside table and desk/vanity. The rooms are equipped with a wall mounted rotating fan, air-con, large flatscreen TV, complimentary drinking water and ensuite bathroom that is flashier than what you’d normally find in the average guesthouse. The sink has a wooden countertop and there are two kinds of shower heads, including a rain shower nozzle. On the downside, the electric heater pales in comparison to the powerful heaters found in most Sam Neua guesthouses. Though the room is long and narrow, a back window keeps the space from feeling claustrophobic and tall folks will appreciate the high ceilings.

Interiors are functional.

Interiors are functional. Photo: Cindy Fan

Staying in town is convenient for catching the bus and for staying close to the food options. That does mean a small hike to the Vieng Xai caves; the ticket office is 750 metres away. Directly across the street, Lattanaphon is a Lao-style guesthouse that is cheaper and has a homier feel—we’d personally opt for Lattanaphon but appreciate that Chitchareune Hotel will appeal to those looking for modernity and anonymity in pokey Vieng Xai.

More information

Walk–in rates: 100,000 kip—100,000 kip
Book online: Agoda
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º13'37.7" E, 20º24'35.49" N

Down the hill towards the lake from the bus station
Under US$10

Sailomyen Guesthouse

Down the hill towards the lake from the bus station T: (020) 9117 0678

Vietnamese-owned Sailomyen Guesthouse (also appearing as Saylomyen) rates high for character as the restaurant/accommodation is a wooden building on stilts situated in a small manmade lake—yes, in the lake. It’s the most unusual place to stay in Vieng Xai.

Over water rooms, Vieng Xai style.

Over water rooms, Vieng Xai style. Photo: Cindy Fan

A gangway leads from the road over the water to a restaurant dining room. From there, most rooms are in a connected wing, the walkway on the outside of the building. The exterior gives the impression it is worse for wear. The weathered paint and rusted corrugated metal roof imparts a shack-like appearance. However, the inside of the rooms are fine. They are on the small side, with the saggy spring bed snugly slotted into a corner and an equally snug ensuite private bathroom in the other corner but overall it’s ok for the price; this is one of Vieng Xai’s cheapest accommodation options.

There’s a fan, mosquito net, electrical outlet, tiny windows and towel. The bathroom is a solid tile and concrete structure, boasting a western toilet (bucket flush), sink and hot shower. It would’ve been nice to have larger windows to take in views of the lake, though the exterior walkway does serve as a sort of balcony and there’s a few wooden chairs, as well as a clothesline.

Rooms are bare bones.

Rooms are bare bones. Photo: Cindy Fan

Sailomyen Guesthouse isn’t for everyone as it will be too rustic for some. The structure creaks with every foot step, the cracks between the boards are noticeable as the sunlight filters through and it’s the type of place you’d hear every cough from the neighbour (in the unlikely event that you have a neighbour). We questioned guests staying there and they were happy with the place, praising the hot shower, the friendliness of the proprietress, the food they ordered for dinner and hearing the water as they lay in bed. It’s a good choice for those on a tight budget or those looking for something different from the norm.

More information

Walk–in rates: 60,000 kip—60,000 kip

Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º13'27.98" E, 20º24'43.98" N

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Vieng Xai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Vieng Xai.
 Read up on how to get to Vieng Xai.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Vieng Xai? Please read this.
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