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Ninety kilometres north of Vientiane, Nam Ngum Reservoir sits above the northern edge of the Vientiane Plain, where the rice-growing flatlands surrounding the capital meet the mountainous terrain of the north. Created when the Nam Ngum River was dammed in 1971, the deep green waters of the reservoir are dotted with scores of forest-clad islands stretching to a dramatic horizon lined with mountains, their peaks lost in mist. Foreign travellers, usually in a rush to head upcountry, tend to by pass Nam Ngum Reservoir as they make for nearby Vang Vieng, but those who do stop off discover a pretty 250-square-kilometre expanse of water with islands, secluded beaches and swimming spots. There are a number of convenient options for visiting Nam Ngum Reservoir, either as a day-trip from Vientiane or Vang Vieng or en route between the two; short package trips are also available from travel agents in Vientiane.

Best time to visit

It is possible to visit Nam Ngum Lake all year round.  The dry season in Laos is extremely hot and humid and receives very little rain, whilst the wet season sees cooler temperatures but obviously experiences a lot of rain.  The roads may become less navigable during rainy season, particularly if travelling by motorbike or bicycle.

During dry season (October to May) the water levels will generally be lower than during the rainy season (June to September), allowing you to access many of the island “beaches”.  During rainy season however, the higher water levels may restrict the number of islands that you may be able to visit.

Check the below table for the general idea of Nam Ngum Reservoir weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 28.3 22.7 17
Feb 31.4 25.7 19.8
Mar 33.3 27.8 22.2
Apr 34.9 29.6 24.2
May 33.9 29.2 24.6
Jun 33 29 25.1
Jul 32 28.3 24.8
Aug 31.8 28 24.6
Sep 32.1 28.2 24.3
Oct 31.9 27.8 23.6
Nov 31.2 26.3 21.1
Dec 29.1 23.8 18.2

Nam Ngum Reservoir's current weather and 7-day forecast


Surrounded by pristine mountains and flecked with forested islands, Nam Ngum Reservoir makes for an unforgettable day trip from Vientiane, Laos.  Often referred to as the Lao Sea, this massive body of water located 1.5 hours out of Vientiane Capital attracts those wanting an off-the-beaten path experience in Laos with a day of boating, swimming and secluded islands.  

One day trip to Nam Ngum Lake from Vientiane

Experience the charm of rural Laos on this easy day trip to Nam Ngum Lake from Vientiane.  On the way, stop in the small Hmong town of KM52 to grab some snacks at the Hmong market and call in to see the nearby ancient Mon-Khmer Buddha images in Vang Sang.  At Nam Ngum Reservoir, lunch on one of the restaurant boats whilst cruising the calm waters before stopping off at one of the secluded islands for a swim or stroll.  Round off the day by visiting a traditional Salt Village, where salt is abstracted by hand, or sample Lao insect snacks at Dong Mak Khai market.

Visit Nam Ngum Dam (Nam Ngum 1 Hydropower Station)

The Nam Ngum Hydropower Station is a hydroelectric dam on the Nam Ngum River, a tributary of the Mekong River which runs throughout Laos.  The Nam Ngum (or Ngum River) flows south from the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khouang Province where it runs into the Nam Ngum Dam.  Once released from the dam, the Nam Ngum River continues on to Vientiane where it discharges its waters into the Mekong River.

Unlike most Hydropower Stations, the grounds around Nam Ngum Dam have been turned into picnic and recreational areas which are popular with local Lao.  Weekends and public holidays see locals descend on the dam to sit and take in the view, and of course, kin khao (eat).  There is also a small jetty set up with a feeding chute where you can purchase fish food to feed the hundreds of fish hovering below.


The Nam Ngum lake is the ideal spot to hire a kayak and explore the surroundings at your own rhythm. Paddle through the islands, soak in the peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the landscapes that are really mind-blowing.

Boat rides

Why not include during your stay a boat ride on the lake!
Weave around the islands, get a glimpse of the fishermen and their fishing techniques and make the most of the amazing landscapes around you. 

Net fishing

Become a real fisherman and try yourself at launching the 4m circular net following local techniques and retrieve the hoped captured fish. A great moment to experience the locals’ expertise and daily life around the reservoir.

Boat fishing

Boat fishing is not necessarily all about the fishing, it’s about being on the lake and enjoying a half day’s boating at the same time. Fishing remains a popular activity where you can kick back and enjoy some time with your friends and family. An activity that can be very relaxing, as well as rewarding!

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There are several options to stay overnight in the Nam Ngum Reservoir surrounds.  Just bear in mind this is an area that rarely receives Western tourists and some of the accommodation options may leave a lot to be desired.

Nam Ngum View Resort

Located on Sengsawang Road, Thalat just past Na Nam village, the Nam Ngum View Resort offers accommodation in a beautiful setting overlooking the lake.  Also has a lovely infinity pool.

Salapa Nam Ngum Resort

No frills, basic bungalows perched on the side of a hill overlooking Nam Ngum.  Also known locally as Salapa Haven and Fisherman’s Haven after the owner who is an avid fisherman.  Located on Sengsawang Road further past Nam Ngum View Resort.

Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort

Located in Ban Keun on the southwestern shore of the lake, Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort is a two-hundred room hotel with its own swimming pool, golf course and 24-hour casino.  The hotel is frequented by tourists from Thailand and China who, apart from indulging in the casino, enjoy some of the adventure activities on offer.  This includes jet-skis, power boats, water skiing and wake boarding.  If you enjoy the noise of power-engines, coupled with almost non-stop karaoke, then this may be the option for you.  Free casino shuttles run between the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and the resort.

Green View Resort

Located in Tha Heua village at the northern end of Nam Ngum Reservoir, the Green View Resort is a 20 minute drive out of Vang Vieng.  With panoramic views from all four of their bungalows set right on the lake’s edge, Green View also has a beautiful lakeside pool.  Kayaking on the lake and boat trips are easily organised in-house.

Sanctuary Nam Ngum Beach

Also located at the northern end of Ang Nam Ngum, the Sanctuary Nam Ngum Beach is around 15 minutes out of Vang Vieng.  Enjoy the resort’s floating swimming pool and sandy “beaches”.  The Sanctuary offers boat rides out on the reservoir as well as more adventurous watersports such as jetskiing and wakeboarding.

Nam Lik Eco Village

Further away on Road 13N is the Nam Lik Eco Resort with rustic bungalows overlooking a sheltered cove of the Nam Ngum Lake.  Nam Lik is situated roughly half way between Tha Heua and Thalat and is a popular weekend getaway spot.

Nam Ngum is best experienced from aboard one of the barges, slowly chugging around the islands. So you can order your food and drinks at Nam Ngum Restaurant, the main eatery on the shore, which will then be prepared and brought on board your boat. All the dishes were really fresh and tasty.

Fishing is actually one of the main industries here. You can enjoy fresh seafood dishes at other floating restaurants around Nam Ngum Reservoir.

Getting to Nam Ngum Reservoir by public transport is easy enough. 

From Vientiane, four government buses depart daily from the bus station near the morning market for Thalat (there are also more frequent sawngthaews here, leaving from the stand in front of the bus station). 

From Thalat, you can get a shared tuk-tuk to the reservoir (30 min; $5) or the regular tuk-tuk shuttle service to Na Nam, near the dam on the western shore of the reservoir, and the most logical base for independent travellers to explore the lake by chartering a taxi ($25 return). 

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

If you want to use the lake as an alternative route from Vientiane north to Vang Vieng, charter a boat from Na Nam for the five-hour trip to Tha Hua and then continue by road to Vang Vieng.

In addition, we offer one- to three-day package tours by private car to the reservoir out of Vang Vieng, which combine hiking, boating and camping.

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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Despite being open to tourism for the past two decades, Laos remains a destination brimming with hidden treasures and unexplored gems, awaiting the arrival of curious adventurers.

Among these remarkable places is the Xe Champhone Loop, an enchanting location that captures the essence of Laos.

In early September 2022, we had the privilege of embarking on an Educational Tour organized by the esteemed Tetraktys Organization. Our objective was to delve into the wonders of this loop and promote its allure to international tourists.

During our expedition, we were awe-struck by the captivating sights and valuable insights we gained. The area boasts an abundance of captivating natural landscapes, rich traditional culture, and warm-hearted hosts.

We have compiled comprehensive information about this captivating region below.

Stay connected to discover more about this hidden gem!


The romance of train travel is alive and well in Laos. The recently-completed high-speed railway that stretches from Vientiane, through Laos, and into southern China is operating ‘full steam’ ahead. 


Luang Prabang will celebrate the boat racing festival (Boun Souang Heua) in Namkhan River during Buddhist Lent Period, on August 26th, 2022.

A notice issued by Luang Prabang provincial office says that Luang Prabang will arrange Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, an annual festival held to feed spirits with home-made parcels of food, and the boat racing activities along Namkhan River. 

The province intends to promote the traditional festival and practices in hopes of attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, generating revenue for locals.

Traditional racing boats are made of a single tree and can accommodate up to fifty rowers.

The boats are considered sacred, are cleaned, and are given offerings which are believed to bring victory to the team.

In the downtown heart of Luang Prabang, there will also be gatherings and markets.

The festival will be held on August 26th, 2022, the same day with Boun Khao Padapdine.

Covid-19 put a stop to traditional customs and festivals for almost three years, but now that the measurements have been relaxed, tourist destinations in Laos expect to recommence festivities and offer hope for travelers.


How long to spend in Laos may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Laos? 

Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Laos and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Laos is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Laos with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Laos.


The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.

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