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.
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.
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 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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