- Encounters with locals
- Off the beaten track
Oudomxay looks a bit like a town from the wild west. It is crossed by a long road on which you'll find all sorts of shops, as well as the bus station where buses leave for all over the country. (Expect to spend several hours in the bus, even if your destination is "close".) It is also split into two halves by the Nam Ko river. In the evening there is a small market north of the bus station, it's a bit kitsch but fun.
There's not a lot to do in Oudomxay and the best thing is to visit the surrounding area, especially Chom Ong cave 40 kilometres away, which is 16 kilometres long and thought to be the biggest in north Laos. If you like a sporty holiday, you can organise treks to explore the region.
Oudomxay is a tourist stopover due to its location. Consequently it has all the necessary amenities but lacks comfort. As far as I was concerned, the town wasn't interesting - I'd go so far as to say it was archaic.
Oudomxay is on the crossroads between Thailand, China and Vietnam. It's a stopover point for people taking a break during long journeys! Its positive side is the local life and the fact that the tourist industry hasn't altered it in the same way as places such as Luang Prabang!
The Oudomxay Province is popular thanks to its natural sites and traditional temples built in styles that reflect its neighbouring countries.
The upside? A great insight into a typical Laotian town.
The downside? You really need to get out of town if you want to explore the true wonders of Oudomxay Province.