Whilst on my Merdeka Ride trip, I’ve hiked up both Pha Ngern and Nam Xay View Points.
Below are the details I would like to share in this post.
Pha Ngern Viewpoint Vang Vieng
It will cost you 10K Kips, payable at the start and you can also buy some drinks there. It’s 30-40 minutes of uphill to the top (650 meters), often steep and over rocks.
The paths are easy to follow, with occasional red spray-painted arrows on the rocks, but they are steep in places. Ropes are occasionally there to help you grab onto something, but you should have sensible walking shoes on and water with you. I went on a hot dry day, but I can imagine that this would be very slippery in places once wet. Also, be careful about going down. One of our tourist went a little too fast, slipped and hurt his ankle.
Once you reach the top there are several viewing platforms which provide incredible views of the surrounding limestone karsts and patchwork of rice fields. Bring about 1 litre of water per person to stay hydrated on your climb up. There’s a stall selling drink at the viewpoint (not cheap, a can of coke cost 15k (Equiv USD2).
To get here, just follow the Google Map. Generally, you just need to cross the wooden bridge (for bicycle is 6000 Kips, if you’re walking is 4000 Kips). You just need to turn when you see the sign for “big pha nergn view point”.
- Google Map: Link
- GPS Coordinates: 18.916121, 102.413044
Nam Xay Viewpoint Vang Vieng
It is a short hike, but an intense steep one up to a 360-degree viewpoint of the surrounding area. In short, just a stunning view. An effort is clearly made to keep the trail clean and maintained, and it has railings all the way up.
It will take you about 15-25 minutes (depending on your fitness) to reach the top but please, don’t wear flip flops, trainers at the way forward.
To find a motorbike on top of a mountain is definitely unique. They have also built a nice platform with shade on top to help you appreciate the spectacular scenery.
- Google Map: Link
- GPS Coordinates: 18.922599, 102.388949
Which Viewpoint Has A Better View?
I hiked up both of the view points in one day but personally, if you just have time to go one view point, I would highly recommend Nam Xay as you can get 360 degree view point of the surrounding area.
Distance Between Pha Ngern & Nam Xay?
They are both about 3KM from each other. You can see the distance here.
Pha Ngern & Nam Xay Video Highlights
- Thailand – Laos Border Crossing
- Halal Foods & Mosques In Laos
- Living Land Rice Farm In Luang Prabang
- Blue Lagoon In Vang Vieng
- Kuang Si Waterfall in Luang Prabang
- Things to do in Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng
Rule of thumb, if you want to enjoy nature more especially if it’s a touristy place, go early! If you can make it at about 7.30 AM, you’re good. Most of the tourist comes here after 09:00!
Have you been to these viewpoints? Which one you liked the most? How was your experience?