Inside Vietnam: Cambodia Laos

Sam Neua

The small town of Sam Neua is gateway to the Viengxay Caves, a remarkable historic site where the Laos government sheltered during the Vietnam War from the intense bombing campaigns of the US military.

Sam Neua Map

The small riverside town of Sam Neua is located in northeast Laos on the road toward the Vietnamese border. The town has a pleasant riverside walk and interesting local markets, but the majority of visitors here use it as a base for visits to famous Viengxay caves. Around an hour's drive from Sam Neua, the town of Viengxay contains hundreds of caves which sheltered local people and the country's future leaders during the Vietnam War.

In the 1960s Laos was caught up in the conflict, and for nine years, from 1964 to 1973, more than 20,000 people lived in a 'hidden city' they built inside the limestone peaks all around the area to try to survive daily aircraft bombing raids directed by US forces.

They were only able to farm or work at night, so inside the caves they built everything they needed for their society to survive, including schools, hospitals, markets, a radio station and the headquarters of the Lao Patriotic Front - also known as the Pathet Lao. The caves have been opened to visitors and an audio tour describes the remarkable history of the region and its people.

Recommended Accommodation in Sam Neua

The following are some of our favourite accommodation options in Sam Neua.

Experiences in Sam Neua

Sam Neua offers a wealth of exciting experiences that will help you get beneath the surface of the local culture. See below for a few of our favourites

Weather in Sam Neua

The Climate Guide for Sam Neua is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Daytime Temperature (°C) 20 22 25 28 29 29 29 28 28 26 24 21
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 11 12 15 18 21 22 22 21 20 18 15 12
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 5 5 5 6 6 5 5 4 5 5 5 5
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 11 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11
Heat and Humidity Discomfort None None Low Moderate High High High High Moderate Low None None
Days with some Rainfall 8 8 10 13 17 20 22 24 18 12 7 5
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 23 32 53 120 211 304 321 388 251 127 53 21
UV Index (Maximum) 8 10 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 10 8 8