During the Secret War in Laos there were many places of significance with Long Tieng, the most famous, now open to the public. This 6 day tour starts and ends in Luang Prabang. During that loop we take in some of the best known War sites in Laos along with many cities and places of interest and natural beauty. The tour can be made by 4×4 truck, minibus, or motorcycles. It takes us through the heart of Laos and as far North as Xam Neua, before heading south again.
Honda CRF 250L or 4X4 Truck
25% off Road
We start our tour by leaving Luang Prabang and heading south through twisting terrain to Xaing Ngeun and up into the mountains up to the Kasi Pass. From there it’s down the mountain to Vang Vieng, passing LS25 near Kasi and the old runway LS16 in Vang Vieng, where we stay overnight. Vang Vieng is a fun place, as you will see. In the evenings it comes alive as the tubers roll back into town, to enjoy spectacular backdrops and some strange pizzas.
Today is a big day, with a lot of ‘off road’ on a journey that takes us climbing up and around the Nam Gnon Lakes. Reaching those Lakes gives us great not to be missed views of the surrounding countryside. Then we take the new road into Long Tieng. Long Tieng was a military base which served as a town and airbase operated by America’s Central Intelligence Agency during the Laotian Civil War.
The airbase site was known as Lima Site 20A. It is that site that we’ll be at the very center of somewhere hugely significant! It has been called the ‘most secret place on Earth‘ and played a pivotal part during the War. We will visit General Vang Pao’s House along with the Kings Place, Skyline Ridge, the Runway, and for the fit amongst us, we can climb the speed brake. We’ll see some of it today and the remainder tomorrow morning. Overnight stay at a local guesthouse.
Before we leave, we’ll finish our look at that very interesting and historically significant area. Then we leave for Phonsavan. We will reach it in the afternoon after passing through Xam Thong LS20 which played its own major role in the war. The new school stand on the old Hospitals base and the Air America bunk House Chimney still stands. On arrival there, we will visit the Plain of Jars.
The Plain of Jars is a huge site of stone urns, some with lids. What the jars were used for isn’t known, but there are many guesses. The most popular guess is that the jars were used as a ‘burial ground’. Your guess could well be as good as anybody else’s. Time permitting, we can visit other sites such as the 1000 Step Mountain or the Spoon Village.
Another early start as we head North to Xam Neua which is quite a ride. The ride includes sections ‘off road’ and ‘on tarmac’. It will take us most of the day to get to our eventual destination of Xam Neua. There’s a lot to see along the route though, including the Hintung Archeological site. Apart from seeing the site, you will be continuously treated to spectacular, natural views along the way. Views that will just leave you speechless.
Getting to Xam Neua in the early evening sees us settle into our guest house. We’ll need to rest up as tomorrow will be a busy day of sight seeing. In particular, the Vienxai Underground Cave Complex which the Pathet Lao used to run their war effort during that historical conflict.
We head into the hills for another full day and ride to Lima Site 85. LS 85 was upgraded in 1967 to one with an all weather night bombing facility. The North Vietnamese retaliated and attacked the site in March, 1968. In a ferocious one day battle, they destroyed it. Fifty years later, we take the steep climb to that mountain top and are rewarded with breathtaking views. We leave the site and head for Muang Hiam (Veingtong). There, we enjoy the Hot Springs and stay overnight in a local guest house.
A last visit to an LS site, Lima Site 36. This is another TACAN site near the village of Ban Nakout. Just outside the Village, the airstrip is still visible after all these years. The Village itself is testament to that time, as war scrap can still be seen everywhere. Now a beautiful weaving village, it offers you the chance to buy some souvenirs. After the visit, we will drive to Luang Prabang for our overnight accommodation and final meal together.
Lao Adv Tours Reserves the rights to change routes and planning due to road problems. Weather conditions can change very quickly. All rights reserved.
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