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A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake

star-43 Reviews
Vientiane, Laos
A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake

From $193.60

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Free cancellation
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Safety measures
icon9 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Visit Laos’ Nam Ngum Lake on a day trip from Vientiane that provides the opportunity to enjoy a piece of the countryside with convenient transportation from the city center. Take a 1-hour boat ride on the reservoir, enjoy a traditional lunch and soak up the mountainous scenery and Vientiane Plain, where agriculture and archaeological sites dot the landscape.
  • Nam Ngum Lake day trip from Vientiane
  • Soak up the rural surroundings outside the city
  • Visit the archaeological ruins of Vang Xang
  • Take a boat ride on the reservoir
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A full-day tour with a professional English-speaking guide.
Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
A leisurely 1-hour cruise over the Nam Ngum Lake
All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description.
All applicable taxes and service charges
Lunch on board is included (food only)
Other entrance fees and expenses, such as other meals, drinks, tips and shopping, unless otherwise stated
Transfers from and to airport, sea/river ports, train stations that are located inside or outside of the city center are NOT included; supplements will be applied
Transfers from and to hotels and resorts that are located outside of the city center are NOT included; supplements will be applied
Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
We can pick up from only hotels in Vientiane, Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.

Departure Time

8:00 AM
Your day trip starts with the approximate 55-mile (90-km) drive north of Vientiane to Nam Ngum Lake, which boasts a tranquil setting surrounded by different forms of traditional agriculture. The drive takes about 1.5 hours, depending on weather and road conditions; stop along the way at Vang Xang, a small archaeological site that dates back to the 11th century.

Arrive at the lake in the late morning, and enjoy a relaxing meal at a restaurant overlooking the water. Learn from your guide about the efforts that have gone into preserving this weekend and holiday destination for locals who like to visit to escape the Laos capital. You’ll also hear about the dam and hydroelectric power station. Originally part of the Nam Ngum River until the dam was erected in 1971, the deep green lake covers an area of 100 square miles (250 square km).

Hop aboard a traditional-style boat for a 1-hour ride across the pristine waters before making the drive back to Vientiane along a different route that includes a stop in the community of Ban Keun (near Phou Khao Khoauy), where locals engage in the traditional process of salt winning. Your day trip ends with return to the city for hotel drop-off.
Stop At:  
Vang Xang Bouddhas
Stops along the way before reaching the calming waters of Nam Ngum, we stop at a small archaeological site at Vang Xang, related to the Mon Hill tribe population. Vang Xang was built in the 11th century and has some stunning Buddha images, many of them still in original state, on display. Its picturesque location along a small river makes it a perfect break while driving to our destination for the day. The lake is largely overlooked as travellers tend to take the road further north to Vang Vieng before reaching Luang Prabang.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Nam Ngum Reservoir
Late in the morning, we arrive at the Nam Ngum Lake where we sit, back, relax and enjoy a great meal on board, overlooking the lake. Your guide will explain the work that has been done to preserve this favourite weekend and public holiday spot for residents from the capitol and the dam and the use as a hydropower station for the country and surrounding Indochina neighbours. Initially a part of the Nam Ngum River, the lake now covers 250-square-kilometres of deep green water since the dam was erected, and the lake gained its popularity as a holiday and weekend destination.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Ban Keun
It is almost a given that a boat trip over the surface of the lake is included. After disembarkation, we drive back south via another route to include an interesting stop on how the local community at Ban Keun (near Phou Khao Khoauy) uses authentic means to win salt from the groundwater. By 5.30 pm, we will reach Vientiane, and you will be brought back to the front door of your hotel.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply.
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside Vientiane. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside this area such as Ngam Num Lake, Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, and Vientiane International Airport are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.
  • We will do all possible to comply with any dietary requirements during this excursion; it may not always be possible to confirm your wishes in advance based on the choice of lunch address.
  • We always will make efforts to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pick-up and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sunrays still have an immense power.
  • The protection of the country’s flora and fauna is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities for guests that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.
  • Customers are reminded to submit their passport number and expiration date with their reservation. These are essential requirements as outlined by local immigration regulations.
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Asian Trails LTD
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake.
What is the policy on sanitization during A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake.
What is the social distancing policy during A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by A Day Out and About at Nam Ngum Lake.

Traveler Tips

  • "Makes for a very long day of driving as a day trip from Vientiane." See review


3 Reviews
2 stars
1 star

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-2 of 3 reviews
Long Day of Driving
, Mar 2020
Makes for a very long day of driving as a day trip from Vientiane. Beautiful reservoir and lake and really enjoyed our hour on the water. Not sure about the stop at the salt factory? Really wish there could have been a handicraft type market. Guide and driver were excellent, just felt like a long drive and not enough to fill a full day tour.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Dear h2opixie It has been our sincere pleasure to show you this serene part of Laos; the boat trip over Nam Ngum Lake indeed is one of the highlights of this trip outside Vientiane. It’s unfortunate to read that the drive has been seen as a bit of a long one from you yet getting to such tranquil spot requires often driving longer distances. We certainly hope it has not left a negative impression on your overall experience. As for the markets, and as you have seen, this is the local side of Laos. The markets surrounding Nam Ngum as authentically Laos as possible, and this is regularly seen as an added-value. Nevertheless, we truly value your positive feedback and that this may be a reason to return back to Laos in the near future. With kind regards Asian Trails Laos
This was a great excursion made even...
Steve C
, Oct 2017
This was a great excursion made even better by an excellent guide and driver.

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