Vientiane Capital has one of the more popular ecotourism accommodations in Laos, the Ban Pako ecolodge, which offers a relaxing getaway from the city that overlooks the Nam Ngum River. From Ban Pako take a boat across the river for a one-day forest walk on a trail developed by Dong Dok University with assistance from GTZ.

Houay Nhang Forest Reserve

Visit Laos' oldest forest reserve just 20 km north of Vientiane capital and stroll along its nature trail and watch for birds.


The Houay Nhang Forest Reserve was established in 1958 on 800 hectares of forest 20 km north of Vientiane. The reserve is known for its bird watching, particularly during the migration season, and several insects such as butterflies and walking sticks can be seen.

Get a guide booklet at the entrance and walk along a marked nature trail through the forest. Though the ecosystem has been somewhat degraded due to hunting, the reserve still offers a nice day-trip from Vientiane.

After a visit to the reserve, stop for a meal at one of the small restaurants at the fish ponds. To get there, take the road that branches off near the junction before the reserve. There is also a market near the junction.

How to get there:

Hire a tuk tuk in Vientiane for the day trip.and take Route 10 towards the bird watching destination of Ban Sivilay; the park entrance is about 8 km after the junction of Route (Km 12S). The forest is on the right directly along the road, and a green signboard marks the entrance.