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.