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The Vieng Xai caves

The Vieng Xai caves are a widespread network of caves that were home to about 23,000 people during the Vietnam War. It was virtually a hidden city and is now open to the public as a tourist attraction.

The city of Vientiane is the capital of Laos and is located on the banks of the Mekong River. It is also within close proximity to the Vieng Xai caves. If you are travelling to Laos, staying in Vientiane, serviced apartments would be a good option to consider as your accommodation. The Somerset Vientiane has been a popular choice among those touring the region and making a day trip to the Vieng Xai caves.

The Vieng Xai caves are located in the northeast of Laos in the Hua Phan province, right next to the border of Vietnam. The region that comprises of the caves is renowned for being the headquarters of the Communist Pathet Lao forces during their struggle with the Lao Royal family in Vientiane. This was also the same time that the Vietnam War was underway.

The caves were home to the Communist army during the period. Comprising of a hospital, military barracks, markets, living spaces, bakeries, shops and theatre, the Vieng Xai caves, functioned as a mini city during the war. The caves even had printing presses and government offices. Even the Pathet Lao force’s leaders were housed in the caves, from where they commanded the final stages of the war.

Eight caves are open to the public. Of these the most important ones are Kaysone’s, Red Prince Souphanouvong, Theatre Cave and the deepest cave, Tham Xieng Muang.

Other attractions in Vientiane include the enormous gilded stupa (Pha That Luang), the Buddha Park, crumbling French colonial buildings, street markets, noodle shops and a number of Buddhist temples.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.