Drive from Vientiane and a few in the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area. You'll seek to peek at pachyderms, examine a pair of temples known for their mysteries, trek along a moonscape river-bed to boat ride, cruise up the Nam Kading to impassable rapids, and hike to a 100 meters tall waterfall.
Wat Phabath and Wat Phonsane overlap Route 13 near Ban Na, and present two of Bolikhamxay’s most remarkable attractions. In 1993, locals discovered a 2,4 x 1,2 meter Buddha footprint, and built Wat Phabath around it. Over the decades, journeyers make merit by placing gold-leaf on the phabath (Buddha footprint), and every year in mid-January, the temple holds a festival to pay respect to the phabath. Wat Phonsane sits on sprawling green Mekong Riverside grounds, and is believed to be a sacred place where Buddha once took his meals. The temple is also known for the annual Bang Fai Phayanak Festival during October’s full moon, when the Mekong launches mysterious colored fireballs.