Viengthong District, Houaphanh
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
Viengthong is a district (muang) of Houaphanh Province in northeastern Laos. It is the gateway to the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NPA), which is home to a number of endangered species including tigers. The park headquarters are in the town.
Before the Laotian Civil War, Viengthong District was under the same jurisdiction as Pak Xeng District, Luang Prabang Province and was a Buddhist settlement called Muang Hiem, which means "beware of the tiger", alluding to tiger attacks in the area.
There was a temple called Vat Hiem on a nearby hill where the district government administration building sits today, but this was destroyed by US bombing during the Laotian Civil War. The only remnants are a stupa and an unexploded bomb lodged deep inside the earth, deemed not to be dangerous.
Sights and activities
There is an early morning market visited by villagers from outside the town. Its speciality is bamboo shoots. A short walk or cycle from the town there are some hot springs, with some Khmu villages nearby. There are also cycle rides to the Nam Khan River and a wooden Buddhist temple in Poung Hai village.