Discover the fascinating world of Northern Laos with this 8 days tour. This unique excursion is designed for the intrepid and open-minded traveler with a keen sense of adventure and eagerness to participate in sustainable tourism. Trekking deep into the highlands, participants get to experience ethnic hill tribe culture in its rawest and most authentic forms amidst sweeping scenery of verdant vegetation growth and cascading waterfalls.
The first encounter with responsible tourism begins with your journey in Luang Nam Tha, a quiet town dotted with pagodas, ethnic villages and lush paddy fields. You will stay overnight at The Boat Landing Guest House, an exemplary model of an eco-lodge in Laos. Moving closer to the Chinese borders, Muang Sing is a remarkable repository of ethnic tribes and culture, including the Akha, Hmong, Kamu, Iko and Lantaen minorities.
From Muang Sing, you will be initiated into the Akha Experience, a culturally and environmentally sensitive trek created and owned by eight Akha villages. Sharing with guests the Akha cultures and ways of life, the local guides also ensure that the maximal level of benefits is channeled back to the local communities. The journey weaves through different villages where interaction opportunities with the Akha people abound. Dinners and overnight accommodations in these villages enhance your understanding of Akha Zang, ‘The Akha Way'.
After the trekking days in the forests, head to the towns of Muang Sing and Pakbeng. Visits to the bustling morning markets yield rewarding insights into local culture. You can witness tribal minorities trading fresh produce in their resplendent traditional costumes, or sample a bowl of local noodle soup, ‘khao soi', among the cluster of food stalls. Sail down the Mekong River, where a stay at Kamu Lodge surrounded by the rustic Lao countryside makes unforgettable moments. Visit the Pak Ou Caves famed for its gold-lacquered Buddha statues before ending your trip in Luang Prabang.
Day 1: Arrive Luang Nam Tha. Upon arrival in Laos, a private ride through the spectacular mountain vistas leads you to Luang Nam Tha. As you drive along, your guide will give you an overview of northwestern Laos, an area that is home to rich demographics and biodiversity. En-route, a stop at Vieng Phouka introduces you to the Kamu tribe followed by lunch in a local restaurant. A leisurely afternoon awaits you in Luang Nam Tha, where you can walk or bike around the peaceful town or sample the delights of Northern Lao cuisine in the comfort of your eco-lodge. Overnight at The Boat Landing Guest House and Restaurant in Luang Nam Tha. Includes: (L).
Day 2: Luang Namtha - Muang Sing - Ban Lao Khao (trekking day - 6 hours). After breakfast, an early departure leads you to Muang Sing for the Akha Experience. In this ecotourism trek lasting 2.5 days, the villagers will induct you into their culture and environment so you have a chance to view and participate in their day-to-day activities. Begin your adventure with a trek to Ban Lao Khao village. As you make your way through the pine forest, engage in bird watching, forage for local plants, and dine by the Nam Keo Noi waterfall. Upon arrival in the village, learn the local legends and listen to traditional music before dining on a delicious meal cooked by your village hosts. Overnight at Ban Lao Khao Lodge in Ban Lao Khao. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Ban Lao Khao - Phou Yae - Ban Tamee. (Trekking day - 5 hours). After breakfast, start the day with a walk to Ban Phou Yae. The trek passes through a landscape of old secondary forest with opportunities to collect bamboo shoots and medicinal herbs with the village guides. En route, try your hand at the local activities of cotton spinning, making children toys, riding a water buffalo or planting rice. Interact with locals along the way, learning more about the traditional Akha lifestyle and culture. Overnight at Ban Tamee Lodge in Ban Tamee. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Ban Tamee - Ban Nam Hoo - Muang Sing. (Trekking day - 4 hours). Following breakfast, spend some time interacting with the villagers with activities such as feeding the pigs or playing games with the children. Then set off on the day's trek, winding along forest trails that skirt through magnificent views of Muang Sing valley. En route, stop at a village handicraft shop where you can purchase locally-made exquisite handicrafts, a wonderful souvenir of your Akha Experience. Return by truck to Muang Sing, where you can spend the rest of the day at your own leisure. Explore the famous local market frequented by the local ethnic hill tribes, check out the unique architecture of this small town, or simply relax. Overnight at Phou Lu Guesthouse in Muang Sing. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Muang Sing - Oudomxay - Pakbeng. At your own discretion, rise early and head to the local market, a popular meeting point for the local ethnic hill tribes to trade their fresh produce or handicrafts. Sitting with the locals amongst the food stalls for an early meal of “khao soi”, or noodle soup, completes the countryside market experience. After breakfast, depart Muang Sing for Pakbeng, in which the roads wind through the mountains with barely any traffic. Along the way, stops are made at an ethnic village, followed by lunch in Oudomxai and a short climb up to the summit of Phou That. Arrive in Pakbeng in the afternoon. Overnight at Pakbeng Lodge in Pakbeng. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Pakbeng - Kamu Lodge - Today, a cruise downstream leads you to Kamu Lodge at Ban Gno Hay village. The boat ride along Mekong River offers an enriching insight into the ways of life of the riverside communities. Upon arrival at the Kamu Lodge, you will be greeted with welcome drinks. At this rustic lodge, you can unwind in a self-sufficient lodge set in tranquil natural surroundings. Overnight at the Kamu Lodge in Ban Gno Hay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Kamu Lodge - Luang Prabang. An interesting day awaits you after breakfast. The Kamu has developed an array of activities to capture the original Lao experience. You can choose to plant rice with the Kamu villagers, pan for gold in the Mekong, explore the forest for herbs or trek to a stunning waterfall nearby. In the afternoon, depart for Luang Prabang by boat. En-route, stop at the legendary Pak Ou Caves, a local pilgrimage site in which thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crammed within the limestone caverns. Overnight at Villa Say Kham in Luang Prabang. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 8: Depart Luang Prabang. After breakfast, you are free to spend the morning at your own leisure until your transfer to your next destination. Includes: (B).
- The price is a guideline and will vary according to travel dates and room availability
- The price is based on two people traveling together and sharing a twin or double room
- Please contact us to discuss your tailor-made travel requirements.
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Asia Laos Local Culture Cultural Journey Hiking & Trekking