The small, landlocked nation of Laos offers travellers an unmatched glimpse of the South East Asia of old world charm. For the active traveller, the rewards are great. The National Tourism Authority in conjunction with UNESCO Nam Ha Eco-tourism project has trained local guides and worked with villages along several trekking routes to develop culturally and environmentally sensitive programs.
2020 Departures Dates & Costs
Private departures daily with local guide from Luang Prabang or Vientiene based on minimum 2 persons
Tour cost based on first class hotels from $ 1,875 USD per person based on twin share
Single Supplement: $ 525 USD
Airfare additionalAlternative programs in Laos an be offered on an individual basis. Ask for details.
The Laos Visa can now be obtained on arrival although pre-visa information must be supplied in advance. Visa fee $ 30 USD and 2 passport size photos.
DAY 1 Departure to Luang Namtha (L/D)
Pick-up at your hotel and transfer to airport for your Lao Airlines flight to Luang Namtha. Meet upon arrival at Luang Namtha airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel. Lunch and an afternoon visit to the village of Ban Pasak, populated by the Thai Dam minority. Orientation and guideline for the 2 day's trekking to Ban Nalan, Ban Namkoy and Ban Namlu. The access toward the villages is a moderately strenuous trek that includes two steep ascents on local paths. Dinner and accommodation at the lodge.
DAY 2 Luang Namtha - Ban Nalan (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the lodge. Drive to Ban Chaleunsuk, a Khmu village, approximately 20 kms from Luang Namtha, where the day trek to Ban Nalan begins (5-6 hours). It passes between rice granaries and skirts the village's rice fields, before ascending steeply into 10-20 year old secondary growth forest. After 2-3 hours of ascent, you will reach the top of the ridge where wide views to the North and South open on each side of the trail. The trail crosses upland rice fields and patches of forest for a quiet one-hour walk along the level path. Picnic lunch en route. The days walk ends with a steep one-hour descent into Nam Ha River valley. As you make your way down the hill, the wet rice fields of the Khmu village of Ban Nalan are visible slightly to the east on the opposite side of the valley. Dinner and accommodation at a villager's house.
DAY 3 Ban Nalan - Luang Namtha (B/L/D)
Breakfast. This trekking day begins with a peaceful 3 hours walk along the bank of the river. The forest here varies from small patches of older trees to newer growth of bamboo and passes through wet and hill rice fields. About 30 minutes from Ban Nalan, the trail crosses an abandoned settlement before it reaches the clusters known as Ban Nalan Tai. Picnic lunch on the way. At Ban Namkoy, the path leads away from the river and begins to climb again for about 3 hours. This is the most challenging section of the route. Trees up to 400-500 years old support a dense canopy, you will hear the forest come alive with sounds of birds and insects. Arrive at Ban Namlu, there may be an opportunity to buy local clothes, jewelry or other handicraft before meeting the truck back to Luang Namtha. Arrival in Luang Namtha before sunset and check-in at the hotel. Dinner and accommodation at the lodge.
DAY 4 Luang Namtha - Muang Sing (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the lodge. Drive to Muang Sing. En route, visit an Ikhor minority village. The Ikhor belong to the ethnic Khor group once originally called Akho or Akha meaning "older brother" in Lao. They emigrated from South China about 500 years ago due to war and entered the Lanexang kingdom of Laos through the Southwest. Upon entering Laos, the Khor group divided into sub-tribes: Khor Pho Xang, Debla, Loma, Eupa, and Mu Kuew etc. The women of Khor tribes are skilled in weaving, knitting and ornamental sewing, while the men are excellent woodcrafters. The men are often dressed in baggy pants, dark brown long sleeved shirt, with silver ornaments. Continue to visit a Lanten minority village. The Lanten are sometimes called Lao Houay (stream Lao) because they choose to live near permanent streams. The dark indigo clothing worn by men and women immediately recognizes them. The women also pluck or shave their eyebrows upon reaching puberty and wear their hair in a traditional style, swept up and held in place with beautiful silver jewelry. Upon arrival in Muang Sing, check-in at the hotel. Since the late 16th century, the small town of Muang Sing has been a traditional Thai cultural nexus as well as a trade center attracting a large variety of hill tribes. Lunch at local restaurant.Visit the Muang Sing Exhibitions, which display a collection of cultural artifacts from the area, such as fishing utensils, looms, gongs, bells, pottery, musical instruments and local ethnic costumes. Visit Vat Xieng Jai and Vat Nam Keo Luang, two temples which show Thai Lu architectural influence. Dinner and accommodation at the guest-house.
DAY 5 Muang Sing (B/L/D)
Breakfast. Visit the colorful local market where the various minority people come early in the morning to trade their goods. Full day excursion and soft trek to the surrounding hill-tribe villages: Ikhor, Yao or Mien, Lanten. The Yao originally came from Yunnan Province in Southern China. In their villages, the Yao maintain a large extended family in the same household. Yao women, who wear high turbans and long indigo gowns bordered with bright pink boa collars, are easily recognized. Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner and accommodation at the guest-house.
DAY 6 Muang Sing - Luang Namtha (B/L/D)
Breakfast. Drive back to Luang Namtha. Upon arrival, check-in at the lodge. Lunch at the lodge. Visit the Lanten minority village of Ban Namdi, the weaving village of Ban Thongpoung and Ban Nam Ngene village to observe the rice wine distillation. Return to Luang Namtha. Dinner and accommodation at the lodge.
DAY 7 Luang Namtha - Luang Prabang (B/L)
Breakfast at the lodge. Drive to Oudomxay. En route, visit various hill tribes' villages. Lunch at local restaurant in Oudomxay. Continue to Luang Prabang. On the way, visit the Hmong minority village of Ban Songja, located on top of a mountain. Arrival in Luang Prabang late in the afternoon and drop off at the hotel. (accommodation in Luang Prabang not included in tour price).
Extensions in Luang Prabang can be added to enrich your trip.