By now you must’ve heard about the various hilltribes that live across the hills (hence their name) in Southeast Asia. And sometimes, they make you wonder, how do they live without the modern conveniences that we practically need? You also can’t help but marvel at their skills; they do make bright, interesting and eye-pleasing clothes. You know what, you too can be a part of the hilltribes. The indigenous people in question are the Akha, and the destination is Northern Laos. The theme is an adventure trek with insider knowledge to their lifestyles and culture.
The scenery up here in is stupendous! Forested hills, green jungles, rivers, tropical animals; this is the environment you’ll be hiking through for the next three days. Your Laos tour begins in Muang Sing near the Chinese border in northwestern Laos. This is a melting pot of many hill tribes; the Hmong, Thai Lu, Thai Neua, Yunnanese and of course the Akha gather at the local market here to sell their wares and goods. There are also great treks in the area, making it an obvious starting point for your adventure.
The first leg will take you to Nam Keo Noi Waterfall, a beautiful site where gracious Akha villagers are waiting your arrival with a traditional lunch. Continue on to Ban Lao Khao Village and spend the evening embracing Akha music and observing the courting rituals of the tribe’s youth, among other unique Akha cultural activities. A traditional massage soothes those tiring legs.
Feeling like one of them yet? Head on over to more villages including Ban Phou Yae, Ban Houeinagang and Ban Eu La and continue with your cross-cultural integration with these friendly and welcoming people. As much as you are intrigued by their culture and lifestyle, they themselves are intrigued by yours. Spend some time sharing your experiences and your life stories. Show them pictures of your family and friends. In the meantime, get to know them a little bit more by engaging in their daily activities such as cotton spinning, buffalo riding and rice pounding. Your meals will be in their gracious company.
Loving the experience so far? The third day pretty much follows the same pattern, but to different parts of the region and visits to different Akha villages. You’ll continue seeing the lush Lao scenery, unique wildlife and friendly villagers at work in the fields. There’s even a hilltop viewing of Muang Sing in it for you. Recap your Akha Experience with a visit to the hilltribe museum. So, are the facts given in the museum true compared to the experiences you just encountered with the Akha?
Check out Laos! The country is slowly making its way onto many travelers’ holidaying wish list. Come to the country while it’s still hot!
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