It wasn’t long ago that we visited Muang La, a remote village in northern Laos, and home to Muang La Resort, an exquisite resort placed above a tranquil river.Since visiting this utopic and untouched hinterland we have been working on creating a new tour which takes in Muang La, but also Mandala Ou, a brand new resort that has just opened in Nong Khiaw, just two hours from Luang Prabang and a stunning boat journey from Muang La. This route is absolutely perfect for those looking for remote and experiential adventure with as taste of luxury, which until recently wasn’t possible in Laos.
The journey begins in Luang Prabang, a small town and UNESCO World Heritage site, brimming with glistening temples, colonial shop houses, and soulful cafes. From here the journey heads to Muang La, approximately a 6 hour drive stopping for a picnic en route. As you head north the scenery becomes replete with verdant paddy fields, and hills lush with greenery. It really is one of the most beautiful and untouched locations in southeast Asia. On arrival Muang La Resort greets you with smiling faces, spacious rooms, and fine dining cuisine.
Muang La offers a plethora of activities, including 4×4 village expeditions, trekking, mountain biking, baci ceremonies, alms giving, and private destination dining. Day 2 and 3 can be spent doing any of these, but we recommend ‘Trekking to Phongsavahn’ and ‘Meet the Ethnic Groups of Laos’ which we feel gets you to the most remote and colorful hill-tribes.
From Muang La it’s a two hour drive to Muang Khua, a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou River, and it is here we board a private long tail cruise through one of the most beautiful stretches of water in Laos, cutting through striking limestone karst scenery. After enjoying a picnic on board we arrive at Nong Khiaw, a small town and the perfect base for short walks, sunsets and river views. Here we stay at Mandala Ou, a beautiful spoiling retreat which has recently opened.
After a night in Nong Khiaw we continue down river to Luang Prabang along the Nam Ou River, stopping at Pak ou Caves en route, which contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues.
Find out more about this incredible tour on our website: https://www.exotravel.com/travel/laos/tours/northern-laos-revealed/
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