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Overview

Rugged mountains, colourful hill tribe villages and pristine waterways- Northern Laos is the prime place for an adventurous escape. Connect with nature on guided jungle treks and travel by jeep to access isolated ethnic communities. Relax while soaking in hot springs and drift down the Nam Ou River by boat.  

Trip Highlights

Northern Laos Revealed

Trek to isolated hill tribes

Learn about the colourful traditions and ways of life of Laos’ hill tribes with treks to remote villages.

Take an adventurous road trip

Drive through the rugged landscapes of northern Laos, passing through dramatic scenery and small hill tribe villages.

Experience pristine nature

Venture through limestone caves, swim in natural hot springs and cruise along beautiful waterways. 

Itinerary

1

Luang Prabang - Muang La

Luang Prabang – Oudomxay (193 km): 4 hours Oudomxay – Muang La (23 km): 40 min

Begin the journey north with a departure from Luang Prabang heading towards the remote province of Oudomxay. Total journey time will be approximately 6 hours, including stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. This northern region of Laos is known for its verdant mountains, rice paddies and areas of thick jungle. Various ethnic villages will be encountered during the journey, some of which sit precariously perched on steep mountainsides, while others sit in valleys carved out by ancient rivers.

Pass through the provincial capital of Oudomxay. Once a sleepy town, Oudomxay has become an important trading hub, reflecting the changes which are happening rapidly in the region. This bustling town makes the final leg of the journey (a stark contrast of jungles and wilderness) all the more exciting.

Arrive at Muang La Resort in the late afternoon. Check in, relax and enjoy the views. Facilities include a spa, sauna and steam room (evenings get cold November – March). The resort is built next to a natural hot spring; staff fills a small pool every evening with water from the spring. In the evening, enjoy a five-course set menu combining Asian and European influences.

Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort

2

Muang La - Trekking to Phongsavanh (MLR4-A)

This full day tour includes approximately 5 hours of walking and a transfer of around 50 minutes.

After breakfast, embark on a 25 minute 4x4 ride along the Nam Pak River before taking a small mountain road to the trailhead. Begin trekking along a narrow mountain trail winding through the lush forest.

Arrive in the Kamu village of Houay Ho where the guide will help to explain a bit about the life of the villagers. Set off from the village following a narrow trail along mountain streams, passing through rice fields to reach the Lao Loum village of Ban Phonsavan. Upon arrival, enjoy a well-deserved picnic lunch in the lush countryside of northern Laos.

After lunch, follow a mountain trail overlooking the magnificent scenery and pass through farms in the heart of the local countryside. The guide will happily explain how the local people use the plants and herbs of the forest to feed (and sometimes heal) themselves.

Continue the trek, crossing small bamboo bridges on the descent to the Yang village of Long Ya. Learn how the peaceful life of the villagers is interspersed with different communal activities. The village is well known for the production of rice alcohol (“Lao Lao”) and also houses a small Buddhist temple.

A further 2 kilometers heads to the temple of Wat Hoytinphabath, which houses a 35m long reclining statue of Buddha. Leave the village following a dirt road along the River Huay Ya and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery before arriving back at the resort, in the late afternoon, for a well-deserved rest.

Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort

3

Muang La - Meet the ethnic groups of northern Laos (MLR7)

This full day tour includes no ‘real trekking’, only walking through and between villages. Travelling by 4x4 is the only way to cover enough ground and climb the steep mountains in order to reach the most untouched and fascinating villages in the region.

Set off after breakfast to visit an entirely isolated Ikhos village. This ethnic group originates from Tibet and Yunnan and these villagers have seen very few foreigners. The guide will help to convey the daily life of the villagers and how they still follow ancient customs passed down through the centuries.

Sitting at 1,000m above sea level, this village makes the ideal location for a picnic lunch.

After lunch, leave the village walk for approximately 45 minutes to the Hmong village of Ban Tauser. The remote route to the village opens to a viewpoint with a stunning 360° panorama.

Return to the resort at the end of the day.

Dinner and overnight at Muang La Resort

4

Muang La - Muang Khua - Nong Khiaw

Muang La – Muang Khua (76 km): 3 hours Muang Khua – Nong Khiaw (105 km): 5 hour

After breakfast, drive for around 2 hours to Muang Khua, a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou River. Board a private longtail boat for a cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic and wild and also has far less traffic.

Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and spot various local villages during the cruise downstream.

Reacht the final destination of Nong Khiaw in the late afternoon, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check in to the accommodation on the banks of the Nam Ou River.

Enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure… don’t miss the amazing sunset!

Overnight in Nong Khiaw

5

Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang by boat (via Pak Ou Caves)

Nong Khiaw – Nam Ou dam by car (70 km): 2,5 hours Nam Ou dam – Luang Prabang by boat (50 km): 2 hours Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min

After breakfast, travel by car towards Luang Prabang. Upon reaching the dam, board a boat for the cruise down the spectacular Nam Ou River, enjoying a picnic lunch along the way.

Stop for a visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, located at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues.

Continue downstream for another 2 hours to Luang Prabang, with the option to stop at a local village along the way.

Our guide will be waiting at the boat pier to provide transport in Luang Prabang to the hotel or airport.

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in shared twin/double room.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles (boat is not air-conditioned).
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply).
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services do not Include:

  • International and domestic flights.
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance, tips and visa
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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