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Overview

Escape to the rugged, wild Phongsaly province for an unforgettable voyage. The journey is an intrepid one yet richly rewarding. Encounter exotic hill tribes living amid spectacular natural landscapes. Get the blood pumping with adventurous treks then relax with a cruise on the scenic Nam Ou river.  

Trip Highlights

Trek to Diverse Hill Tribe Villages

Take a half day trek on the outskirts of Phongsaly to meet with and learn about the Akha, Tai Yag, Laopan and Tai Yue ethnic groups.

See 400-year-old Tea Trees

Travel to Ban Komaen village and see its ancient tea trees which stand more than 6-metres high and produce a rare, delicious tea. 

Explore the Nam Ou River

Cruise from Muang Khua to Muang Ngoi on the Nam Ou River, a ruggedly beautiful waterway lined with dramatic scenery.  

Itinerary

1

Luang Prabang - Oudomxay

Luang Prabang – Oudomxay (193 km): 3-4 hours

Begin the Phongsaly Loop experience with a departure from Luang Prabang. After lunch, start the journey out to Oudomxay, soaking up the local life along the way.

Arrive in Oudomxay around 17:30pm and check in to the hotel.

After check in, pay a visit to Wat That Pha. Sitting on a high hill in town, enjoy some panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. During the sunset, this is a perfect spot to take amazing pictures.

The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Oudomxay

2

Oudomxay - Phongsaly

Oudomxay – Phongsaly (230 km): 7 hours

After breakfast, depart for Phongsaly. The road to Phongsaly is in good contintion and offers some beautiful landscapes along the way. There will be plenty of opportunities for photo taking and stops can be made upon request.  

Stop at Ban Bountai around 12:30 and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. A visit can also be made to the nearby local market.

Continue to Phongsaly, arriving around 16:30. Check in to the hotel, which is notable for being the former Chinese consulate.

Alongside the guide, take a wander through the streets of Phongsaly. Learn about the history and culture of this multicultural city and the harmony that reigns between Lao people and Chinese immigrants. The town is particularly charming for its narrow, paved streets bordered by traditional Chinese wooden houses.

Make a visit to the nearby Chinese temple, offering beautiful views over the town. Afterwards, take a walk to the quiet Wat Keo, where the monks play petanque or football in the evening.

After the tour, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Phongsaly

3

Phongsaly - Multiple Tribe Trek

Boun Neua – Phongsaly (42 km): 1 hour Trek: 4-5 hours – Level: easy to moderate

After breakfast, meet with the guide and begin the drive to Bountai. After arriving, transfer to Ban Aya, the Hmong village which will be the start of the day’s trek. After visiting the village and meeting its residents, head on a guided trek through the amazing jungle and green rice fields. The trek will be illustrated by the wonderful landscapes of the mountainous area.

Stop en route to enjoy a typical Lao picnic lunch.

After lunch, descend to Ban Aneng, another Hmong village located in a lower area. Explore the village and learn more about their cultures and traditions. Continue with a visit to the tribal villages of Akha Mouchee, Tai Yag, Laopan and Tai Yue, before going back to Bountai by private car.

Transfer back to the hotel in Phongsaly. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Phongsaly

4

Phongsaly – 400 years old Tea Plantation – Muang Khua

Phongsali – Ban Komaen: 30 min Ban Komaen – Muang Khua: 4 hours

After breakfast in town, transfer to the famous 400-year-old tea plantation, located in the village of Ban Komaen. According to some tea experts, this village has some of the oldest tea trees in the world. The large root system of the old trees extends deep into the mineral-rich soil and gives ‘Phongsaly Tea’ its specific aroma and taste.

The road to Ban Komaen passes through other tea plantations and offers a stunning view of Phongsaly and surrounding mountains. In the village, a newly built tea-tasting shop serves some food and sells the 400-year-old tea.

After the visit, drive to Muang Khua for about 4 hours. Stop en route to have lunch in a local restaurant (not included).

Arrival in Muang Khua and check-in to the hotel.

A dinner is included at local restaurant

Overnight in Muang Khua

5

Muang Khua – Muang Ngoi – Trekking

Muang Khua – Muang Ngoi by boat: 4-5 hours

After breakfast at local restaurant, board a private longtail boat for the cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic, wild and also has far less traffic.

Arrive in Muang Ngoi in time for lunch time, followed by a hotel check in.

After lunch, enjoy an easy trekking tour exploring the beautiful, unspoiled, mountainous landscape around Muang Ngoi.

After lunch, meet again with the guide at 13:30 for another easy trek to Tham Kaang. Tham Kaang was the former sheltering cave for local villagers during Indochina war (1960-1972). It has never been damaged and offers beautiful surrounding scenery.

After visiting the cave, walk 30 minutes through rice fields to Ban Na, a village of T'ai Deng ethnic group. After exploring the local area, return to Muang Ngoi enjoying breathtaking panoramic views along the way.

Arrive in Muang Ngoi around 16:30.

The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Muang Ngoi

6

Muang Ngoi - Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang - Departure

Muang Ngoi – Nong Khiaw by boat: 45 min Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang (134 km): 2,5-3 hours

After breakfast, it’s a 45 minute journey out to Nong Khiaw, an area famed for its dramatic limestone mountains.

Upon arrival in Nong Khiaw, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport back to Luang Prabang, taking approximately 2.5 hours.

If flying out from Luang Prabang, an airport transfer is included. 

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in shared twin/double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • 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 (quoted separately).
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance, tips, visa
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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