Luang Namtha, Laos First Ecotourism Destination
Luang Namtha Province
Located in North-western Laos, between China and Northern Thailand, home of several ethnic groups (Lanten, Akha, Kamu, Yao, Mien, etc..), the province of Luang Namtha has been pioneering in the way to implement responsible tourism and community based tourism in Laos.
Since now almost 20 years, Luang Namtha developed a savoir-faire and enough skills right now to work closely with local communities and natural sites to welcome guests in proper manners.
The access to this remote province can be done by aircraft from Vientiane (daily flights with Lao Airlines QV 601 at 1150-1245) or by road coming from Thailand or from Oudomxay.
Where to sleep in a sustainable accomodation ?
Once in the provincial capital of Luang Namtha, we recommend staying at The Boatlanding, one of the really first ecolodge to be built in Laos and who promote responsible activities. Settled in the old town of Luang Namtha. Into a nice garden, the lodge built in a traditional style with local products and material. This place is the perfect place to chill out and relax before enjoying an immersion in the countryside. Another alternative for accommodation can be at Zuela Guesthouse which is a wooden building with a family ambiance in the heart of the new town within walking distance to night market and local sightseeing.
What to do?
In the heart of the province, you will find Vieng Phouka and its caves. It can be reached by following the ancient Teahorse road. For more cultural visits, the city of Muang Sing is worth a detour with its old French garrison, its Wats (temples) and its market. There the Mekong river which marks the border with Myanmar, also provide an amazing cruising spot.
As you can see, the province offers several experiences to immerse yourself in diverse ways. Such as, a simple half day walk to enjoy some beautiful natural sites and great local encounters with communities. Or, a few days trek in the jungle of the Nam Ha Protected Area. Which include homestays in ethnic villages, camping and/or jungle camps experiences.
If you are not a trekker? Then, you should rather enjoy a mountain bike tour or a kayak excursion!