Once upon a time, The Boat Landing was THE place to stay in Luang Nam Tha.
It had a strong eco-tourism ethos and the bungalows on the river were attractive and comfortable. But now the rooms and service have slipped a little and suffer from age. We can start with the positives. The Boat Landing has a picturesque setting on the Nam Tha river, a quiet getaway only six kilometres south of town. It was one of the first ecolodges in Laos and an early pioneer and advocate for eco-tourism in Luang Nam Tha. Its restaurant specialising in northern Lao cuisine gained fame and it even spurred a successful cookbook Food From Northern Laos: The Boat Landing Cookbook. The restaurant still serves delicious regional dishes, all at a reasonable price. They also sell nine illustrated postcards with instructions on how to cook their most popular dishes. It’s worth visiting here just for a meal. Ten rustic wooden bungalows line the bank of the river. Rooms look tired but are spacious and have nice touches like locally made handicrafts and solar powered lights. Rooms have bathrooms with Western toilet and hot shower. Showers are heated with solar energy as part of The Boat Landing's commitment to the environment, but this does mean that there's sometimes not enough hot water. Get in early. There are four different room sizes: small twin, large twin, double suite and family room -- the latter two are generous sized two-room bungalows. Breakfast is included and there’s bag storage while you go on local treks, information about the region and local trips. The Boat Landing is a convenient spot to do walks or excursions by yourself to local villages or they can help organise boat and trekking trips. But overall it is hard for us to recommend The Boat Landing at this price. We love the natural surroundings and supporting local businesses, and it’s a sweet place to relax, but it is difficult to justify the room rate.
By Cindy Fan
Last updated on 28th May, 2015.