Bear in mind that the two most important pieces of any trek you can’t anticipate. The trekking guide and the participants.
That said, I chose the Forest Trek from Green Discovery after talking to the directors of their office and the competitor a couple of times. My main reason was that the Forest Trek was the only trek at the time (February 07) that actually went into the Nam Ha Protected Area. I was also impressed with the general demeanour in the office. They were helpful in teaching me about the geography, flora, and fauna of the area, both before and after I’d signed with them.
Some people have said they cost more. I didn’t notice. I often spend more on a daily basis just to be in town.
The trek itself was extremely good, but I might have lucked out and had a very good guide. I was lucky in that I had him to myself, so he could answer my many questions, and even volunteer information when he learned what I was interested in.
I have just finished a 3 day trek in the Nam Ha NPA. We started off at Vieng Phouka, halfway between Huay Xai and Luang Nam Tha, and from there we trekked through to two villages, where we spent the 2 nights of the 3 day trek. The first was a Khmu Village and the second an Akha village. Trek was caled The Akha Experience and we trekked on the trail the Akha people use while commuting between the main roads and their villages in the mountains.
I enjoyed the trekking,it was i think a good mix of exposure to the forest and the life in the villages. Treks offered i think balance the time you spend in the villages and in the Nam Ha itself, i enjoyed mine because I wanted to see some village life. If you are of botanical nature, a more forest oriented one should be for you. The type of treks you can find on green discovery's website (google green discovery, laos and eco tourism)
I also agree about the guides, but in different context. My trek felt like a job which had to be completed, but that was probably because neither us nor the villagers really made any effort to overcome our language barriers. If you think you can't make the effort (because like me you may happen to be bit introverted) then you should carefully consider your trek. It is interesting to note that the villagers themselves didn't really make the effort on their part too...it left me wondering what they must really feel about the trekking affair. Perhaps just an additional source of income, but i am being very cynical.
Don't forget to stock up on medicine before you go. Our guide was not well equipped.Leeches are a problem, as well as diarrhoea if you are susceptible to bacteria.
That is possibly more information volunteered than asked for. I hope that helps, nonetheless! take care, and have fun.
#3 the_tundraman has been a member since 18/3/2008. Posts: 11