The small, predominantly Akha market town of Muang Long is set with a backdrop of limestone cliffs plunging down to the riverside. Two rivers run side by side, the Nam Long and the Nam Ma, which is reddish in colour and at the base of the cliffs. The Nam Long, for which the town was named, is closer in and more accessible for exploration.
The heart of Muang Long is the market â€“ it is busy throughout the day although the most interesting trading is done early in the morning, with Akha people arriving from surrounding villages to peddle their crops and buy goods to take back to their villages.
Muang Long is slated by some to be the next Muang Sing, with great potential for trekking and mountain biking in the area, which boasts lovely scenery, cliffs, jungle and interesting villages â€“ but it is not there yet. In fact, the main appeal of this place is that it's "unspoilt" and it's quite possible you will not see another foreigner when you are here.
Tourism in Muang Long is not as organised as in Muang Sing, Luang Nam Tha and Vieng Poukha, as most people simply transit through on their way to Xieng Kok. Therefore you'll find no tourist restaurants, very little in the way of tours and no signs offering rental bikes.
So if you're in the market for somewhere less touristed, Muang Long is the perfect destination, but be prepared to make your own fun by striking a trail into the nearby villages.
These days electricity is on 24 hours per day and there's even an ATM in town on the main road.
A tourist office is on the main road about 300 metres along the road to Xieng Kok, but it's not really all that useful unless you wish to book a trek. It might be a good idea to head here first if you're thinking about getting a boat from Xieng Kok down to Ban Mom or Huay Xai to get an update on the latest boat situation.
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Text and/or map last updated on 30th September, 2012.
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