My girlfriend and I are coming to Laos in 2 days and we wish to do some trekking and touring with a guide. We land in Vientiane in two days. We are willing to take a flight to another part of the country to start our adventure, but we would like to meet up with a local guide. Also we would like to experience some less rural areas as well, with a guide.
Any suggestions of where to fly from Vientiane to start our 2 weeks in Laos? Any info for contacting guides? We are in our twenties and fit, and up for physically demanding trekking and most importantly cultural experiences.
The most "developed" trekking scene is in Luang Nam Tha in the north. There are a wide range of treks available and you'll have the best chance of getting a group together there. It is a bit of a different scene to trekking in Thailand, but still interesting. I did a trek out of LNT earlier this year and blogged about it here may be of interest.
If Luang Nam Tha is too far, this is some trekking available into a nearby NPA out of Vientiane itself, though if you've time, I think heading further afield might be more rewarding.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,652
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Go to the main bus station and ask a tuk tuk driver there to take you to the most south bus station all the way out of Vientiane , take the small bus at this station towards south of Laos, Ask them to stop at Ban Na village (some nice trekking), you have to walk to the town probably (it's just a sandy road into the jungle). You can find some guides there if you want and after a day of hiking and sleeping in the jungle you can ask them to bring you to Ban Hatkai the next day. This is a village about 15 km more south of Ban Na and there's a really nice (and difficult) trek available here if you want. in the evening you can stay at the locals there houses and eat with them. Do remember to bring some cash along as there are no atm's or whatever. You can also book tours to the Ban Na village at some guesthouses in Vientiane but they will be expensive (in my opinion). speaking the local language a bit and figuring it out yourself is a good adventure as well and it will save you a lot of cash instead of booking a guide. Though no complaints about hiring a guide as they most of the time can take you to some nice rural places as well.
We trekked from Nong Khiaow with a guide from Tiger Trails. It was a day trek, through several tribal villages, though I believe they have longer treks if desired. We organised the day when in Nong Khiaow - Tiger Trails have a small office there, though I'm sure you can book ahead also.