Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

trekking between vieng thong and xam neua

Posted by wwaegemn on 14/5/2008 at 23:34


We are a group of 4 Belgians that are travelling to south east asia from July 15 to August 6 for three weeks. We are thinking of spending most of our time in Laos. Our itenerary in Laos looks as follows:

16 bangkok (arrival noon + night train to Vientiane)
17 Vientiane (arrival + visit city)
18 Vientiane (trekking)
19 Vientiane (trekking)
20 Vientiane (trekking)
21 VientianeLuang Prabang (10h bus)
22 Luang Prabang (visit city)
23 Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw – Viang Khuam – Viang Thong (several busses)
24 Viang Thong (dag in reserve + day hike hot springs)
25 Viang Thong – Nam Neum - Sam Neua
26 Sam Neua (visit cave city)
27 Sam Neua – border Na Meo – Moc Chau - Mai Chau

We have scheduled a three-day trekking in Vientiane with greendiscoverylaos ("Tad Leuk Adventure"), but I read that it would be more advisable to do a trekking further north. Since we are going to Sam Neua, I wondered whether their are opportunities to organzie a trekking in that region or in the protected areas around Vieng Thong? We prefer to do a "nature" trekking instead of staying in villages, because we are going to do that kind of stuff in Mai Chau, Vietnam. Any tips?



#1 wwaegemn has been a member since 7/5/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by packtoofull on 18/5/2008 at 07:05

I think in Sam Neua and thereabouts the trekking industry is best described as "Extremely undeveloped". A Travelfish poster, Somsai, runs an excellent blog with some trekking info in northern Laos (though mostly focussed in the northwest rather than northeast), so you may want to take a read of his blog: Lao Bumpkin.

Sorry can't be much more help at this stage...

#2 packtoofull has been a member since 16/5/2007. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 39

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Posted by wanderingcat on 18/5/2008 at 10:10

according to , seems that organised treks in the Nam Et-Phou Loei NBCA aren't available yet. if there are any, greendiscovery would probably know about it. you could also ask at the tourist info hut at the top of Nong Khiaw boat landing.

when you get to Laos, no harm expressing your interest in that area to tour operators & tourism authorities. for all we know they have yet to go ahead because so few tourists explore the area east of Nong Khiaw, if they know that there is a demand they might get things started in future. & if they can get tourist income from conserving the area they would be more likely to give it better protection.

#3 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by rowaneisner on 26/8/2008 at 17:22

Hi - sorry I missed this message till now and I hope you've had a good trip. I work at the Nam Et-Phou Loei WCS office and we are trying to start some trips into the protected area and are talking to tourism operators. People (mostly scientists)do visit the area but you have to have permission - if you write in advance and have someone to take you in you might get it.

Couple of things - we really need tourism to benefit conservation in NEPL. The tiger is in dire straights and currently we can only protect half the core zone or about a quarter of the NPA. We need it to generate income to help us prevent hunting in more of the NPA.

Also, any recommendations of who would be good tourism operators to run something like this? I was thinking a conservation-based tour which looked at how the tiger is conserved in the area. What do you think?

#4 rowaneisner has been a member since 26/8/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by wwaegemn on 26/8/2008 at 17:45


We had a great time in Laos during our holiday. Unfortunately, we did not organize a trekking in Hua Phan, because it was difficult to find agancies covering that region.

Nevertheless, we visited Nong Khiaw, Xam Neua and Viang Xai. I believe that it would be a great idea to start up ecotourism activities in Hua Phan, since the area has much potential. The best suggestion that I can give you is to make as much promotion as possible, because the hardest part will be to convince the tourists to come to Hua Phan. In the first place, I think at promotion by internet, but you could also try to contact travel agencies or tourism offices in Luang Prabang, Xam Neua and Nong Khiaw. In Nong Khiaw they had one small agency with a very limited choice of tours, so they might be interested to further extend their activities.

I hope this helps you.



#5 wwaegemn has been a member since 7/5/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by somsai on 28/8/2008 at 08:08

Hi rowaniesner #4,

It seems as if there is no private message function on this forum, or I would do so.

In any case I suggest you look here.

In my own country many large mamals including the puma had very reduced populations and many thought quite a few large mamals were on the brink of extinction. Controling and regulating the very thing you seek to prevent (second paragraph) has brought back every animal that was left alive. Now we have an overabundance. Science based wildlife biology is an amazingly effective tool.

Sok Dee


#6 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 566
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Posted by candy5 on 28/8/2008 at 11:41

Hi There,

Im feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment and need a bit of direction..My partner and I are going on a around the world trip next year..and the first leg of our journey is going to be SE Asia. Originally our travel agent gave me a whole heap of tour books to look through etc, however after doing some research i decided not to go on the set tours i want to plan our "own" trip while still having a plan to follow. I am a first time traveller and have started researching where we want to go etc and what we want to see..We are wanting to go all over SE Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore i would love to spend as much time here as we can as we dont have to rush at all.I was hoping to spend 3 months possibly? Our budget is around $5000. Hoping for a little advice as to whether our budget is going to be enough & an idea on the first steps to planning this trip? Also i have been told that starting our trip in May or September are the best times? is this true? Any advice would help and be fully appreciated. This trip means alot to us.

Thanks Candy

#7 candy5 has been a member since 28/8/2008. Posts: 5

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