Photo: Trekking out of Luang Nam Tha.


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Nestled in mountainous northern Laos, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Chinese border, Luang Nam Tha is an excellent base for exploring the many natural wonders of the same-named province. Tourism infrastructure in recent years has improved as the province makes a name for itself with trekking and other outdoor activities, particularly in and around the Nam Ha National Protected Area. Mountain biking, rafting and kayaking are some of the ways to enjoy the scenery and the wilderness.

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The small town bustles in the high season with trekkers and you are almost guaranteed to have others join your trip, which lowers the price per person. Your money goes to employing the local community and to park fees that fund wildlife/forest conservation projects and maintenance. It also sends a message to villages about the value of protecting the environment.

Get out and explore. Photo taken in or around Luang Nam Tha, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Get out and explore. Photo: Cindy Fan

Luang Nam Tha province has astounding ethnic diversity, being home to more than 20 ethnic groups. It is the most diverse province in Laos and one of the most ethnically diverse areas of Southeast Asia. The Akha, Yao, Black Tai and Lahu are a few of the ethnic minorities you have an opportunity to learn about and a village homestay is the best way to experience their way of life.

Centred on three long, straight and flat roads, the provincial capital is compact, easy to navigate and is a pleasant enough town to hang out in as you sort out a trek or de-jungle. Those who venture here during the rainy season months of June to September are in for a treat as the surrounding rice paddies, mere metres from the town centre, are a stunning vibrant green. A short bike ride will produce some excellent photos. We hope these paddies will remain but it is only a matter of time before they are taken over by rubber tree plantations and other cash crops destined for China, as has already happened across ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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