The village is 20 km from the provincial capital. Unless you enjoy stomach churning bus rides on serpentine mountain roads, travelling to or from Phongsali by boat along the Nam Ou river has, until recently, clearly been the more attractive transport option. With scenery of jagged peaks cloaked in thick forest and mist, it is one of the great river journeys of Laos, perhaps even surpassing the Mekong, its tributary.
Opinions may change on the matter now that the boat ride between Hat Sa and Muang Khua is an obstacle course—the obstacle being Dam 5, one of a cascade of seven dams that form the Nam Ou Hydropower Project by China’s state-owned Sinohydro Corporation. Reportedly financed by China Development Bank, the project spans 350 kilometres of the 450-kilometre long river, which flows from the Lao border with China down south through Udomxai and Luang Prabang provinces to join the Mekong. Hat Sa itself lies a few kilometres downriver ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)
18 other destinations in Northern Laos