An easy way to enjoy some nature outside Luang Pra
Published/Last edited or updated: 3rd December, 2018
In Luang Prabang, there can never be too many opportunities to get outdoors. Nahm Dong Park is yet another way to enjoy nature, albeit in a neatly presented form.
Nahm Dong Park is 10 kilometres from the town centre, the majority of it on unpaved road through undeveloped land. A trail leads visitors to orchards, forest, streams, a lovely view point and a waterfall. Want to fly instead of walk? The park also offers zip-lining and high canopy cable bridges.
The park is mainly geared towards domestic and Asian tourists, so it is less about hiking and unspoilt nature, more about cute photographable moments and a manicured version of the outdoors. We weren’t thrilled to see the enclosure with muntjacs, a kind of wild deer. We saw one large bus arrive, have lunch, take some quick photos before leaving. However, it’s not difficult to get away from other visitors. There are different trail options for the hike. The largest and most difficult loop is also the most natural, so to get away from the tour groups, this is the one to do. It takes about 45-60 minutes without a break.
The touristy bits aside, Nahm Dong is an exceptionally green area of wilderness surrounded by rolling hills and countryside. It can be a pleasant place to hang out as there are relaxing bamboo rest huts. The waterfall is somewhat diminished in dry season but still suitable for cooling off in. It’s also budget friendly for families with kids as children under 100 cm tall are free. Outside food and drink is not allowed. There’s a casual restaurant/cafe and we can recommend the natural, refreshing herbal tea made from local ingredients like butterfly pea and rosella, served iced and sweet.
A roundtrip tuk tuk should cost 150,000-160,000 kip. It’s possible to get there by motorbike or mountain bike—keep in mind that it’s unpaved (very muddy after rain) and mostly uphill the way there. Head out to the edge of town taking the road past Phosi Market. At the junction where a right turn would take you to Kuang Si waterfall, head straight past Santi Resort and Rosewood Luang Prabang, in the direction of Hillside Resort. From the junction it’s about 7 km to Nahm Dong Park. General admission is 20,000 kip, children under 100 cm are free. The Adventure Pass includes a welcome drink, short and long zipline down the canyon before hiking back. Costs 160,000 kip and takes 2 hours.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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