Expedition of Remote Northern Laos

On this journey, we traverse deep into the northern remote reaches of Laos witnessing some of the most untouched landscapes and idyllic villages on an expedition less trodden to the stronghold of the ethnic tribes. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the inspiring Rosewood Luang Prabang

Sail the Laotian Mekong River on the private Mekong Gypsy

Visit to the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary

Experience rustic villages and hill tribes of Laos

ITINERARY

DAY 1: VIENTIANE / LUANG NAMTHA

From Vientiane, depart on a short domestic flight to Luang Namtha on Lao Airlines where on arrival, visit the rustic village of Ban Nam Dee, inhabited by a Lanten ethnic minority known for its dark handmade traditional clothes where we enjoy lunch with a local family and participate in activities with natives, such as: Lanten traditional weaving (daily), paper making of bamboo (Jan-Mar), and organic dyeing of cloth (Nov-Mar). Thereafter, we enjoy a scenic tuk tuk ride to Luang Namtha before transferring to The Boat Landing where we enjoy a 2 night stay. 

Overnight: The Boat Landing, Luang Namtha

Meals: Lunch & Dinner

 DAY 2: LUANG NAMTHA (KAYAKING EXPEDITION OF THE NAM THA RIVER)

The day begins at the Boat Landing with some basic paddle instructions and equipment familiarization before taking to the river in single or double kayaks. The Nam Tha River meanders throughout changing forest types, inhabited by animals such as tiger, barking deers and a great variety of birds. We will kayak over various sets of exciting but safe rapids before stopping for a picnic lunch by the riverside. After lunch, the next paddling stretch will take you to the Khmu village of Ban Sop Sim Noy. Our kayak experience ends after the confluence of the Nam Ha and Nam Tha rivers, where you will be picked up and taken back to the lodge. 

NOTE:

The Nam Tha River is best for rafting from July to November;

For kayaking, it is best from July to December. 

Low water levels from January to June may make kayaking rocky. 

Overnight: The Boat Landing, Luang Namtha

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: LUANG NAMTHA / MUANG SING

We leave Luang Namtha today as we drive north towards Muang Sing, a rural backwater in the heart of the Golden Triangle. We first visit the main highlights such as the Muang Sing Museum, the French garrison and the Old Market. Listen to the guide’s stories where you will learn about Muang Sing’s rich history. Have breakfast in Muang Sing morning market, where you can taste local specialties such fried banana, noodle soup and see many ethnic people (Akha, Hmong, Thai Dam, Yao) who sell their local products at the market. Thereafter, we travel via Tuk Tuk to visit the Ban Nong Bou (Tai Dam), where you will get to see traditional weaving and to see the making of Lao Lao (Lao Whiskey). Visit the Stupa of That Xieng Tung which sits on a grassy plateau dotted with sacred trees, located approximately 6km southeast of Muang Sing. The day presents more opportunities to witness ethnic villages before culminating with our check in into the Phou Lu II Bungalows

Overnight: Phou Lu II Bungalows, Muang Sing

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: MUANG SING / MUANG LA

We leave Muang Sing today for a 5hrs drive to Muang La. The road between Muang Sing and Muang La runs between high mountains and you will pass through several local villages along the way. We will arrive at the Muang La Lodge in the late afternoon where there is time for relaxation. In the evening, enjoy a hot spring bath in one of the 4m elevated baths, overlooking the river and the mountains. The water from natural hot spring on the property gushes at 70 degrees Celsius and needs to be cooled to 40-42 degrees Celsius for a relaxing bath.

Overnight: Muang La Lodge, Muang La

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: MUANG LA 

A mosaic of traditional ethnic tribes, Laos is home to 130 different recognizable ethnic tribes divided into 4 main language groups. Some of these tribes only have a few hundred people and some are only found in Laos. The minorities that do not have a written history are at the biggest risk of disappearing completely. 

At Muang La Lodge, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn about the typical ethnic communities of the region. Originally from Yunnan in China & Tibet, these tribes of "hunter-gatherers" are called the "people of heaven" by the Lao people living on the plains. Their villages are found above 1,000m above sea level, built on the side of the mountains and where the villagers retain their centuries old, traditions and customs. Among these groups are the Ikhos, Akha and Hmong peoples.

Access to the villages can be difficult, so we use a 4x4 to follow the twisting mountain trails with some breath-taking views of the valleys and mountains.

Overnight: Muang La Lodge, Muang La

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: MUANG LA / LUANG PRABANG

Enjoy a relaxing morning where we then bid farewell to your hosts and make a 5hr drive to Luang Prabang where we will arrive at the brand new Rosewood Luang Prabang, an abode of peace and luxury. 

Overnight: Rosewood Luang Prabang

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: DEPARTURE LUANG PRABANG

Our journey ends with a transfer to Luang Prabang Airport for your flight departure or consider an extension to experience more of Luang Prabang or perhaps a journey into the Mekong River. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

The Boat Landing, Luang Namtha

The Boat Landing guesthouse is a family-owned lodge in Luang Namtha - home to the Nam Ha Protected Area, the Namtha River and Lao ethnic villages for rafting, trekking, and local exploration. Each of the bungalows are constructed with local materials in local Laos style combining traditions with modern comfort. 

Phou Lu II Bungalows, Muang Sing

The Phou Iu II Guest House is the premier ecotourism lodge in Muang Sing constructed with local materials in a local Tai Lue, Khmu and Akha style adapted for your comfort and pleasure. Lounge on your verandah in a grassy acacia grove; watch the view around the bungalows where each of the rooms aspire to tastefully combine local tradition while providing guests the comforts of home. Each room has a modern bathroom outfitted hot water.

Muang La Lodge, Muang La

Hidden in the small village of Muang La by the river, the Muang La Lodge features 5 wooden villas and 9 traditionally designed guestrooms. Exuding peace tranquility, and mountain views, the river houses a natural hot spring. Inspired by the local architecture, the rooms are built from the best materials.

Hidden in the lush green jungle that surrounds the historic royal settlement of Luang Prabang, a river emanating from a flowing waterfall runs through the heart of this exotic retreat. The Rosewood Luang Prabang offers 23 spacious accommodations including four deluxe rooms, four specialty suites, three riverside villas, six pool villas and six luxury tents. Each of the resort’s guest housings is bordered by riverbank. The 75-square-meter luxury tented villas include their own private dining areas and wrap-around decks.

Rosewood Luang Prabang

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