We appreciated traveling in remote areas...the slice-of-life experiences made the trip worthwhile.
Party of four from Missouri & Tokyo

Hidden Gems of Northern Laos: Luang Namtha & Muang Sing

Head into the unknown with this five-day adventure through northern Laos. After arriving in the capital of Vientiane, you’ll make a beeline for the north - widely considered as having some of the most dramatic scenery and fascinating culture in the whole of Laos. The emphasis of this itinerary will be on the hilltop tribe visits, and there’s ample opportunity to visit these remote communities as you make your way from Luang Namtha to Muang Sing, with stops at the Ban Lao Neu, Kui Sang and Akha Pu Li tribes. There’s also chance to check out the capital, Vientiane, and its many charms for a day before ending the trip. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Get your hands dirty making bamboo paper with the Lantern Tribe at Ban Sop Toup
  • Snake your way through the dense Laos jungles on the stunning route to Muang Sing
  • Dine with the locals near Muang Sing and let them show you how traditional noodles are made
  • Visit the fascinating Kui Sang tribe – the only one of its type in Luang Namtha Province
  • Go bargain hunting by the Mekong at Vientiane’s famous riverside night bazaar
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

After meeting your guide at the airport, kick off this five-day tour of Laos with a riverside lunch in the capital, Vientiane, before heading on for the day's second flight to Luang Namtha in the north of the country. There's time for some hilltop tribe visits to Ban Sop Toup - the village of the Lantern hill tribe where you can take a stroll around and even participate in some of the villagers - activities, such as bamboo paper making. Back to Luang Namthai in the evening to stay at your riverside resort.

Day 2

This second day will see the tour move an hour away to Muang Sing, a picturesque village 1 hour away on the Laotian-Chinese border. On the way, there's chance for more hilltop tribe visits, as well as an interesting stop-off to see a Hmong kindergarten at Ban Paknamwa, and the Leu Temple in Muang Sing town. A host family will serve you a traditional lunch, and you can also try your hand at making yellow noodles (Kao Soy) at Ban Lao Neu. Take a look round the town's museum and visit the Yao tribe before bedding down for the night at your resort in Muang Sing.

Day 3
Kui Sang - Akha Pu Li - Muang Sing

The morning excursion out of Muang Sing takes you to Muang Long Town to see the Kui Sang tribe - the only one of its type in Luang Namtha Province, and one which showcases some unique styles of dress, accessories and hairstyles. Take lunch in Long Town before heading on to see the famous Akha Pu Li tribe on the way back to your resort.

Day 4

Enjoy an inclusive breakfast at Phou Lu 2 Resort in preparation for the short flight back to the capital, Vientiane. You'll arrive in good time for lunch in the city, and the rest of the day can be spent exploring the best of what Vientiane has to offer -don't miss the lively night market by the river, and be sure to sample some of the exquisite French-Laos restaurants and cafes that line the pretty streets of the compact city centre.

Day 5

An inclusive breakfast is served at Settha Palace, your hotel for the previous night. Afterwards, it's time to pack your bags and head for the airport (via private transportation), which marks the end of this five-day tour of Northern Laos.


Suggested Accommodations

Boat Landing Guest House

Boat Landing Guest House

A charming eco-lodge located on the banks of the Namtha River, Boat Landing was built with sustainability in mind and to encourage guests to get involved with the local community.

Its rooms are built in traditional Lao style with guest comforts such as en-suite bathrooms, solar-powered hot water, and river-view balcony.

The open verandah restaurant serves classic Lao food in the open air, with great views of the river.
Phou Iu Resort

Phou Iu Resort

Phou Iu Resort is a basic eco-lodge in the mountainous Muang Sing District of northwest Laos, near the borders of Myanmar and China's Yunnan province. The simple guesthouse, surrounded by landscape traditionally occupied by forests and upland swidden farming, has clean and comfortable bungalow rooms built in the style of local ethnic groups, including the Tai Lue, Khmu and Akha. The bungalows utilize local materials and come with their own verandah looking out to the grassy resort garden. Rooms have modern bathrooms, with hot water and free Wi-Fi. Phou Iu Resort offers bicycle rental and laundry services.

Settha Palace Hotel

Settha Palace Hotel

The historic Settha Palace Hotel is centrally located in Vientiane within walking distance of the Mekong River, Thatluang Stupa, Namphu Fountain, and other cultural highlights. Built in French colonial style circa 1932 and restored and reopened in 1999, the hotel has 22 rooms and three suites, all featuring rosewood four-poster beds and armoires, and WiFi connectivity. For dining, La Belle Epoque offers French cuisine, and the Sidewalk Café is a pleasant open-air venue offering Asian and international dishes. Amenities include a spa, pool and Jacuzzi; however there is no fitness center. Additionally, there is a business center with Internet and fax services. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Wattai International Airport and a 25-minute drive to Thadeua, where there is a border bridge to Thailand.

Meet An Asia Expert
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald loves spending time in Laos' laid-back capital Vientiane, where she enjoys shopping for handmade silks and wood carvings.
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