Luang Namtha

The largest settlement in the northwest of Laos, Luang Namtha is an ideal launching point for excursions to visit the various hill tribes, or ethnic minorities who dress distinctly, practice different customs, and go about the same, day-to-day lives, as they have for centuries. The town suffered extensive damage during the Vietnam War; today, however, Luang Namtha has rebuilt, and positioned itself as the gateway to Laos' northwest.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

Ban Nam Dee

Stop at Ban Nam Dee where you can watch bamboo paper-making. Bamboo is one of the most versatile crops grown in Laos; besides a dietary staple, bamboo is also used to build houses and furniture, weave mats, make tools, water pipes, toys, and smoking pipes and much more.

Hill Tribe Villages

Visit hill tribes such as the Black Tai, Red Tai, White Tai, Tai Lue, Khmu, Oo, Lao Bit, Lanten, Mien, Hmong, Akha, Lahu, and Phou Noi, whose lives are almost completely untouched by the outside world. They dwell in modest shelters they build themselves, eat unprocessed natural foods, and live lives generally uncomplicated by the trappings and technological complexities of modern society.

Luang Namtha Museum

Visit the Luang Namtha Museum, which has a collection of artifacts by local minorities and also an important section on the Lao revolution, of which there is surprisingly little information available in the West.

Nam Tha River

Go kayaking on the Nam Tha River, the heart of the Nam Ha Protected Area. Start your kayaking at Ban Thai, a small village populated by the Black Tai people. The river meanders through several forests with different species of tree that appeal to a variety of local inhabitants: sun bear, tiger, barking deer and many birds. The class of rapids here is gentle, mostly grade 1 or 2.

Village Dinner

Have dinner with a local village headman and his family. They will give you an informal Lao cooking demonstration and tasting before you sit down to a traditional Laotian meal of sticky rice that you roll into a ball in your hand, dip into chili paste and then eat together with vegetables and meats.

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