Example Itinerary

Remote Lands of Laos: Phongsaly & the Far North

4 days / 3 nights
Price Per Person
Off the Grid, Tribal

This loveable, landlocked country has fast become a popular stop along the Southeast Asian backpacking route thanks to its gorgeous scenery, rich culture and air of mystery that its tropical neighbors lost long ago. But for most, visiting Laos involves making a beeline to either Luang Prabang or Vang Vieng, with the northern region – one the most spectacular parts of the country – missed altogether due its sheer remoteness. This quick four-day tour takes you where others don’t. You’ll explore the charming capital of Vientiane before flying upcountry to Boun Neu – not too far from the Chinese border. From there, the quaint town of Phongsaly will be used as a base to visit untouched hilltop village tribes, scale towering mountains and experience authentic, local life at markets and restaurants.  

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.


  • Vientiane: Southeast Asia's most unassuming capital, Vientiane's attractions include the Arc-de-Triomphe-inspired Patuxai monument, the sacred That Luang Stupa and a night bazaar along the Mekong.
  • Phongsaly: Stay in Phongsaly, the northernmost and highest town in the country, then scale Phou Fa Mountain in a 4x4 for epic views of the town below.
  • Really Remote Lands: Journey far up north to meet remote hilltop tribes at Akha Nugui and Ban Gnoy Neu, and learn about their enduring way of life.


Day 1


The sleepy Laotian capital has plenty in the way of charm and sights to keep the steady flow of visitors happy. Waste no time in checking out the city with cultural visits to the magnificent That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple and a museum (depending on arrival time). Enjoy the luxuries of your suite at Settha Palace Hotel and prepare for departure the following day.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Based in the epicentre of the city, just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Vientiane's commercial district, there’s plenty to keep guests occupied while staying in Laos’ beautiful capital city. History: The building that houses Settha Palace was constructed in the earlier years of the last century, and has been restored to its former glory, maintaining its French Colonial appearance. The family who originally owned the hotel are back in possession of it, after the regime change in 1975, and have spared no expense in restoring it to its natural brilliance. Service: With 24-hour concierge service, plus a sophisticated limo service, guests will feel like the VIPs of Vientiane while staying at this hotel.

See Hotel
Settha Palace Hotel Preferred Hotel

Day 2


Time to head upcountry – out of the capital and to the remote town of Phongsaly near the Chinese border. The two-hour flight takes you to a nearby town (Boun Neu) where there’s time to explore the local market. Afternoon visits go to a local village as well as Phou Fa Mountain; make your way up to the top in the all-terrain car for a stunning panoramic view of the town below.

Hotel Options

Overlooking the pretty Northern Laotian town of Phongsali, this basic guesthouse provides simple rooms - good for a few nights of resting after exploring the region. Although amenities and services are kept to a minimum (don’t expect any lavish swimming pools or 24-hour room service), the guesthouse does provide hot water, and some of the more modern room are fitted with TVs and other modern conveniences.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.


Day 3


On this third day you’ll be going even further off the beaten track as the tour makes its way out of Phongsaly to Akha Nugui, one of the most interesting and picturesque hilltop tribes in the region. This is a real chance to witness the long-lasting northern Laotian culture, sampling the food and traditions of this particularly remote part of the world. Stop off for another taste of hilltribe life at Ban Gnoy Neu on the way back to your guesthouse in Phongsaly Town.

Day 4


Enjoy an inclusive breakfast before making the short drive to the airport in Boun Neu. From there, it’s a two-hour flight back to the capital, Vientiane, where this short four-day tour ends, and you are free to journey on to your next destination of choice.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.


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