l Luang Namtha travel guide - by Bonzer Tour

Luang Namtha travel guide - an adventure destination in northern Laos

Cập nhật: 01-01-1970 12:00:00 | Blogs about Laos | Lượt xem: 1132

Luang Namtha is a secret treasure and an ideal stopover for backpackers who love adventurous activities such as hiking, biking, trekking, and kayaking in primal scenery or want to learn about ethnic communities. Along with providing a perfect background for outdoor activities, the place offers magnificent sights for you to see and a peaceful countryside vibe to ease your mind. If you’re wondering whether Luang Namtha is worth visiting, the answer is yes if you are a traveler and an adventurer. After finishing a Luang Prabang Trip 4 days - the must-visit city in Laos, you can make your travel to Luang Namtha in the northern part of Laos to delve into this truly adventure in an off-path destination. 

If you are looking for somewhere that is off the beaten path yet majestic to discover, this destination is right up your street. Luang Namtha is a province in the north of Laos, which borders China to the north and Myanmar to the northwest, and more than 85% of its area is low mountains. Among the best things to do in northern Laos, a Luang Namtha trip is unmissable. Let’s follow our Luang Namtha Travel Guide for further information about this off-the-beaten path destination in your Northern Laos tour. 

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The best time to visit Luang Namtha

Luang Namtha weather consists of a hot dry season (from March to April), a cool dry season (from November to February), and a wet season (from May to October). The ideal time to visit Luang Namtha is from November to February when the temperature is pleasant and the rainfall is not much so your entire trip will run smoothly.

How to get to Luang Namtha

You can reach Luang Namtha by plane, land, and train. Thanks to the completion of the express train from Vientiane heading to the northern border region, it’s more convenient to travel to Luang Namtha from Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Within Laos, you can take local transport, such as fast trains and buses from Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Oudomxay to Luang Namtha. The Luang Namtha airport is 5km from the town and only has daily flights to/from Vientiane. Also, you can access Luang Namtha from China (Mengla via Boten) or Vietnam (Dien Bien Phu) by taking a bus.

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Things to do in Luang Namtha

Trekking in and around Nam Ha National Protected Area (Nam Ha NPA)

Nam Ha NPA is the reason many travelers visit Luang Namtha. This destination harbors a diversity of animals and plants, with dozens of rivers and streams crisscrossing its green landscape. These characteristics make Luang Namtha a favorite choice of trekkers. It not only brings you a wonderful forest experience, but also provides a great place for bird watching. While trekking in the jungle in Nam Ha National Protected Area, you will have a chance to observe many resident species that are rare to see.

The trek can last one day or more, depending on your schedule. Visiting Nam Ha NPA is one of the must-do things in Luang Namtha and will undoubtedly make your Luang Namtha vacation more memorable.

Kayaking along Luang Namtha rivers

Kayaking in Luang Namtha is one of the adventurous experiences in a Laos adventure trip. Two of the most important rivers in Luang Namtha are Nam Ha and Nam Tha, and making a kayak along these calming rivers should not be missed. Take a paddle down the striking rivers, and you can fill your lungs with fresh air and grace your eyes with spectacular landscapes at once before spending your time at minority villages in the jungles.

Visiting ethnic villages in Luang Namtha

Luang Namtha is home to many ethnic groups, such as Hmong, Akha, Khmu, Lanten, Tai Deang, etc., and each has unique customs, lifestyles, and traditions. Visiting the villages is a fancy way to discover aspects of village life and a chance for visitors to interact with the locals and see the difference in cultures, housing, and dress. It’s a memorable and educational experience living as a local. You can try new activities, learn some new skills, and get the hospitality of villagers. Depending on your staying duration in Luang Namtha, you can choose different trekking routes to villages of ethnic groups in northern Laos. From Luang Namtha, you also can venture to nearby districts for trekking such as Vieng Phoukha, Nalae, Sing, Long, etc.  

Biking the Luang Namtha Valley Route

If you are interested in enjoying the fresh feeling of cycling around, the Luang Namtha Valley is a must of your Laos adventure. The roads are relatively flat, and the valley has many scenic beauties that are worth seeing a half-day or full-day on a bike. Along with stunning cycling experience in the Southern Laos tour, biking the Luang Namtha Valley is truly a memorable excursion.

Luang Namtha Valley Route is a highly recommended self-guided route. You can follow its signs to eight main ethnic villages and five cultural and religious sites, then discover aspects of daily life and culture. You can rent bikes and motorbikes to get around the Luang Namtha Valley, but it is best to rent a mountain bike if you want to ride the entire valley. One tip to note while cycling in Luang Namtha is that a map of the Valley Route is available for download to find all of the main attractions on the Valley Route.

Joining a workshop at Phieng Ngam Handicraft Center

For those who are textile lovers, do not skip Phieng Ngam Handicraft Center. This is an ideal place for you to look at a beautiful array of garments, bags, skirts, scarves, and small gifts made by the Tai Deang tribe; and you can buy the items you want at quite a reasonable cost. On top of that, you can enjoy a demonstration from local skilled weavers who show you how to use silk and cotton in making the textiles and even have a chance to try it yourself. It would be a fascinating experience, so don’t hesitate to visit this place.

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Luang Namtha Sightseeing

Nam Dee Waterfall

Located in Ban Nam Dee village, this waterfall is one of the natural highlights of Luang Namtha. The place is known for its great charm and is surrounded by mountains, so it is truly an attraction for visitors. Going swimming or immersing yourself in the sound of nature is perfect enjoyment and relaxation. Besides going sightseeing, you can visit the village where you can buy some handmade handicrafts and bamboo products made by the local people. The best time to visit Nam Dee Waterfall is between August and November when it's the rainy season and the water levels are at their best. You can easily access the place from town by bicycle or tuk-tuk.

The Golden Stupa (Luang Namtha Stupa)

You can see Buddhist architecture in every city of Laos, and Luang Namtha is no exception. The Golden Stupa, also known as the Luang Namtha Stupa, is an iconic landmark, located on a hill in the northwest of the city. The stupa is covered in gold paint, so the best time to visit it is at sunrise when the stupa emits a dazzling golden shine. Since it sits atop a hill, the site also offers a great view of the town and the surrounding valley below.

Luang Namtha Museum

It is a beautiful building where you can find a collection of items related to the daily life of the locals from ancient times. These include traditional clothing, agricultural tools, household appliances, pottery pieces, and ancient textiles. Moreover, you can also see Buddha statues and exhibits that tell the history and culture of the Lao people.

Shopping and eating at Luang Namtha markets

Luang Namtha’s bustling markets will bring you realistic perspectives of the local people. You can simply start your day with a hot bowl of noodles from the morning market, and when the night falls, the sounds and smells from the night market will draw your attention. 

Luang Namtha Morning Market

There will be a wide range of local products including fresh fruits, vegetables, and interesting souvenirs for you to choose from. You can buy tea leaves, coffee beans, ethnic clothing, and handmade textiles here. The market also provides some other delicacies, such as animal skin. Especially, you can even have an opportunity to learn about new ingredients and try your hand at using them to make juicy local dishes in a cooking class.

Luang Namtha Night Market

Night market in Luang Namtha is like a small food affair where you can taste local meals such as mango sticky rice, grilled meat, papaya salad, and fresh spring rolls… at a low price. There also includes some special menus like offal, barbecued bats, fried crickets, beetles, and more. Don’t forget to ask if something strange that you are not sure about before tasting. Luang Namtha night market opening hours 4 p.m – 11 p.m daily.

Hope this travel guide to Luang Namtha is helpful for you to have a glance of this destination.

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