10 Things to Do in Luang Namtha That You Shouldn't Miss

September 14, 2017 Enedina Augsburger

Luang Namtha in Laos, from Asia region, is best know for Eco Tours. Discover best things to do in Luang Namtha with beautiful photos and great reviews from traveller around the world here!
Restaurants in Luang Namtha

1. Forest Retreat Laos (Eco Tourism Specialist)

Mainstreet, Phonexay Village, Luang Namtha 0300, Laos
Excellent
71%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 198 reviews

Forest Retreat Laos (Eco Tourism Specialist)

Forest Retreat Laos is an eco trekking and tours company with a focus on bringing our customers to beautiful places while bringing opportunities to local communities. We are specialized in treks and kayak trips in the Nam Ha National Protected Area, cycling trips in the Luang Namtha valley and beyond, and complete package tours to discover Northern Laos. By booking your trip at Forest Retreat Laos you help us to directly support the local communities and environment in Northern Laos. Forest Retreat Laos supports the local community substantially by working mainly with local people. We hire English speaking guides from the Luang Namtha area, we hire assistant guides from local villages and we pay villagers close to the National Protected Area to make and maintain our trails. Also these villagers are hired to build and maintain our exclusive jungle retreats. In the case of homestays, the minority people are compensated generously. At the same time, we try to teach the people in these remote villages as much as we can about the environment and the importance of protecting the forest and its animals. All of our treks and kayak trips take place inside the Nam Ha National Protected Area. With the park fees and taxes, that are included in the tour price, we help the local government protect and maintain the beautiful forest in the Nam Ha NPA.

Reviewed By Yoorekk - Slovenia

We booked a three days tour: two days trekking and one day kayak.
Forecast was really bad from the second day, so we asked the guy at the office about that. He said no rain is expected. Well, okay ...
He said our trip will be challenging. No problems with that, we are quite fit. There was a group of 6 of us and the first day of trekking was really nice. It was challenging, but cool!
The second day was ... OMG :) We slept on the top of a hill deep in the jungle and at night it started to rain. We started to walk at around 9 am and it was so slippery that we kept on falling, and the terrain was harsh. There were no paths, so the guides cut the way with machetes for us. We walked on the top of some very scary and dangerous cliffs. It was pouring, but there was no other way.
At the end (around 4.30!) of this extreme trek we had to cross a river on foot. Water was up quite over our knees and some of us got bunch of leeches.
The last day we kayaked back
to the village and we were happy to get a hot shower back in the town at our hotel.
Food was fantastic, except for 3 times of sticky rice a day :) Guides speak very poor English or nothing at all and that needs improvement. and there are are big safety issues you need to consider, before taking that tour in rainy condition.

2. The Hiker

17a, Luang Namtha 03000, Laos
Excellent
82%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 88 reviews

The Hiker

THE HIKER aims to innovate the responsible local tourism industry with our professional, ethical service providing premium quality eco-tours suitable for all clients, whilst sharing responsibility and benefits with local communities.

Reviewed By MrT_Amsterdam - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I did the 3 days Wild Explorer tour. We had a passionate highy experienced guide who took us through a wide range of jungle terrain. We started the hike in a small village and walked in one day through rice fields, bamboo Forests, creeks, hilltops and deep jungle. Food is freshly prepared and served on banana leaves. We spend the first night in a jungle camp and the second in an eco lodge in a hill tribe village. Best of all is that a large percentage of the proceeds benefits local communities. What an amazing experience!

3. Discovering Laos

Luang Namtha Road | Phonexay Village, Luang Namtha 0300, Laos
Excellent
81%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 138 reviews

Discovering Laos

Eco-conscious and ethical tour operator in Luang Namtha, specialising in multi-day tours into heart of the stunning Namha (National Protected Area) Activities range from trekking, kayaking, rafting, cycling to village visits, home-stays and jungle bushcraft. They're able to create combination and tailor-made tours of any interests and physical abilities or full days of a single activity such as trekking for those wanting to explore the vast areas of the Wilderness. Discovering Laos is focused on building strong relationships with tribal minorities for the purpose of ensuring their income, conserving their rich heritage and working together on protecting the beautiful environment that they have lived in for centuries. Every tour that they operate involves providing customers with the best English speaking and highly experienced guides including employment of an assisting local minority villages. Discovering Laos has been around since 2010 serving as a leader in sustainable tourism.

Reviewed By Kermoareb - Valencia

This has been, in the last month traveling southeast Asia, my favorite experience. It's difficult to describe how special it has been, how we felt in love with our guides, how authentic and wild the experience was, but I'll try.
At first, we feeled quite overwhelmed but all the travel agencies that offer very similar treks and kayaking in Luang Namhta. We read a lot of opinions here in Tripadvisor, but there wasn't any one that was by far the best. So we spent two hours talking with 6 agencies (the better ranked here and another one). We felt charmed by the last one, Vanxai, the owner of Discovering Laos.
Vanxai gave us a lot of explanations about his philosophy, the possible treks and, after hearing all our expectations, he found for us two guides for beginning a 3 day, 2 night treks the very next day. This is a local agency owned by local people, who know perfectly what they do, and that don't fall in unethical practices. If you want to really contribute to ecotourism, this is the perfect choice.
So first day was tough. My advice is that you bring only the really necessary staff and carry the minimum possible weigh. But don't forget to have good clothes for cold, as in this time of the year nights are really, really cold. The Nam Ha National Park is very beautiful, but the best thing about our trip is that we were alone with our guides during the 3 days. We've only met other hikers today, in the last 20 minutes!!! The route is moderate-difficult, you have to be aware of this. But wonderful :-)
We spent the first time in a village, sleeping with a local khamu family. We saw thousands of stars and we enjoyed hearing hundreds of frogs in the river. The second night our guides built a shelter and we slept in the jungle. Priceless...
And now it's time to mention Varth and Siyong, our guides. The hero's of our history. Without them, this experience would have been great, but not UNFORGETTABLE. They make a so good team! Varth speaks a great great English, and his explanations were very useful and interesting. Siyong is the master of the jungle, he knows to do DOZENS of things we bamboo or whatever thing he finds on nature: belts, spoons, traps, dishes, shelters, food, medicines, water...and always with a smile and big sense of humour. They're are always laughing!!!
Final thing to point out, THE FOOD. You've never imagined you could eat so good things in the jungle, believe me. First day they bought food in the Luang Namhta market, and then they prepared everything with very basic tools. They only need a machete to set up a fire and prepare you a delicious meal.
I'm sorry for writing too much, but I want to do everything possible to bring to these people the maximum travellers possible. Both them and you will be grateful to me ;-)

4. The Jungle Eco-Guide Service - Day Tours

Ban Phonesai, Luang Namtha 0300, Laos
Excellent
86%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
14%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 14 reviews

The Jungle Eco-Guide Service - Day Tours

Our Aim is to provide our guests an outdoor experience Lao jungle trek, that is an exciting adventure as well as learning about the eco-systems and history of our beautiful environment. We specialize in offering nine different trekking experiences within the Nam Ha National Protected Area. Since 2007, our treks are based on join venture agreements with twelve local minority villages that allow us access to pristine areas of rainforest. No other company can offer access to these areas in the Nam Ha. Choosing our trekking service promotes both sustainable eco-tourism and supports our communities. This improves their standard of living thus retaining their unique culture and jungle homes. We are a warm and friendly team committed to offer the best service possible.

Reviewed By papegaaimaai - Heverlee, Belgium

Although we didn't book a tour with this organisation (we tried to but at the moment there was just not enough people), the representative, Fabio Saba, was very helpful in providing information. He knows a lot about the surroundings of Luang Namtha and although we couldn't do a tour with him, we saw some amazing scenery and beautiful secluded villages. Furthermore the organisation really tries to help the local towns. I would not hesitate to book a tour with him!

5. Nam Ha NPA

Luang Namtha, Laos
Excellent
51%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
7%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 14 reviews

Nam Ha NPA

Established in 1993, the mountainous Nam Ha NPA stretches from the Chinese border through the middle of Namtha province, covering over 240,000 hectares and about 24% of the province. In 2003 the Nam Ha National Protected Area (NPA) was designated as an ASEAN Heritage Site. Nam Ha is contiguous with the 44,000 hectare Shiang Yong Protected Area in Yunnan, China. It is populated with ethnic minority

Reviewed By Shannon S - Wisconsin

The company I went trekking with doesn't have a page on Trip Advisor, so I figured this would be a good place to write about the trek since you need a guide to enter Nam Ha NPA. Of the several trekking services lining the main street of Luang Namtha, there are only a few that aren't part of one umbrella organization; the rest are all part and parcel of one company. I desperately wanted to go with Green Discovery, but I couldn't swing the more than $200 to do a solo trek with them, so I signed up with a small group at a place called Laos Adventure Trekking. The next morning when I arrived, however, the rest of my group members had changed their minds and cancelled, so the guy told me I'd be trekking with another group. More specifically, he watched me pay the rate for a group of four KNOWING that I'd be trekking with a group of ten and let me pay the higher rate. Luckily, when I went back after the trek and asked for the extra money I'd given to him back, he gladly obliged (but then asked me to write a review of kayaking to put on his wall when I hadn't even gone kayaking with his guides).
The company that runs the trek that I ended up doing is called Elephant Trail; the group is what made the trek brilliant! Everyone was positive and made jokes when things got a bit frustrating. We all worked well together and our personalities clicked, making the trek really brilliant. All in all, it wasn't my kind of trekking - in the first day, I think we actually hiked a total of one and a half hours out of five. We'd walk for fifteen minutes then rest for fifteen. We barely made it into the forest; the whole time, we couldn't have been more than an hour walk away from a street. That being said, we had an AMAZING time the first two days because our guide, Twoey, was so awesome! He showed us the different uses of various plants, patiently answered all of our questions, taught us how to build a shelter from bamboo and banana leaves, and cooked for us only using things he found in the jungle! It was obvious he really cared for us and wanted us to have a positive experience. And then everything fell apart when, on the second night, we got a new guide. Our new guide, Wood, was demanding, impatient, and unprofessional. He would sprint ahead of us - so far that at one point I lost the trail and sight of him, and when I called his name, he was so far ahead that he *couldn't hear me.* He ordered us around instead of asking us to help. He sent me out alone to the village in the morning to return blankets and pick up sticky rice from the local store; luckily, there was another guide there... otherwise, I'd have no way to communicate with the lady from the store! He was also completely unprepared - though he got called at the last minute to come and take over the trek, he brought nothing with him. Like, no lighter, no toilet paper, no flashlight! He had to borrow stuff from all of us.
On day three, we went kayaking; half of our paddles were broken and there was a raft that was partially deflated, but we had a great time anyway... again, because of the positive nature of the group. If you want to really delve into the jungle, you have to go with one of the more expensive places - the reason they're more expensive is that they pay for permits for trekking through old growth forest. The cheaper places don't. Still - well worth doing, especially if you're with good people.

6. Into the Wild Namtha

Luang Namtha, Main street: between Banana restaurant and KNT Internet, Luang Namtha 0300, Laos
Excellent
46%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
11%
Terrible
15%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 44 reviews

Into the Wild Namtha

Reviewed By Jess G - Sunderland, United Kingdom

We looked around a bit before coming to Luang Namtha for a trek to do as my partner is ex-army and really wanted to go into the jungle. We walked into Into The Wild on a whim and booked straight away. We were told four...Morethanks you very much for the best commented we hope you will com bake and also have good a trip for you

7. Phou Iu Travel - Day Tours

Luang Namtha, Laos
Excellent
61%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
0%
Terrible
13%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 15 reviews

Phou Iu Travel - Day Tours

Reviewed By Rhea_L195 - Hobart, Australia

We signed up for 2 days tracking and one day paddling, had a fantastic time. We went with one English speaking guide and one local guide for $180 US per person (for just myself and my partner). The first day we were picked up and taken to the local market in namtha to help choose the food for our trek (they catered very well for myself being vegetarian). We then made our way to our starting point and were off by 10am. It was a relatively short first days walk but quite tough, mostly uphill. The first night we stayed in the jungle camp, and our guides cooked dinner only using bamboo from around the camp. The second day they took us off plan a bit to give us a longer walk which involved much bush bashing - a great experience and really felt as though we were the only people to go through for a while. That night we stayed at a local village in an eco lodge. We had the chance to walk around the village. The final DAT we went paddling and it was the only bit that could have been better organised - the kayaks arrived a bit late so we didn't begin until 11am. We had a great say of paddling though and again delicious food cooked by our guides. We visited another village along our paddling trip. We definitely recommend this agency.

8. Ethnic Travel Laos

Night market street, Luang Namtha 0300, Laos
Excellent
76%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
4%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 62 reviews

Ethnic Travel Laos

Ethnic Travel offers multiple ways to indulge in the splendor of Nam Ha national protected area and Luang Namtha through exciting and eye opening tours. Our small family run business offers trekking, kayaking, cycling, motorbike and bus trips as your gateway to this magical area. Come with us to experience the ancient primary Forests and timeless ethnic villages while being immersed in local culture. From epic jungle camping adventures and white water kayaking to more laid back treks and cycling with humbling cultural encounters. Ethnic Travel Laos has every thing you need to deeply experience Luang Namtha and Nam Ha NPA.

Reviewed By Rémy N

We spent an amazing trek with our guide who taught us a lot. In terms of nature, customs and traditions we've learnt so much from the beggining until the end. It was a unique experience.
We've been to Lanten village and Hmong villages.
Request for the staff : we were there the 7/12 only two of us from France. Coupe you remind us the exact, precise names of every village please? Because we've lost our notes. Thank you in advance.
We highly recommend this adventure with Ethnic travel Laos.

9. Nature Life Laos

Luang Namtha, Laos
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Nature Life Laos

We are an eco-tourism specialist who can facilitate you with the most memorable experience of your visit to northern Laos. We provide community-based eco-tours in the Nam Ha National Protected Area, an ASEAN Heritage Site. By booking with us you will support local communities and directly contribute to the preservation of the diverse nature and culture northern Laos is rich of.

Reviewed By Prisci90

Se mi chiedete cosa mi sia piaciuto di più in 20 giorni tra Laos e Cambogia, la mia risposta sarà sicuramente il Trekking a Luang Namtha.
Se mi chiedete è stata dura? La risposta sarà assolutamemte SI e se poi mi chiederete se ne è valsa la pena ? La risposta sarà nuovamente SI.
Non aspettatevi i trekking di Sapa in Vietnam o della Thailandia, qui si va davvero in mezzo alla giungla, non ci sono bagni, letti o posate, non ci si lava per due giorni almeno o sino a quando non si è al villaggio con un tubo di acqua fredda utilizzato per un pò tutto.
Ci sono le sanguisughe, il fango, mille salite etc etc.
Tutto verrà ripagato dagli sguardi degli abitanti del villaggio, da una cultura lontana dalla nostra, tanto indietro ma molto più gentile, accogliente della nostra.
Il mio ricordo più bello è legato a Ker (chiedete di lui e ricordategli di me, ve ne prego), la guida che insieme a qualche altro ragazzo del posto vi accompagnerà in questa avventura e vi insegnerà tante cose.
Prima di terminare questo piccola recensione sul trekking che meriterebbe molte più righe, ci tengo a dirvi che per questo tipo di cose, di spirito di adattamento ce ne vuole tanto, dovrete essere aperti e buttarvi, altrimenti rovinerete il soggiorno a voi stessi e a chi vi accompagnerà con piacere alla scoperta dei loro territori.
Priscilla

10. Along the Nam Tha - Private Day Tours

Ban Phonsay, Luang Namtha 0300, Laos
Excellent
32%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
11%
Terrible
23%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 17 reviews

Along the Nam Tha - Private Day Tours

Along the Namtha is an eco-tourism agency providing service within the Luang Namtha Province bearing in mind the delicate balance between the environment, the urban communities and the Nature inhabitants from one side, and the educational values upon the tourist from the other.Our agency supplies contact with several ethnic groups such as:¨ THAILU¨ KHMU¨ LANTEN¨ AKHA¨ HMONG¨ BLACKTAI¨ KLOM With substantial briefing regarding each one of them.Our guides will take you along a sensory journey starting by calling birds by their call, animals by their tracks and edible plants by their leaves and roots.

Reviewed By Wawajawn - Cusco, Peru

I want to preface by saying that my boyfriend and I are experienced travelers and trekkers and in great shape. It is also worth noting that we chose to do the 3-day Elephant Mountain Trek during rainy season, which certainly makes it more challenging...
Overall:
All the above being said, this trek nearly killed me. Be aware of what you're getting into! The "trails" they use are more often than not non-existent-- in other words you will be bushwacking through very dense jungle grasses, brush, thorns, etc which are super slippery, narrow, muddy and dangerous. We were eaten by leeches, mysterious bugs, and poisonous leaves throughout the trek. You will be hiking with soaking wet feet the entire time, and in some cases crossing river sections that are waist-deep. The cultural aspect was...interesting. Awkward at times, given that some of the villagers seemed happy to have us and others very cold and standoffish (including people who we were staying with) but very enriching and touching at other moments. All in all, It was one of the most challenging experiences of our lives.
Pros:
Our guide had a lot of knowledge about the jungle and was able to point out various herbs, mushrooms, insects, etc. he also helped us converse with some of the friendly people in the villages and helped answer a lot of our questions about culture, tradition, etc. Soulivanh, the owner of the agency, is a very nice guy and let us shower in his house after the trek and before getting on the night bus.
Cons:
Overall, we were a bit disappointed that the description of the trek on the website in many ways did not align with the experience. We did not forage for food with the villagers, meet a local bird caller, have a traditional Black Tie breakfast (or even eat together with these people), see elephants (wasn't promised but we came to understand that the likelihood is essentially nil), or get to see any markets or locally made crafts. We were told there would be snacks provided (fruit and chocolate), but there were not. We were also not prepped for the fact that there would be leeches and poisonous leaves! Had we known this, definitely would have dressed differently. Our guide had iodine, but no first aide kit. On the first night, when we arrived at the Black Tie village, it was not organized with which family we would be staying. We were waiting awkwardly for some time, in the dark. Would have been nice if this were pre-arranged, and also would have been nice if the family hosting us were more friendly. As it turned out, they just ignored us and we felt pretty awkward. It would be better to organize homestays with families that want to have foreigners instead of those who don't want to have them! :)
Pros and cons considered, we will remember this experience forever.

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