The mountainous northern province of Luang Namtha offers emerald mountains and abundant rice paddies dotted with wooden huts. Bicycles, motorcycles and scooters are easily rentable, and provide a fast but flexible means of seeing the waterfal’s, rivers and temples. The sparse traffic means peaceful, flat roads and the ability to stop and explore wherever piques your fancy.
One of the most popular activities is a homestay, which allows visitors to experience how the local hill tribes live. The area contains over 20 different ethnic groups, including the Lolo, Tai Dam, and Tai Neua. Those not looking for an overnighter can still observe cultural activities like weaving and the brewing of lao lao, a sticky rice whiskey. A motorbike will get you as far as the Nam Ha National Protected Area, an ASEAN Natural Heritage Site offering trekking, rafting and kayaking along the Nam Ha river. The forests and grasslands are also good bird-watching sites, and home to Indian bison and barking deer. * AG
December to February
From Wattay International
Airport, fly to Luang Namtha Airport, and then take a tuk-tuk