Trip OverviewTrekking in the Nam Ha National Protected Area “Nam Ha NPA”- an ASEAN Heritage Site; Experience and learning of how to accommodate to your jungle environment, sleeping and eating in the rain forest by using nature’s products such as: cooking bamboo vessels, a banana leaf camp, looking for food, medicinal plants and learn native skills for hunting wildlife; Participate in Community Based Tourism activities, such as: husking rice by feet or hand, Khmu traditional Baci-ceremony, watch a blacksmith at work, making bamboo basket “bamboo toys such as: birds, frogs, a simple cup, etc…; Unique experience in the homelands of the Akha, the Khmu and the Lantén ethnic minority groups; they proudly maintain their way of life, culture, and traditions; Hiking through rain forest, beautiful nature, mountainous landscapes, survival skills in the wilderness, topped off with splashing in or gazing at a hidden waterfall.
Tour ID: TK-NT-46.
Trekking Area: Nam Ha National Protected Area-an ASEAN Heritage Site.
Daily Hike approx. 5-6 hours.
Departure: Annually, difficulty during the rainy season (from June-September).
Duration: 5 days/4 nights; the first night at an Akha home stay, the second night at a Khmu home stay, the third night in a jungle camp and the late Khmu Eco-lodge.
Difficulty: Beginners-advanced; short hill climbs and descents walks up and down of hills.
ItineraryDay 1: Ban Chaluernsouk-Ban Phou Varn “Akha Village”. Approx. 5-6 hours.
Departure from our office is at 9:00 AM by Tuk-Tuk. We stop for a few minutes at the morning market to purchases some food and necessary things, and then continue to the Khmu village of Ban Chaluernsouk where our trek begins. Hike deep into the Nam Ha National Protected Area. On the trail the local guides will share some of the native experience and knowledge about edible and poisonous plants, and about medicinal plants that include wild mushrooms, cardamoms, rattans, bamboo shoots, wild bananas stalks, and so on. After lunch, continue and visit waterfall, next hike to the mountaintop where you walk along through the agricultural area of the Akha people. On the mountain you will enjoy the excellent view of the Akha village amidst the dense jungle vegetation of the mountains. You will arrive at Ban Phou Varn (Akha village) around 4 PM. While your hosts and guides prepare your dinner you can either relax, help in cooking while learning about the traditional cooking cuisine, walk around the village observing traditional life, or have a beer at the local ‘shop’. After dinner you receive a massage from the Akha women, this is a treat traditionally reserved for guests in the village.
Day 2: Ban Phou Varn-Ban Nam Ha “Khmu Home stay”. Approx. 5-6 hours.
After breakfast we begin the next leg of the journey over a small path through the rainforest, which is still primary and secondary forest area. After approx. 3 hours we have our lunch break, which will be prepared by you and your guides. Thereafter another 3 hours walk along the Nam Ha Mountain and downhill to Ban Nam Ha village. That is the village where we will stay overnight and share in tourism oriented activities. You will join in and try out some activities created by a small native community that is now part of a community based tourism village and will show and teach you skills, such as: husking rice by feet or hand, a Khmu traditional Baci-ceremony, Khmu sword dance… After dinner you may want to listen to a village story from the home stay owner before you go to sleep in the Khmu traditional house.
Day 3: Ban Nam Ha-Mountain Jungle Camp. Approx. 5-6 hours.
Next morning after coffee you may see or participate in activities such as: blacksmith at work, weaving bamboo baskets or making gadgets/toys/souvenirs from bamboo, such as: birds, frogs, a simple cup, etc. Then have breakfast with the host family. Next local guide from the village will join on your trip to get you safely through rice paddies and up into the mountains of Nam Ha NPA. Along the trail you will see many types of NTPs (Non Timber Forest Products), many bird species, monkeys are occasionally spotted or heard; your guide will teach you how to make a bird call, or bark like a deer, mimic squirrel sounds. They will also share some of their ancestral knowledge and skills about traditional medicines. Lunch is eaten in the shade near the waterway, after you will arrive in the jungle camp around 4 PM. Over there it makes for easy walking in the jungle, very near the forest camp. You will follow the trail, search for animal footprints and other elements that point to the forest wildlife present, such as: monkeys, barking deer, gibbons, wild pigs, and jungle fowl. The guide will point out interesting things and useful plants, used as herbal medicine like cardamoms, galangals. After dinner you overnight in the rain forest camp hosted by Khmu people.
Day 4: Mountain Jungle Camp-Khmu Village. Approx. 5-6 hours.
In the early morning you will many an animals scream from the higher mountain and nearly the jungle camp. The guides will encourage you to take part in the preparation of breakfast, show you how to craft simple coffee cups, bamboo toys, spoons and chopsticks from bamboo and leaves. They will also brew a medicinal tea from wild plants collected along the way. After breakfast we walk on through jungle, mountains and over rivers. Lunch will be prepared in the traditional native way along the forest path. We will arrive Ban Nalan around 4:00 PM where we spend one more night in the Khmu’s Riverside Eco-Lodge. Our hosts prepare a dinner in native style, whilst you take time to swim and bathe in the river (no nudity or skimpy clothes, please). Walk around the village; talk respectfully with the ever-friendly villagers.
Day 5: Ban Nalan-Ban Namkoy-Ban Namlue. Approx. 5-6 hours
The last day follows the Nam Ha River, through stands of large hardwood trees and bamboo patches, to Ban Nalan Tai (Khmu Village) and Ban Namkoy (Lanten Villae). The trail becomes quite challenging as it climbs under a pristine tree canopy teeming with bird life, and ends up on a ridge with a stunning view of Luang Namtha town, visit the last village of Lanten (Ban Namlue), that is, before the final descent and a ride back to town with memories to will last you a lifetime.
- An English speaking tour leader and a native guide, who knows the rain forest, indigenous traditions, and culture like the back of his hand.
- Transportation pick-up and back to your hotel Tuk-Tuk or Songthaew.
- Accommodation: Akha home stay, Khmu home stay, the jungle camp and Khmu’s riverside Eco-lodge with blanket, sleeping-mat, and mosquito nets are supplied.
- Community Based Tourism activities such as: husking rice, Khmu traditional Baci-ceremony, Khmu sword dance, blacksmith, bamboo basket making “bamboo toys such as: birds, frogs, cup etc.”
- Meals-lunch x 5, dinner x 4 and breakfast x 4.
- Drinking water during the trip.
- Trekking permit “Nam Ha NPA Foundation”, Laos National Tourism Development Fund and Provincial tax on net income.
- Village service and village tourism Fund.
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