Laung Namtha Travel
Located on the banks of the Nam Tha River, Luang Nam Tha means ‘The area around the Tha river’. Luang Nam Tha is the largest city in the province of the same name, in the northern part of Laos.
Like Huay Xai, Laung Nam Tha is primarily perceived as a stopover point. Most visitors who come from China to Laos use this city as a starting point instead of taking the uncomfortable and crowded boat ride between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai. The city has two distinct parts; one which is referred to as the old town was bombed during the 1970s and the new town, six km away and which was built as a replacement of sorts for the old one has most of the trekkers’ huts and guesthouses.
Famous for trekking and ecotourism opportunities in the Nam Ha National Protected Area and home to over 30 distinct ethnic groups, Luang Namtha is perhaps the most diverse province in the entire country. Akha villages are located in the hills and some are easily accessible. If you are interested in kayaking and rafting, 1-3 day trips can be arranged when you get there or by advance booking through a travel agent. Motorized boat trips on the Namtha River are a popular activity, as is simply renting a bicycle to explore the lush countryside and rice fields surrounding the town. At Nam Ngaen Village, climb the hill to Phoum Phouk stupa for an amazing view of the Namtha valley. In Vieng Phoukha, halfway between Luang Namtha and Chuiang Rai in northern Thailand you can visit the abandoned 16th century settlement known as the Khou Vieng Ruins. For cave exploration, don’t miss the Phou Prasat and Nam Eng caves in Vieng Phoukha.
In Namtha District, visit Tai Dam villages to see sericulture and purchase hand-made silk textiles. If you are interested in watching paper made by hand, stop at one of the Lantaen villages outside of the main town. Because of its concentration of Khmu villages. Namtha is a great place to purchase bamboo and rattan basketry – the Khmu are legendary basket-weavers. Here the bamboo and rattan are used for both handicrafts and food. Bitter bamboo-shoot soup and rattan-heart salad are two delicious local dishes. If you like rice noodles, the “khao soi” in Muang Sing is a must.
(Source: Tourism Laos)
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