Photo by Oh! Magazine

The Nam Ha Protected Area is the main destination for trekking activities. Namtha District is the primary starting point for treks and mountain biking tours into Nam Ha. This province is also the site of the Nam Ha Ecotourism Project, the longest running ecotourism project in the country.

Trekking in Luang Namtha

Boat trips down the Nam Ha River (inside the Nam Ha NPA) offer unique bird watching opportunities and can be arranged in Namtha District. Boats going down the Namtha River to the Mekong, with further connections to Luang Prabang or Houeixai (Thai Border crossing), can also be arranged in Namtha District and offer an alternative to road travel. Trips down the Namtha stop in Nalae District, an area with great potential for ecotourism with its national protected forests, caves and remote indigenous communities. Close to Namtha Town are villages that produce and weave silk, which can be visited by bicycle.

In Muang Sing District, treks to Akha, Hmong and Tai Lue villages are offered by the Muang Sing Guide Association. A newly developed, upmarket trek, the Akha Experience has been developed with Akha communities and the German development organization, GTZ. Many of the dirt roads in Muang Sing are excellent for mountain biking. Closer to town and accessible by foot or bicycle are Tai Dam and Hmong villages that produce various textiles.

Vieng Phoukha District is an up and coming ecotourism area with programs operated by the local Vieng Phoukha Guide Service Unit, and supported by the EU. The guide unit offerstreks to ethnic Khmu, Lahu, Akha and Tai Lue villages. Also in Vieng Phoukha is the Nam Fa River, a recently opened waterway with world class rapids and unspoiled nature, that flows 75 km to the Mekong River.