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, one of the main things I was keen to do whilst in Laos was to get out into the rainforest and countryside for a decent trek, after my time in . I'd done a fair bit of research and decided other travel blog posts and TripAdvisor reviews I decided to do a trek with I love hiking and trekking, but unfortunately, Cambodia isn't really renowned for these activities . So naturally After trawling through numerous Luang Prabang a community-based eco-tour agency. trekking in Luang Namtha would be my best bet. I would have liked to have gone further North to Phongsali but time wouldn't allow on this occasion. The Hiker
One-day Trekking in Luang Namtha
The Hiker provided me with a complimentary one-day trek which I've reviewed below. Read our full Product Review Disclosure here.
Trip to the Market for Supplies
First stop was the bustling, colourful local market to collect a selection of typical Laos food to take with us for lunch . Whilst there I decided to try the local coconut rice pancakes (Kanom Krok). They were quite stodgy but tasty and gave me some extra energy for the trek ahead of me. I also bought some balloons as I knew we'd be passing through some local villages. I wanted to have something to give the children, but don't like to give sweets out. Although the kids prefer gifts of sweets it's not good for them, especially their teeth.
Into the Rainforest
Animist Beliefs and Local Fauna
Lao Picnic on a Banana Leaf Blanket
. The guides set out a At around 12:30 pm we stopped in a small clearing for a picnic lunch of the traditional Lao food bought from the market that morning blanket of banana leaves on the forest floor and emptied the food parcels on top of it. We all sat around on more banana leaves and ate the food with our hands in usual Lao fashion. Luckily I'd remembered to bring hand sanitiser as our hands were filthy from the trekking and of course, wild toilet breaks .
Down Came the Rain
Visiting a Khmu Tribe Village
We walked parallel with a stream down to the After an hour or so of rather damp trekking, we emerged from the trees out into fields. Nalan Neua Village which is Village inhabited by people from the Khmu tribe (descendants of the Khmer people of Cambodia) . Just outside the village was a big wooden school built on stilts. Then inside the village were lots wood and bamboo houses with corrugated tin or thatched roofs . Over 200 men, women, and children live there, although there were only a few adults around that day. I assume the rest were out working in the fields. Those that were there welcomed us with warm smiles.
As soon as we started blowing them up the children swarmed to us from all directions. They loved the balloons and it was comical to watch a few of the moe cheekier kids take one, then run off and hide it. Seconds later they'd be back for another thinking we'd fallen for their trick!
An Angry Cow and a Slippery Descent
Shortly after leaving the village we heard yet another high pitched yell from Kong and La, who were up ahead. They came running back towards us shouting something in Lao. Noi and Jai proceeded to jostle us into a small clearing in the trees right back away from the trail. Noi told us that there was an ' angry cow' coming up the track and we had to keep out of the way. As some of you will have read before, I don't have a good track record with cows so I retreated even further back. The huge raging bull I'd envisaged thundering down the muddy track towards us, actually turned out to be a young cow . rather unimpressed at being dragged slipping and sliding through the mud back to the village . Panic over we continued on our way.
. This was where the others were to spend the night in a The next morning they'd leave for their day of Finally, after eight and a half hours of trekking, we arrived at homestay. Chaleunsouk Village, where my tuk-tuk was waiting on the road to take me back to town It was sadly time for me to leave the others to enjoy their evening and all the woodland food collected en-route...not that I was envious at all ! . kayaking on the Namha River which would complete their adventure
Cost of a Tour with The Hiker
The price of a tour with The Hiker differs depending on the length and activities. They offer trekking, kayaking, mountain biking and ethnic experiences. They begin at $25 USD (£19 GBP) for a day trek and go up to $114 USD (£87 GBP) for a challenging five-days, four-nights trek. The two-days, one-night trek and kayak tour with homestay that I joined in costs $62 USD (£47 GBP) per person.
I thoroughly enjoyed trekking in Luang Namtha with The Hiker. It was longer than expected and more strenuous due to the wet conditions but I was ready for some exercise so it was perfect . I also can't recommend our guides Noi and Jai enough. They were amazing and along with the excitable Kong and La made the trek good fun. The only downside was that I wasn't able to continue for another day or two deeper within the Namha National Protected Area.
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Have you been trekking or on an eco-tour of any description in Luang Namtha? How did you find it?
P.S. You can read more about my time in Laos via the following link:
Product Review Disclosure: The Hiker provided me with a complimentary day trek as part of their two days, one-night trekking and kayaking tour with a homestay. This did not influence my post in any way and as always I've provided a balanced and honest review.
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