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Luang Namtha

Luang Namtha province is located in the upper Northwest of Laos, bordered by Myanmar in the Northwest, China to the North, Oudomxay province to the Southeast, and Bokeo province to the Southwest. 39 ethnic groups make up the population of 140,000, in Luang Namtha. Each group having its own dialect, culture and lifestyle, but coexisting peacefully - a reflection of traditional solidarity. Most people in Luang Namtha live in small rural villages and practice agricultures as their main occupation. Covering nearly 30% of the province's land area is the Nam Ha National Protected Area well known for a range of ecotourism acitivities,. Due to its mountainous terrain the weather here can get quite cool, with temperatures generally not topping 30c in the hot season (March-April) and dropping to as low as 0c (December-January). During May-October, the southwestern monsoon brings the annual rains and marks the beginning of the new agricultural cycle. Luang Namtha is accessible by air, land and river. The most popular overland routes to and from the province start and endin Bokeo Province's Ban Houi Xay and Luang Prabang. There is an international border crossing at Boten (China-Laos) and regular air service from Vientiane on Lao Airlines. For adventure some travelers, try a journey up the Mekong River from Ban Houi Xay to Xieng Kok in Muang Long, or a 2 day river journey up the Namtha River, which also originates in Ban Houi Xay. Once you reach the province, local transport by tuk-tuk, the bus or a song taeow is inexpensive and easy to arrange. For short trips, many people get around by renting bicycles. Many ethnic groups have modified the methods used to make their traditional clothing to save time and labor but it is still possible to obtain authentic ethnic clothing and textiles in villages and handicraft galleries in town. Naturally dyed cotton and silk, embroidery and applique are used to make clothing, accessories and bags. Most of what you will see for sale is based on traditional Akha, Lanten, Hmong and Tai Dam designs, which may vary considerably depending on the creativity and skill of the producer. While we support and encourage the purchase of traditional textiles and ethnic clothing reproductions, we ask that you kindly refrain from purchasing antique pieces and family heirlooms. Each time one of these irreplaceable treasures is sold and leaves the country, Laos loses a little bit of precious heritage.

The mountainous center of Luang Namtha Province has been designated as the Nam Ha National Protected Area (NPA). It was first established by a Prime Minister's Decree and strectches from the Chinese border through the middle of the province, covering over 222,400 hectares. The Nam Ha NPA's landscape is very diverse, characterized by and ever changing mosaic of swidden fields and regenerating forests. Very old forest remains in a few remote areas due to inaccessibility and local custom. Within the NPA boundaries there are two peaks that exceed 2,000 meters, as well as an abundance of rivers and streams. The NPA's main purpose is to protect biodiversity and habitat for wildlife found in northern Laos. Species such as Tiger, Leopard and the enormous Gaur (a type of wild cow) still roam the forest throughout the reserve, although large mammals are very hard to see because of low population densities and fear of people. Residents that are easier to encounter are the some 300 species of birds, which include Silver Pheasants, jewel-like Blue and Eared pittas as well as a diversity of bulbuls. On the highest peaks there are species more closely associated with the Himalayas and are found in only a few other parts of Laos. Covering an area of 222.400 square-hectares and sharing an international border with the Xing young Protected Area in China , the Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation Area is one of the country's largest protected areas and provides refuge for a wide range of wildlife species including tigers, sun bear, black-checked gibbon, and silver pheasant.

Treks to the Nam Ha NBCA support natural resource conservation and traditional livelihoods. A fantastic way to travel through the Nam Ha NBCA is by raft or long-tail boat down the Nam Ha River, where it is common to see many bird and reptile species in the surrounding forest. A longer journey on the larger Namtha, a traditional trading route and tributary of the Mekong , links Luang Namtha to both Houei Xai and Luang Prabang. Boat trips up and down the entire Namtha require an overnight stay in the traditional boatmen's village of Ban Khone Kham (Nale District). Explore the remains of the ancient city and temple, Khou Vieng and Vat Mahapot, and discover the little-known history of a civilization that formerly inhabited Vieng Phoukha District as early as the 15th century. Another must see in Vieng Phoukha is the labyrinth of caves fill with bats at Phou Prasat and the impressive tunnel-like formation of the Kao Rao cave near Nam Eng village.

Top Hotels in Luang Namtha
Sokxaythone Resort
Ban Viengkham Luang Namtha District luang Namtha.Province Luang Namtha, Laos
Boatlanding Guesthouse
P.O. Box 28 Ban Kone Luang Namtha District Luang Namtha, Laos