Laos: The North

The North; tribes, mountains and rivers

About this tour

In a pleasant pace you will travel through the north of Laos. By boat and car, you discover the mountainous, less travelled part of the country. You will cruise the Nam Ou and the Mekong River. You pass limestone rock formations and small remote villages hidden under the green canopy, where ethnic minorities still live in a very traditional way. During this trip you will make hikes at several places, including 1 overnight trek (Mouchi-trek). Here you will sleep in a very basic homestay. In other places we use mostly simple, small-scale accommodations. In the far north, the area of the 'Golden Triangle', you can kayak a day on the Nam Thai River. In short, an active and adventurous trip!

What will you do
  • Start of the journey is in the ancient royal city of Luang Prabang
  • Visit to the Pak Ou Caves during a trip on the Nam Ou River
  • Hiking at the '100 Waterfalls' and Mouchi trek
  • Overnight stay in a traditional Mouchi village
  • Walk through Phongsaly tea plantations
  • Kayaking on the Nam Thai River in the far north
  • Several boat trips, both by slow boat and longtail boats

Laos is a wonderful country to take in slowly. Enjoy the special, predominantly Buddhist culture and beautiful landscapes. Visit a monastery here and there, stroll along limestone cliffs, cruise the Mekong and drink a Beerlao at sunset. Do not go to Laos if you fancy a beach, as it is centrally located in Southeast Asia surrounded by other countries


Day 1

Luang Prabang to Non Khiaw | At a relaxed pace you will cruise the Nam Ou River. Along the way you stop at the Pak Ou Caves filled with Buddha statues. Then you go by car to Non KhiawLuang Prabang to Non Khiaw | At a relaxed pace you will cruise the Nam Ou River. Along the way you stop at the Pak Ou Caves filled with Buddha statues. Then you go by car to Non Khiaw

Day 2

Non Khiaw | In the morning you will first cruise to the Khmu village of Ban Don Khoune. Here you start your hike uphill to one of the best viewpoints in all of Laos. In about 3 hours you walk to the top. View and lunch are your reward. Then back to Non Khiaw

Day 3

Nong Khiaw to Muang Kua | By boat you will travel the Nam Ou River to Muang Kua. Along the way you will pass a spectacular landscape with limestone cliffs. You will make a side trip to the Nam Ou dam and you will visit the weaver village Ban Sob Jaem

Day 4

Muang Khua to Phongsaly | Today another beautiful boat trip. This time to remote Hatsa. From here a minibus will take you via a bumpy road to Phongsaly, the base to visit the tea plantations

Day 5

Phongsaly | today you take a walk through the tea plantations and the surrounding villages where the plantation workers live. In the afternoon hike to the stupa on Phoufa Hill for the beautiful views

Day 6

Phongsaly - Mouchi Trek | This morning you go out early. You hike with a local guide in about 3 hours to 1 of the 6 Mouchi villages in the area. Here you will meet the Mouchi tribe. You will spend the night in the village

Day 7

Phongsaly to Oudomxay | After breakfast you walk back to civilization. From here by car to Oudomxay. Along the way you will make several stops, including in a traditional Thai Lue village. Overnight stay at the Nam Kat Yorla Spa resort

Day 8

Oudomxay/ Nam Kat Yorla Spa resort | Enjoy a day of relative luxury and recover from all the impressions of the past days

Day 9

Oudomxay to Luang Namtha | A relatively short drive takes you to Luang Namtha today. En route you will stop at Ban Namdeng Neua, a village of the Lanten people

Day 10

Luang Namtha | Get in a kayak this morning and paddle through the jungle at the Nam Tha River. During the trip you will meet the Lanten people again in the village of Ban Sop Dute, where many women still wear traditional dress

Day 11

Luang Namtha to Huay Xay | By the car you drive through the mountains to Huay Xay. Along the way you will encounter villages of minorities such as the Khmu and Lu. It is also worthwhile to have a look at the Kao Rao Caves

Day 12

Huay Xay to Pakbeng | The next 2 days you will cruise the Mekong River by 'slow boat'. Your destination is Luang Prabang. The boat stops at Pakbeng for the night, a small village with several accommodations along the river. Here you will spend the night in a nice hotel

Day 13

Pakbeng to Luang Prabang | Today you set off again in a relaxed pace on the mighty Mekong River, until you reach Luang Prabang

Additional info

The price of this trip is based on 2 travellers, low season, subject to availability of the planned hotels and including CO2 compensation.

We have assumed standard hotels. But it is also possible to choose more luxurious hotels. The trip can always be adjusted in many ways.

This trip connects to a round trip over