Luang Namtha

4.3 /5

Rate

Rating:

 
4.3 /5 Rate This Destination

Weather:

Ideal duration: 3-4 days

Best Time: November - January Read More

Planning a Trip? Ask Your Question

Also Refered As:

Louang Namtha

"Hiking, Traditional villages, Biking, Waterfalls "

Luang Namtha Tourism

Luang Namtha is located in the north of Laos and is the capital of the province of Laos of the same name. Luang Namtha city lies on the bank of the river Tha and borders with China on the northern front and Burma on the northwest. 

Luang Namtha attracts nature lovers from all over and provides a base for trekking and biking to the nearby tribal villages. It is worth visiting for tourists looking to explore the natural beauty of Laos and to know the ethnic communities.

The province is known for sugar cane and rubber production with plantations spread around hundreds of acres. The Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation Area is also located here.

Things to do in Luang Namtha

1. Nam Dee Waterfalls

Nam Dee Waterfalls
Nam Dee is a natural waterfall located close to Ban Nam Dee village near Luang Namtha city in Laos. It is known for its scenic location amidst deep jungles surrounded by the mountains, making it an ex (Read More)cellent attraction for trekking. Tourists visiting Luang Namtha should plan a trip to Nam Dee waterfalls to enjoy nature and relax in the natural pools near the falls.

2. Luang Namtha Night Market

Luang Namtha Night Market
The night market in Luang Namtha, Laos is located close to downtown on the banks of the Mekong River. It is a famous daily night market worth visiting for tourists while exploring Luang Namtha for tas (Read More)ting some delicious local street food, shop for hand-made souvenirs created by local tribal women and also enjoy the views of the Mekong.

3. Chedi on the Hill

Chedi on the Hill
The Buddhist temple of Wat Luang Kone has a new Chedi or stupa on a hill located in the city of Luang Namtha in northwestern Laos. It is worth visiting this small pagoda for some beautiful views of th (Read More)e town, especially in the evening around sunset.

4. Luang Namtha River

Luang Namtha River
The Nam Tha is a river located in northwest Laos. It is one of the tributaries of the Mekong River. It has one of the most fertile plains in the province of Luang Namtha province and city of the same (Read More)name, both deriving their name from this river. The high currents of the rapids make the river a popular spot for water adventure sports including rafting and Kayaking. The name Nam Tha translates to Green River in the local language, due to the green colour of the water.

5. The Handicraft Village Ban Pieng Ngam

The Handicraft Village Ban Pieng Ngam
Ban Pieng Ngam is a small scenic village located close to Luang Namtha in Laos. It is recommended to spend a day or two to explore the unique village life here while traveling here. The town of Ban Pi (Read More)eng Ngam is known for the Lenten people or Thai Deang, an ethnic community from Southern China. These people make their living through dying Indigo and Rye fabric, weaving traditional clothes and making a lot of bamboo-based products, especially bamboo paper. They also sell unique handicrafts. The other ethnic group is Thai Kao, which is known for making the famous Lao rice whiskey. You can take a tour of this at the Lao Lao distillery.

6. Phom Pouk Stupa

Phom Pouk Stupa
Phom Pouk is a Buddhist stupa located on a hill near Nam Ngaen Village close to the city of Luang Namtha in Laos. It is a 16th-century stupa and is one of the oldest monuments remaining in the town. (Read More)It is worth checking out while you are in Luang Namtha. It was built in 1628 to mark two territories between Lane Xang and Lang Na kingdoms of Luang Prabang in Laos and Chiang Mai in Thailand. It was destroyed in the American war and what remains today is a reconstructed version built in 2003.

7. Luang Namtha Museum

Luang Namtha Museum
Luang Namtha Museum is an anthropological museum located in the town of Luang Namtha in southern Laos. The museum contains a collection of objects related to the daily lives of the local people close- (Read More)by hill tribes including Hmong, Akha and other ethnic communities. In the museum, you can see artefacts such as ceramics, weapons, crafts and clothing. It is recommended to visit the museum on your trip to get to know the history and culture of these people.

8. Nam Ha NPA

Nam Ha NPA
The Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation Area is a reserve centre located close to Luang Namtha in southern Laos. It consists of a large national park including several villages and is also home (Read More)to Pha Yeung Waterfalls, Kao Rao Caves and the Nam Ha Important Bird Area. You can spot the wildlife sometimes on group tours organized by the centre. You can directly buy the tickets at the entrance of the park, and there are a lot of treks organized by the centre. There are one-day treks as well as multiple days guided treks available. Tourists looking to explore nature, waterfalls and wanting to hike should visit Nam Ha centre on their visit to Luang Namtha.

9. Minority Restaurant

Minority Restaurant
Minority restaurant is a part of Forest Retreat Laos, a tour company offering eco-friendly local tours in the town of Luang Namtha in Laos. This bamboo themed restaurant is popular among tourists for (Read More)their local cuisine belonging to Khamu, Tai Dam and Akha tribes, which include stir-fries, chicken curry and fried fish.

10. Luang Namtha Stupa

Luang Namtha Stupa
Luang Namtha Stupa is a vast golden Buddhist stop located on the banks of Namtha River in the town of Luang Namtha in Laos. It is one of the important attractions in the city and is a significant land (Read More)mark, and is worth visiting on your trip. It was built to commemorate the friendship between Xieng Sean and Oudomxay kingdoms in the 17th century. It houses a temple consisting of a statue of Buddha and many murals.

More on Luang Namtha

Places to Visit

The Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation Area - The conservation centre is home to Pha Yeung Waterfalls, Kao Rao Caves and the Nam Ha Important Bird Area. You can spot the wildlife sometimes on group tours organized by the centre. You can directly buy the tickets at the entrance of the park.

Nam Dee Waterfall - Located just outside the town is the Nam dee waterfall, which is at its glorious best during the monsoon season. You can visit the waterfall on a rental mountain bike, making the whole experience more adventurous. You can also go on a trek that goes through a local village adding to the charm of the trip. You can see villagers indulging in their daily activities such as making paper, sewing, making crafts and dying clothes with indigo.                       

Luang Namtha Museum - Primarily an anthropological museum, the Luang Namtha Museum contains a collection of objects related to the daily lives of the local people as well the close-by hill tribes. In the museum, you can see artefacts such as ceramics, weapons, crafts and clothing.

Wat Luang Korn - It is one of the important ancient temples in Luang Namtha province worth visiting, along with other smaller but prominent ones - Wat Sing Jai and Wat Namkeo.

Things to Do

Herbal saunas: Luang Namtha is quite popular among tourists for its herbal saunas. There are several of them, but the most famous of them is located near the Classic bar. Although simple in appearance, the sauna has all the necessary amenities you might need, such as lockers, shower and changing room. Both male and female have segregated sections. You can also opt for a body massage for as low as 30,000 LAK.

Trekking: Luang Namtha is a top-rated destination among trekkers, and Nam Ha Protected Area is the perfect choice for trekking among the nature lovers. There are also treks which go to diverse hill tribes. In the city, you can easily find several trekking agencies to help you plan your trek, which costs between 100 to 250 USD per person depending on your package.

You can indulge in several adventure activities such as visiting remote villages, going to the waterfalls, jungle trekking, kayaking and off-road biking.

History & Significance

Historical evidence suggests that Luang Namtha has a history of more than 6000 years. Bordering China, a majority of the inhabitants were of Chinese origin during this time. In the 16th century, it was occupied by the Siamese and then by the Burmese and also the Vietnamese.

The province today consists of people belonging to ethnic tribes originating from all these countries that include Tai Dam, Tai Neua, Tai Kao, Akha, Lanten, Yao and Lahu from Sipsongpanna. The town is also nicknamed Royal Sugar Palm or Royal Green River.

During the recent years, the city played was a central battleground for the Battle of Luang Namtha in 1962 – a war fought between the Royal Lao Army, the Pathet Lao and People's Army of Vietnam. The Royal Lao Army was defeated in the battle and had to retreat southward for 150 kilometres.

Itinerary

Day 1: Plan your first day to spend in the biodiversity centre, where you can explore the waterfalls, caves and the bird area.

Day 2: You can head to Luang Namtha Museum and then to Nam Dee waterfalls in the late afternoon to enjoy a good swim.

Day 3: If you have an additional day, you can plan a day hike or visit the nearby rubber and cane farms. These tours can be booked at your guesthouse or hotel.

Tips

  • During late November and December, the mountainous region near Luang Namtha can get cold. Hence it is recommended that you carry warm clothes.
  • Respect the local traditions and their way of life, particularly so while visiting the tribal villages near Luang Namtha.
  • Different agencies offer different trek packages, choose the one which best fits what you are seeking to do. You can compare the price among these companies but do remember to look at the service and comfort level too before making a decision.
  • Don't forget to pack mosquito repellents, good hiking shoes, sunscreen, umbrellas, sunglasses, hat and essential medicine before you go on a hike.
  • Always follow the signs and stay on the trail, no matter how adventurous it may sound to go off the path.
  • The accommodation options are limited in the town. It is better to book them in advance, especially if you are traveling during the peak season.

Best Time to Visit Luang Namtha

How to Reach Luang Namtha

How to Reach Overview

From Luang Prabang: The journey from Luang Prabang to Luang Namtha takes around 10 hours by bus and costs around 90,000 LAK per person for a regular bus and 150,000 LAK per person for a VIP bus.

There are also buses from Vang Vieng, Vientiane and other cities. It takes between 6 to 8 hours, costing between 8 to 20 USD per person.

In addition to from within other cities of Laos, Luang Namtha can be reached from the nearby border countries of China and Vietnam.

From China: Mengla is the nearest border town on the China side from where you can take a bus to Luang Namtha. Visas are available on arrival at the border.

From Vietnam: Take the bus from Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, which will stop at the Luang Namtha border. At the checkpoint, you can quickly obtain the on-arrival visa if you have a passport from the US, the UK, Australia or European countries.

Local transport in Luang Namtha

The centre of the town can be easily traced by walking around. Hire mountain bikes if you are planning to go on an adventure. The bikes cost about 30,000 LAK per day, and you can rent them from the tour companies as well as from your guesthouse. You can hire a tuk-tuk for 10000 LAK if you are going to the airport.

Luang Namtha Photos

Luang Namtha
Misty Morning View of Akha Hill Tribe Village, Luang Namtha

FAQs on Luang Namtha

What is famous about Luang namtha?

Anyone who is looking to get out of the temple trails in Laos and instead want to explore the wonders of nature will enjoy Luang Namtha. Plenty of natural and safe trails around leading to beautiful waterfalls and traditional villages make it an excellent destination.

What is not so good about Luang namtha?

Its remote location makes Luang Namtha a less popular choice for people traveling with less time in Laos. Also, if you don't enjoy hiking or physical activities, it might be not a preferred place.

Who should visit Luang namtha?

Luang Namtha is ideal for all kinds of travelers, including couples, solo travelers and people traveling with kids. People who love outdoor adventures, nature and hiking, would enjoy more. However, it is not suitable for the elderly.

What is the best time to visit Luang namtha?

The best time to visit Luang Namtha is from November to January when the temperate ranges from 20 degrees to 25 degrees. It is an excellent time to be outdoors, and the humidity is at manageable levels. Avoid the wet season from May to September as it rains heavily in Luang Namtha.
Read More

What is the best way to reach Luang namtha?

From Luang Prabang: The journey from Luang Prabang to Luang Namtha takes around 10 hours by bus and costs around 90,000 LAK per person for a regular bus and 150,000 LAK per person for a VIP bus.

There are also buses from Vang Vieng, Vientiane and other cities. It takes between 6 to 8 hours, costing between 8 to 20 USD per person.

In addition to from within other cities of Laos, Luang Namtha can be reached from the nearby border countries of China and Vietnam.

From China: Mengla is the nearest border town on the China side from where you can take a bus to Luang Namtha. Visas are available on arrival at the border.

From Vietnam: Take the bus from Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, which will stop at the Luang Namtha border. At the checkpoint, you can quickly obtain the on-arrival visa if you have a passport from the US, the UK, Australia or European countries.
Read More

What are the places near Luang namtha?

The top places near to Luang namtha are Vientiane which is 91 km from Luang namtha, Luang prabang which is located 167 km from Luang namtha, Phonsavan which is located 87 km from Luang namtha, Udomxai which is located 94 km from Luang namtha, Hanoi which is located 388 km from Luang namtha

Have a Question on Luang Namtha?

Ask a question from the travellers who have
experience.

Luang Namtha Reviews

Your rating