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Focus on a trekking tour : Ethnical Immersion on Nam Ou lands

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Ever wondered what a trek with Off Road Laos Adventures looks like ? We have already mentioned how our scouting expeditions are organized. Now it's time to take a closer look at our hikers' favorite tour : 6 days - ethnic immersion in NamOu land. The title is rather evocative, isn’t it? The content of the tour is just as magical. Meetings with tribes, breathtaking landscapes, a journey through time to discover isolated ethnic groups, etc ... You will understand that we are talking about the adventure of a lifetime. Let’s go and explore the details of this exciting program.

Technical details

Let's start with a general introducing of this tour. Whom is it for in the first place ?

This program is designed for hikers wanting to experience a unique human adventure and not too much comfort. These 6 days will be punctuated by moments of sharing with local tribes.

You will learn a lot about their culture as well as their ancestral rites. Stays overnight in tribe villages will be opportunities to immerse yourself in traditional culture.

6 days, does it seem long ? We reassure you, you will not have time to get bored. Jungle treks, rice field hikes, canoe trips, boat transfers, cave visits, etc ... This tour is, in our opinion, the ideal mix of meetings, treks, and immersion.

1st day, trek on the mountain trails - 3/4 hours walking

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel around 8:30. You will leave in your private minivan towards the Nam Ou Valley (Nongkhiaw area 3 hours drive north east of Luang Prabang). On the way, you will visit villages of different ethnicities: a village of Tay Dam ethnic group, a village group Tay Leu and a village Khamu. Lunch at a really local restaurant in PakMong or Nam Bak. Arrival at a small village, you will start a hike of 9km of track until the village, on the top of a mountain, which will welcome you for the night. Arrival late afternoon, visit the village Hmong and Khamu. Dinner and overnight up there.

2nd day, trek in the jungle - 6-7 hours walking

After a local breakfast, you will leave the village on a trail starting at the back of the village. You will go through millet fields located on the slopes of hills and cultivated by farmers and tribes living isolated in altitude. 3 hours of climbing will allow you to join a large Hmong farm on the heights isolated from everything. Small bamboo houses are home to two families who live by hunting and gathering, growing rice and corn, breeding pigs ...

After the picnic lunch in the jungle, you will have to go back to reach the next Hmong village before night. An epic trek in the jungle awaits you there. Your guide and probably another local guide will be equipped with machetes to clear the way. The second part is easier, even if it has a certain unevenness. It offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and a section in a chaos of rocks. On the way, you will probably meet Hmong people with their famous hood filled with their hunting and picking of the day. Arrival in an isolated farmer village at the end of the day.

3rd day, immersion in villages and walks through rice-fields - 50mn boating + 3/4h walking

Typical Hmong style Breakfast, you will have the opportunity to eat locally ! Departure for the river downhill mountain side by a small path to the garden at the edge of the river (1h30 walk).

Your traditional wooden boat will wait for you there for a 50-minutes sail on the Nam Ou River, to Ban SopChème a small village of weavers.

Lunch in the village, then down the river to go to the small village of Ban MuangNgoi. You will find civilization and meet the Laotian fishermen.

Your trek of 1h30 in the Lao Loum country (local tribe) starts here, at the edge of the river.

On the way, you will visit the cave named ThamKang and cross the valley surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes and rice fields. Arrival in late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in a village of the Tay Ead tribe.

4th day, boat cruising on the Nam Ou river - 1h30 walking + 45mn boating

Breakfast in the village then way back to MuangNgoi, you will walk for 1h30 in the heart of the Laotian countryside before reaching your traditional boat for the way down on the Nam Ou. During this river transfer, you will have the opportunity to observe net fishermen, buffaloes, children bathing, villages of wood and bamboo on the banks, ... On the way, you will visit a village of the Tay Ead ethnic group.

Picnic lunch before arriving in early afternoon at the city of Nongkhiaw. Afternoon and dinner free. This small town is located on both banks of the Nam Ou River between two mountains. It is a superb setting to stretch out and relax in a hammock. The most motivated will be able to climb up to the high point of view of the city, offering a spectacular panorama.

5th day, on-road day to Pakbeng

Breakfast in a restaurant before your getting in the minibus heading Pakbeng via Oudomxay. This beautiful route goes through breathtaking mountain scenery and authentic Tay Lue, Khamu and Hmong ethnic villages. During this day, you will recover from the long days spent in the jungle. Lunch on the way. Arrival in Pakbeng by the end of the day. Settlement at the hotel, then you can relax quietly on the banks of the Mekong.

Free dinner at your charge because the choice is quite wide in this small town.

6th day, Cruise on the Mekong river in a traditional wooden boat - 7/8h boating

Breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the pier for a cruise on the Mekong using a traditional slow boat to Luang Prabang. On the way, you will stop to visit a village and the famous caves of Pak Ou.

The river is dotted with large cliffs, limestone rocks dug by monsoon rains and floodings.

Huge caves were formed. Those in Pak Ou host thousands of statues representing Buddha, adorned with red and gold tones. Lunch on board the boat. Arrival in Luang Prabang (boat dock 7km from the city) at the end of the afternoon. Settlement at your hotel and free dinner.

This tour is a real dive into the Laotian culture of the countryside. Jungle treks, stays overnight in villages, canoe trip, we cannot dream a better immersion. Be aware that discovering the way of life of the ethnic groups of northern Laos makes you rethink about the one that we have. So, if you are ready to travel back in time, do not wait, and contact us. The adventure of a lifetime awaits you !

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