Refreshing Countryside Walks in Northern Laos

- A Secret Retreats journey -
5 days / 4 nights
from 1,720 USD /person

 

ITINERARY BOOK
 


This journey has been personally designed Touny, owner of Muang La Lodge, with her favourite walks and spots across Muang La region.


Highlights of the Journey:

  • Off the beaten path in one of S.E. Asia’s most unspoilt regions
  • Meet and share with local hilltribes, visiting their farms and villages
  • Stay in a delightful riverside lodge replete with natural hot spring

The epitome of slow travel, this itinerary in Northern Laos is a wonderful discovery of one of the most unspoilt regions of South East Asia. The northern hills and mountains of Laos are home to a mosaic of more than 60 ethnic groups, hundreds of temples, pristine forest and ancient landscapes, where the many festivals that are celebrated by the different tribal groups throughout the year add a fascinating splash of cultural colour to those lucky enough to witness them. This itinerary will take you on guided treks through breath-taking scenery well off the beaten path, with sincere interactions with local people in walks to villages and farms while staying at a truly delightful sustainable riverside retreat that is also blessed with a natural hot spring. This Northern Laos countryside holiday itinerary is as refreshing and rewarding as they come.

Best time: November to April.


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Your Journey Day by Day

5 days / 4 nights from 1,720 USD /person

based on 2 people traveling together and sharing the same room

 
Day 1 : Airport Oudomxay – Muang La (-/L/D)
On arrival in Oudomxay airport from Vientiane, you set off for Muang La Lodge (40mn drive) on time for a late lunch. Sitting between mountains and a river, The Lodge comprises just 10 rooms and benefits from a nearby thermal spring. A haven of peace and tranquility with a massage pavilion facing the river, a traditional scented sauna and two hot water baths filled with naturally salty water from the spring, the Lodge is without doubt the "Pearl of Northern Laos". You have free time to relax and enjoy The Lodge in the afternoon. Bicycle on the reception is free for you. In the afternoon, you can relax & enjoy the Lodge. In the evening, you take part in a Baci or Welcome Ceremony. In Laos animist beliefs still persist and one part of these beliefs is that people have 32 souls, one in each of the 32 body parts. These souls (or Khouanes) tend to escape and risk being eaten by evil spirits, creating diseases and bad luck. The Baci ceremony recalls these souls to the body.
Dinner, the Lodge hosts a display of traditional music and dance.
HOTEL: Muang La Lodge (Garden View or River View)
Day 2 : Muang La (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you leave the Lodge following the course of the Nam Pak River, until you a hidden valley overlooking the Nam Ko River. It seems as if you are in the middle of nowhere as you start your guided trek along a narrow mountain trail, through the lush forest. You arrive in the khamu village of Huay Ho where life flows at a relaxed pace. Your guide will explain about the life of the villagers; their animist beliefs and ceremonies and the different tools they use in the fields around the village. Later continue the trek for another 45 mins to the Lao Loum village of Ban Phongsavanh, which sits at the heart of a beautiful little valley. You set off from the village following a narrow trail which runs from the river to the mountain tops. You continue on following the course of a mountain stream, through rice fields to the summit. It will then be time for well-deserved lunch break in the lush countryside of northern Laos.

After lunch, you follow a mountain trail, pass through farms with some breath-taking panoramic views – the opportunity for your guide to tell you how locals use plants and herbs of the forest as food and medicine. The trek continues, crossing small bamboo bridges, as you descend to the Yang village of Long Ya and learn about communal activities: drying herbs & vegetables, preparing animal traps and preparing their meals using the local produce. The village is well known for the production of rice alcohol, Lao Lao and also contains a small Buddhist temple. A further 2 kilometres brings you to the hidden temple of Wat Hoytinphabath which houses a 35m long reclining statue of Buddha. Numerous effigies and symbols praising Buddha can be found in the central temple which also contain footprints of Buddha embedded in stone. The temple exudes atmosphere of serenity, in complete harmony with its natural surroundings. You leave the village following a dirt road along the River Huay Ya and can enjoy the stunning mountain scenery before you arrive back in the Lodge for a well-earned rest. Dinner at the Lodge.
HOTEL: Muang La Lodge (Garden View or River View)
Day 3 : Muang La (B/L/ D)
Today: cooking.
An early start around 6am for the local market, accompanied by the chef of the lodge. It is a 5-minute ride to the market where you will see how select the best ingredients and also how the market itself works. After the market, you return to the Lodge for breakfast and a rest a bit. At around 10:30 am, you go to the vegetable garden with the chef to pick some of the last ingredients that you will need. With all the ingredients selected, you start to prepare 4/5 different local dishes with the chef. The class itself is very casual. Once all of the dishes are ready, you enjoy the different meals that you have prepared for lunch. Free time at leisure in the afternoon for discover the village by bicycle.
Dinner at the Lodge.
HOTEL: Muang La Lodge (Garden View or River View)
Day 4 : Muang La (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we walk for around 30 mins along the banks of the Nam Pak River to the Khamu village of Wang Wanh, where the villagers make sacks from the fibres of the local plants. A local family welcomes us in their rice fields surrounded by the hills and you immerse yourself in the traditional way of life of the villagers. Accompanied by your local guide, you learn all about the life of the villagers and their work in the fields, with their faithful friend - a water buffalo. From choosing the right seeds, planting the seeds, transplanting cuttings to the crucial stage of the harvest; you learn all about the life of the local farmers. After your interesting morning, it's time to relax and enjoy your lunch which is taken in the farm "sala', giving a 360° panorama of the wonderful countryside in the valley.

After lunch, you cross the Nam Pak on a bamboo raft to go to the Khamu village of Vieng Kham. The villagers are well-known for their weaving skills creating wonderful silks and sarongs. You continue on to the village of Muang La to visit the local school and the temple of Chiao Pha Kham Sing which houses a sacred statue of Buddha - a place of pilgrimage. Back to the Lodge in the middle of the afternoon to relax and reflect on your day in the Lao countryside.
Dinner at the Lodge.
HOTEL: Muang La Lodge (Garden View or River View)
Day 5 : Muang La - Oudomxay Airport (B/-/-)
After breakfast and check out, transfer to airport in time to catch your flight to Vientiane (unless you prefer a car/boat transfer to Luang Prabang – extra charges)

**** End of our services.

Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary


Refreshing Countryside Walks in Northern Laos

5 days / 4 nights
from 1,720 USD /person

based on 2 people traveling together and sharing the same room

 


The total price includes:
Accommodation for 4 nights
All meals mentioned (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
All transfers mentioned, in private air-conditioned vehicles.
All excursions mentioned in the programme.
All entries to sites.
The service of English speaking guides for the different stages.
All Taxes

The total price does no include:
International and Domestic flights to and from Oudomxay
Drinks during meals and personal expenses.
Meals and dervices not mentioned above.
Laos visa fee (30 USD / person + photo ID). As a precaution, allow 35 USD / person and two passport photos. Your passport must be valid 6 months after the date of exit from the country.
Cancellation / Assistance / Repatriation and Baggage Insurance.
Tips.


This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Touny and Asia Safaris (License N°391 29/07/2004)

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