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The Experience of a lifetime-2 Days Hike

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Day 1 hike approx. 3-4 hours & Day 2 approx. 4-5 hours.
Moderate, short hill climbs and descents walks up and down of hills

You’ll ascend through centuries-old trees and past an Indochina War gunnery emplacement to the Nam Ha River and Ban Nalan. You can learn about Khmu and Lanten cultures and offer insight into your lifestyle, gorgeous countryside, great view, challenging trail and overnight at Khmu lodge.

Itinerary
Day 1: Ban Chalernsouk-Ban Nalan. Approx. 5-6 hours
The trail begins Ban Chalernsouk, a Khmu village approximately 20 km from Luang Namtha. From here the trail ascends through 10-20 year old secondary forest until emerging into the upland rice fields. The path offers great views as it levels out along a ridge before re-entering the forest. The trees here are much older having long being a major part of the natural history of the area you are trekking through. A tasty Lao-style picnic lunch is enjoyed in the cool upland forest or in the shade of a thatched farmer’s hut.  Early afternoon, will find the trekkers   in the Ban Nalan community forest. As the trail begins its descent down to the village, you pass a small clearing which served as a gunnery emplacement in the early 1960s during the civil war when Pathet Lao revolutionaries and Royalist Lao forces struggled for supremacy.  But down by the calm Nam Ha River you overnight dining on local food after a refreshing shower and rest, ready to settle in for a well-deserved sleep.

Day 2: Ban Nalan-Ban Namkoy-Ban Namlue. Approx. 6-7 hours
After breakfast, next morning we follow the Nam Ha River through riverine forest that varies from stands of large hardwood trees to new vigorous growths of Bamboo. We went our way through the village of Ban Nalan Tai (South Ban Nalan), and on through   the open cultivated areas of the Lanten people, who are local village residents. We leave the Nam Ha River as the trail steadily climbs for a couple of hours. This is the most challenging section of the trail, but also the most beautiful, as it passes through stands of ancient trees, some five hundred years old, that create a high dense canopy rich in birdlife. We need only pause quietly to hear the forest come alive with a mixed chorus of birds and insects. From the top of the ridge, spectacular northern views lay before you, with Luang Namtha visible away in the distance. The final descent takes the group past upland rice fields and cultivated areas tended by the people of Ban Namlue. The trail steepens here and can be slippery after rainfall.  But a careful pace with sound footwear will get you down safely to the village of Ban Namlue where Lantan and Khmu people live together. And that is where you end your trek, returning to Luang Namtha by Tuk Tuk late afternoon to round off a journey we trust you will fondly remember.
Villages along the way
  • Ban Nalan: Situated on the banks of the Nam Ha River, Ban Nalan is a Khmu village of approximately 41 families. While there, you will see evidence of traditional Khmu culture, such as their method of pounding rice and the weaving of their distinctive baskets.
    Trekkers stay in a lodge overlooking the Nam Ha River. The evening meal is usually eaten with a prominent member of the village, and afterwards visitors have the opportunity to spend the evening with villagers, exchanging information about them and learning about Khmu life and culture.

  • Ban Namgoy and Ban Namlue: Ban Namgoy is a Lantan (also known as Lao Huay) village, while Ban Namlue is a mixed Lantan and Khmu village. During the day, most of the adults will be away working in their rice fields, but trekkers will be invited inside a villager’s house for refreshments and, in Ban Namlue, there may be an opportunity to purchase traditional Lantan handicrafts.

  • BuucGadong: In Ban Nalan or elsewhere in Laos, you may be invited to try a local drink, known as Lao Hai in Laos, and BuucGadong in Khmu. Sweet yet surprisingly strong, Lao Hai is made by fermenting rice, spices and rice husk in a large earthen jar. These jars of alcohol are an important part of any Khmu ceremony celebration, from weddings and rituals for ancestors, to a simple gathering of a few friends who want to relax and socialize. Traditionally one must drink “two horns full” through long curved bamboo straws, before passing the straw on the next person.
Booking:
Phou Iu Travel and Eco-Tourism, Laos

Mobile: +856-20-99 44 00 84 (English Speaking), 22 39 01 95
E-mail: phouiu_travel@hotmail.com
Website: www.phouiu-ecotourism-laos.com
Update: 15 Dec 2013