8 Akha villages in Muang Sing in partnership with Vientiane Travel/Exotissimo.
The Akha Experience is an experimental tour, which takes participants on a 3-day learning experience into the culture and daily life of the Akha in Muang Sing.
The participants live the Akha's life in the forest, in the fields and in the village.
Luang Namtha Province is home to one of the largest populations of Akha ethnics, and it is here that the their culture is best preserved and best experienced.
Day 1: Muang Sing - Nam Keo Noi Waterfall - Ban Lao Khao
Depart That Xieng Tueng and follow the old French road to Nam Keo Noi Water Fall.
After 3 hours of trekking through primary and secondary forest, lunch is prepared by Lao Khao villagers at the beautiful Nam Keo Noi Waterfall. Food is cooked in the traditional Akha way using local products, forest vegetables and ancient techniques.
After lunch, walk with the villagers to the old village site and continue through a pine forest and old growth forest before descending to Ban Lao Khao. On the trail, take part in forest activities such as bird watching and collecting bamboo shoots and medicinal plants.
While waiting for dinner, walk around Ban Lao Khao with villages; learn about traditional Akha architecture and houses; and listen to traditional musical instruments, stories and legends while watching the preparation of the evening meal.
After dinner, enjoy a massage provided by the young women of the village before listening to courting songs.
Overnight in the Ban Lao Khao Lodge.
Day 2: Ban Lao Khao - Ban Phou Yae - Ban Houeinagang - Ban Eu La - Ban Tamee
After breakfast, walk to Ban Phou Yae on a trail that passes through old secondary forest. During the trek, participate in forest activities such as bird watching and collecting bamboo shoots and medicinal plants with the village guides.
Arrive in Ban Phou Yae and be the guest of a family for lunch.
Continue to Ban Houeinagang, stopping for an afternoon snack in Ban Houeinagang and participating in a village activity such as cotton spinning, making, playing with children's toys and pounding rice.
Continue to Ban Eu La and enjoy an agricultural activity like planting rice, riding a buffalo or gathering vegetables along the way. Stop for another snack at Eu La village as it is an Akha custom for visitors to stop in the village and chat before passing through.
Continue to Ban Tamee, and while waiting for dinner, visit the village with the Ban Lao Khao hosts. Listen to traditional musical instruments, stories, and legends while watching the preparation of the evening meal. Learn about home life and marriage customs.
After dinner, enjoy a massage provided by the young women of the village before going to listen to courting songs of the youth at the courting grounds.
Overnight in Ban Tamee Lodge.
Day 3: Ban Tamee - Ban Nam Hoo - Ban Phiyer - Muang Sing
After breakfast, take part in village activities such as cotton spinning, pounding rice or feeding the pigs. Villagers will appreciate your attention and willingness to learn about Akha daily life. Spend some time with the children, teach them new games or learn theirs.
Depart for Ban Nam Hou. Along the way enjoy farming activities with the villagers. Take a break in Ban Nam Hoo.
Walk through the forest to witness a magnificient view of Muang Sing., and participate in forest activities with the villagers.
Lunch is served by a family in either Ban Mona or Ban Piyer.
After lunch, visit the village handicraft shop in Ban Piyer and purchase some of the locally-made handicrafts, which supports the local economy while providing a beautiful souvenir from the Akha Experience.
The trek ends with a truck ride back to Muang Sing.
The Akha Experience encourages the Akha people to preserve their traditional culture and environment and helps them gain new skills and sources of income.
The Akha Experience is run soley by the villagers as a small-scale business, and they sell the tour through a special partnership with Vientiane Travel/Exotissimo.
The tour is designed for individuals who are interested in learning about Akha culture and the environment, and who wish to participate in a program that protects the environment and benefits the Akha villagers.
Moderate. 5 to 6 hours of trekking per day. Some uphill climbs involved.
Trekkers must be in good shape.
- Akha ecolodges with common rooms (one for men and one for women) fitting up to 8 people. Mosquito net, blankets and sheets are provided.
- Common bathroom facilities equipped with solar energy.
- Local Akha food. Meals include sticky/plain rice, vegetables, meat, chili sauce. Meals on overnight treks are prepared using simple foods purchased in villages, typically rice, vegetables and on occasion some meat or fish. Bring your own snacks/sweets if you'd like.
- Vegeterian food available upon request. (Note: during the trek there will be no western style breakfast.)
Local meals, water, accommodation, transfers to/from Luang Namtha, 2 Akha guides and 1 local English speaking guide, permits.
Two changes of clothes, long pants and shirt with sleeves during the trek, good hiking shoes, sunscreen/hat, mosquito repellent, sandals for village, sarong for bathing (required for women), camera.
Group size is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 persons.