Main Ethnic Groups: Akha, Sila, Hmong, Lahu, Yao, Lantaen, Khmu, Sam Tao, Lamet,
Tai Dam, Tai Daeng, Tai Yuan, Tai Lue and Tai Neua.
Ecotourism Attractions: Luang Namtha Province’s two major ecotourism attractions are
its ethnic diversity, with more than 20 ethnic groups, and its mountainous terrain,
which is excellent for trekking and mountain biking.
The Nam Ha Protected Area is the
main destination for trekking activities. Namtha District is the primary starting point for
treks and mountain biking tours into Nam Ha. This province is also the
site of the Nam Ha Ecotourism Project, the longest running ecotourism project in the
Boat trips down the Nam Ha River (inside the Nam Ha NPA) offer unique bird watching opportunities and can be arranged in Namtha District. Boats going down the Namtha River to the Mekong, with further connections to Luang Prabang or Houeixai (Thai Border crossing), can also be arranged in Namtha District and offer an alternative to road travel. Trips down the Namtha stop in Nalae District, an area with great potential for ecotourism with its national protected forests, caves and remote
indigenous communities. Close to Namtha Town are villages that produce and weave silk, which can be
visited by bicycle.
In Muang Sing District, treks to Akha, Hmong and Tai Lue villages are offered by
the Muang Sing Guide Association. A newly developed, upmarket trek, the Akha
Experience has been developed with Akha communities and the German
development organization, GTZ. Many of the dirt roads in Muang Sing are excellent for
mountain biking. Closer to town and accessible by foot or bicycle are Tai Dam and
Hmong villages that produce various textiles.
Vieng Phoukha District is an up and coming ecotourism area with programs operated by the
local Vieng Phoukha Guide Service Unit, and supported by the EU. The guide unit offers
treks to ethnic Khmu, Lahu, Akha and Tai Lue villages. Also in Vieng Phoukha is the
Nam Fa River, a recently opened waterway with world class rapids and unspoiled nature,
that flows 75 km to the Mekong River.