Laos // The far north //

Trekking and boat trips

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At times it can seem as though every other business in Luang Namtha is offering some kind of trek, so it can be difficult to know which company to choose. The best thing is to talk to other travellers who have returned from trips to find out what their experience was like, and to visit a number of operators to gauge what’s on offer. In low season, you’ll probably find that your choice of treks is limited by those that have already been signed up for by other travellers – most companies have whiteboards outside detailing which trips are in need of people joining them.

Green Discovery (t086/211484; whttp://www.greendiscoverylaos.com) are undoubtedly one of the best set up and well-regarded operations in town, offering an excellent range of trips and treks, from a two-day kayaking adventure on the Nam Tha, to overnight treks into beautiful Nam Ha NBCA, staying at hill-tribe villages. They are committed to low-impact, eco-conscious tourism, using local staff, and the office staff will help you choose the right trip for you.

Another well-established option is the Nam Ha Eco Guide Service at the tourist office, whose options include a one-day biking tour taking in local villages and waterfalls and an intensive four-day trek to near Sam Yord Mountain.

Note that for all treks and activities, the price you pay is dependent on the number of people on it, and you should make sure that if you’re visiting a local village, a percentage of the money you pay goes towards supporting the community.

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