Laos Hill Tribes & Jungles

Handcrafted Travel
Daily Departure
  • Active Adventure
  • Culture & Heritage
  • Off The Beaten Path


Day 1 Thai Border – Houay Xai – Vieng Phouka
  • Get assistance with the visa process at Houay Xai, the Thai–Lao border.
  • Transfer to Vieng Phouka, a rural village in the heart of northern Laos.
Day 2 – 5 Vieng Phouka – Luang Namtha
  • Head over the mountain route to take the stunning views on the way to Luang Namtha.
  • Have three full days of trekking to discover Nam Ha National Protected Area where offers you natural beauty and wildlife.
Day 6 – 9 Luang Namtha – Muang Khoua – Muang Ngoy – Nong Khiaw
  • Drive through the picturesque countryside to Muang Khua, visit Akha, Iko, Hmong, Khmu hill tribes.
  • take a short boat ride to the village of Ban Hat Sao, a jungle trek through a preserved part of the jungle and into the nearby mountain area.
  • Your journey continues with a short walking tour of Nong Khiaw village. Spend one full day to enjoy the gorgeous 100 waterfalls and another day to relax before finish the trip in Luang Prabang.
Day 11 Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang – departure
  • Take back to Luang Prabang and board your flight to the next destination.

Customizable itinerary

Let this ‘Laos Hill Tribes and Jungles’ tour shows you what the country has to offer as you venture to Laos amazing yet lesser-known destinations and meet the ethnic people. From Houay Xai (the Thai-Lao border), travel to the Vieng Phouka for the Lantern village, known for the local’s natural dye traditions. In Luang Namtha, enjoy trekking through its pristine forests, scenic rivers and mountains and see the diverse wildlife in this area. Meet the ethnic groups of the Akha, Iko, Hmong, Khmu in Muang Khoua before taking a leisurely boat ride on Nam Ou River. Nong Khiaw is a region with pristine nature, so you can trek through green rice paddies and forested mountains and admire the wonderful sights of 100 Waterfalls and the Nam Ou valley. Arrive at the rich heritage town of Luang Prabang, and this will also be the last destination on this 11-day trip.

Upon arrival Houay Xai (the Thai-Lao border), your private guide will meet you at the Lao immigration office and assist you with the visa process. After that, transfer to Vieng Phouka, stopping along the way at a Lanten village — the name ‘Lanten’ is a Chinese term meaning “the people who dye,” as they are known for their natural dye traditions; they’re also one of the few ethnic minorities in Lao PDR who follow Daoism and read Chinese script.

Your journey will end in Vieng Phouka, a rural village in the heart of northern Laos. Check into a local guesthouse and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Take time to discover the area and meet the local people.

Overnight in Vieng Phouka
Meals: (/_/D)

Today you will travel to Luang Namtha, heading over the mountain route to taking the stunning views. Upon reaching Luang Namtha take a stroll around the town, visit the busy night market where locals come together to trade goods and handicrafts and also delicious street food.

Overnight in Luang Namtha
Meals: (B/_/_)

Today you will embark on a full day trekking tour in the Nam Ha National Protected Area. You will trek through the forests, fields, rivers, and mountains that surround Luang Namtha. Many interesting and challenging treks in this area await you, so you’ll choose among a selection of routes to suit your fitness and stamina. Your guides will then arrange the most interesting route, points of interest, and resting points for you.

Return to Luang Namtha for the second night.

Overnight in Luang Namtha
Meals: (B/_/_)

Spend another day exploring the stunning Nam Ha Protected Area. Your guide will lead you off the beaten path to discover the natural beauty and wildlife that abounds in this region.

Overnight in Luang Namtha
Meals: (B/L/_)

Spend the last day on your trekking adventure in the wilds of Luang Namtha. You will end the day back in the city in a clean and comfortable room.

Overnight in Luang Namtha
Meals: (B/L/_)

Rise early like the locals and take a walk to the local market, where you may see members of hill tribes in traditional clothing buying and selling their products.

After breakfast, depart Luang Namtha and drive through the picturesque countryside to Muang Khua. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the way. Northern Laos is very ethnically diverse and the mountains surrounding Oudomxai, near the Chinese border, are home to groups like the Akha, Iko, Hmong, Khmu, and more. Despite the modernization, many of these hill tribes still live traditional lifestyles and follow local and ethnic customs. You’re likely in these regions to see people in beautiful traditional clothing.

Arrive Muang Khoua in the afternoon and check into your hotel. The rest of the day will be free at your leisure.

Overnight in Muang Khua
Meals: (B/L/_)

After breakfast, you will depart Muang Khoua and embark on a leisurely boat ride on the Nam Ou River through mountainous jungle to Muang Ngoy. The Nam Ou River is one of the most important waterways in Laos offering the best scenery. The river runs 448 km from Phongsaly in the north of the country all the way to Luang Prabang where it merges with the Mekong.

Onboard the traditional Lao long boat you will journey slowly downstream, allowing you to take in the view and relax along the way. The boat trip will pass many remote villages, rugged mountain terrain, and impressive limestone cliffs. You also make some stops at a few of the villages, most of which are only accessible by boat, and get a unique look into traditional daily village life along the river.

The day’s journey will end in Muang Ngoy, a relaxing little village where you will spend the night.

Overnight in Muang Ngoy
Meals: (B/L/_)

After breakfast, take a short boat ride to the village of Ban Hat Sao, with a mixed population of Lao Lum and Lao Thung. From there you will follow little trails on a jungle trek through a preserved part of the jungle and into the nearby mountain area. You will pass endless rice fields, forests and agricultural land on your way to the next highlight, a refreshing waterfall. Much of our route follows the stream and you will walk through the river and small waterfalls.

After an extended break you will hike back to the river area. A small walking trail following the Nam Ou River will bring us to Nong Khiaw where you spend the night. You will stay in your bungalow at the Mandala family Resort. This premier bungalow resort is situated high on the banks of the scenic and tranquil Nam Ou river, offering spectacular sunset views over the virgin rain forest, mountains and the karst limestone cliffs of Nong Khiaw.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Meals: (B/L/_)

After breakfast, embark on a boat trip for one hour on the Nam Ou River. You will arrive at a local Hmong village where you will disembark and follow local trails through the rice paddies to the foot of the forested mountain slopes. Along the way, your guide will explain the local fauna and flora, use of plants for traditional medicine, and local culture and traditions.

You will arrive at the gorgeous 100 Waterfalls, which has only been on the radar recently and traveled to by foreigners, which is during the late 2000s. For the next 3 hours, you will follow the cascading stream as you ascend the mountain covered in thick virgin rainforest, following the water through dozens of pools, cascades and huge rocks.

After exploring the stunning 100 waterfalls, you will be provided with a delectable lunch at the top of the falls served by your guide in the traditional way – folded banana leaves.

After lunch, take the trails again from the top of the waterfall that is used by the local villagers, which will lead you away from the waterfall and to the village. Behold the stunning sights along the Nam Ou valley, overcrowded with old-growth forests that thrive within the fertile lands. The Nam Ou valley lacks well-paved roads and still carries the natural charm of the olden days without being too overcrowded by people along the trails. Upon arrival to the village, you will be greeted by the friendly smiles of the inhabitants as they are engaged in their daily activities before heading back to Nong Khiaw along with a small boat.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Meals: (B/L/_)

This is a free day for you for your further explorations of Nong Khiaw. Relax and take in the grandeur of the Karst scenery, and explore nearby caves if you choose.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Meals: (B/_/_)

After breakfast and check out you are taken back to Luang Prabang following the Nam Ou River and traveling you up and over the mountains. Along the way, you will pause to visit the village of Ban Na Nyang, which is famous for its traditional cotton weaving. Almost every household has its own weaving loom where the families create beautiful scarves, table cloths, and ornate wall hangings.

After the village visit, continue on the road to the UNESCO world heritage city of Luang Prabang and then transfer to Luang Prabang airport for a short flight to Bangkok where you connect via your outbound flight home.

Meals: (B/_/_)

Useful Information

This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 48 hours if not sooner!

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Trekking to the hidden villages in the mountainous area of northern Laos
  • Cruising along the lazy Nam Ou River and Mekong River, experiencing the authentic lives, and its untouched nature along the way
  • The nature of Muang Ngoy and its surrounding area
  • Trekking to the famous 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw

Dining Experience

  • 10 hotel buffet breakfasts.
  • 1 dinner and 6 lunches at well-selected restaurants

Travel Highlights

  • Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
  • Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
  • Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
  • A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
  • Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip

What’s Included?

Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.

What’s Not Included?

Your international flights from and to Laos, the entry visa to Laos, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.


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Feb 11, 2024

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I traveled to Vietnam with my husband and his parents/siblings on a customized private tour to Hoi An, Sapa, Ha Long Bay, and Hanoi. From the first inquiry to our very last day of the trip, the service, communication, and experience was beyond expectations. I cannot say enough great things about the hospitality we experienced at all of our hotels that were chosen for us. I loved the fact that our tour guides and drivers were from the area we were visiting (rather than hiring one guide and driver for the entirety of the trip hopping around cities). Each day went very smoothly and the guides we had each day were great. I was in communication with Chloe during the whole planning process and she was always so quick to respond, communicated clearly, and even met us in Hanoi at the end of our trip to say hello and present a gift to us! We had several requests for the itinerary and required a few tweaks and Chloe created the changes for us seamlessly. I HIGHLY recommend working with Chloe if you are ever planning to go to Vietnam! The cost of the trip was well worth it.

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Feb 5, 2024

Amazing Travel Guide

This trip through Asia Pioneer Travel was perfectly planned with our Travel Consultant and planner, Adam D. He was prompt with responses while we messaged him via WhatsApp from the US and from within Vietnam with answers to any questions or concerns we had. Adam would help us navigate and remind us of when we would get picked up for our next excursion/trip. He was very efficient, thoughtful, welcoming, friendly, respectful and responsible. This trip would not have been a success without him. I truly recommend Asia Pioneer Travel to anyone who would like to navigate through a safe and adventurous trip! The experiences were amazing and we took so many photos. I will share a few. Thank you so much, Adam!!! …’Till next time

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Feb 3, 2024

5 stars for Asia Pioneer Travel!!

I can’t recommend Asia Pioneer Travel enough. Lizzie’s attention to detail, listening to needs and swift responses really made the whole trip amazing for us. My husband and I wanted a smooth and guided experience in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand – this is exactly what we got.

Our 11 day tour was beautifully managed from start to finish, everyone involved went above and beyond. It was a whirlwind flurry of travel to see three countries in 10 days … we never could have done it without Asia Pioneer Travel. The hotels they chose were perfect and in ideal locations. We particularly liked the Hari in Siem Riep, Cambodia. Each guide and driver was kind, patient, on time, accommodating and professional.

My husband and I fall into the category of “high maintenance” … somewhat nervous travelers and needing to know every aspect of timing, schedule, vehicles, walking distances, weather, food, lodging beforehand. Lizzie was on it every time – no detail was too small for her to research and find the answer for. We even changed the itinerary a few days before (decided not to go on the Ha Long Bay cruise) and she managed it no problem.

There were lots of special requests while we were there (later pickup time, take us to a drugstore, can you take us to church, can you book a show for us tonight, we want to see the Hanoi Hilton unexpectedly) and the guides were accommodating every time.

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have a private tour guide through Cambodian temples and then a black SUV meet you after touring Angkor Wat for 3 hours and offer you cold towels, water and snacks. Or have a private guide leading you through the Bangkok Royal Palace and then find a private water taxi for you. It was like a secret back door of travel opened up and made the experience seamless and effortless.

The price for everything was reasonable and worth every penny.

We will always use Asia Pioneer Travel to arrange our experiences in this part of the world. Highly recommend!!!

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Feb 2, 2024

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