The Akha Experience is an authentic ecotourism trek in the Northern Laos area surrounding Muang Sing. This tour is owned by the villagers of 8 Akha villages and aims to improve their well-being, as well as to increase their incomes. At the same time, the Akha Experience offers a valuable tool for environmental and cultural awareness for guests and locals. Benefits include:
• The villagers- who are providing the tour and services such as activities, guiding, accommodation and food.
• You- as guests of the tour. You are not only a spectator but a participant, learning more about local cultures and supporting a good cause.
For each tour, 75% of the money goes directly to the villagers and the village development fund, part of which is used for trail and forest maintenance. You will be guided by local guides.
Day 1 : Muang Sing – Nam Keo Noi Waterfall – Ban Lao Khao (L, D)
This morning, begin the Akha Experience! The trek starts out from That Xieng Tueng, following an old French road to Nam Keo Noi Water Fall.
After 3 hours trekking through primary and secondary forest, stop at Nam Keo Noi Waterfall. Here, the villagers of Lao Khao will prepare lunch in the traditional Akha way using local products, forest vegetables and ancient techniques.
After lunch, carry on together with the villagers to the old village site and walk through pine forest and old growth forest. Along the way, take part in forest activities such as birds watching, collecting bamboo shoots or medicinal plants. Towards the end of the day, descend in to Ban Lao Khao Village.
While waiting for dinner, visit the village with your local hosts. Walk around the village, listen to traditional musical instruments, stories, legends while watching the preparation of the evening meal. Learn about traditional Akha architecture and houses.
After dinner, enjoy a massage provided by the young women of the village before going off to listen to the courting songs of the youth at the courting grounds.
Overnight in the Ban Lao Khao Lodge.
Approximately 6 hours of trekking today
Day 2 : Ban Lao Khao-Phou Yae – Houeinagang – Eu La – Ban Tamee
(B, L, D)
After breakfast, start walking through secondary forest to the village of Ban Phou Yae. Here you will join the villagers in activities such as cotton spinning, making and playing with children's toys, or pounding rice. Walk a bit further to Ban Houeinagang for lunch with a local family.
This afternoon, continue on to Ban Eu La. Along the way enjoy agricultural activity like planting rice, riding water buffalos, or gathering vegetables. Stop for another snack break and visit Eu La village (it is an Akha custom for visitors to stop in the village and chat before passing on through). Finally, arrive at Ban Tamee.
Enjoy the company of the locals of Ban Tamee, learning about their culture and traditions before feasting on a fantastic local dinner.
Overnight in Ban Tamee Lodge.
Approximately 5 hours of trekking today
Day 3 : Ban Tamee – Ban Nam Hoo – Ban Phiyer – Muang Sing (B, L)
After breakfast, join the locals in their morning activities such as cotton spinning, pounding rice or feeding the pigs. The locals appreciate your attention and willingness to learn about Akha daily life, as well as the friendly children, who love to learn new games or have you learn theirs!.
Depart from Ban Tamee to Ban Nam Doi by Tuk Tuk (about 15 minutes) then continue to Ban Nam Hou by E-Ten (tri-wheel motor, about 30-40 minutes) where you will learn more about rice pounding. Continue to Ban Mona to learn about Akha traditional cotton weaving. The cloth they weave is used ingeniously to make different Akha outfits from dresses called a "peeh deeh" to jackets, shirts, handbags and men's trousers that they decorate with beads, coins and buttons.
Depart to Ban Piyer where you will enjoy an Akha cooking class and be able to sample the dishes you prepared for lunch.
Early this afternoon, visit the village handicraft shop in Ban Piyer and, if you wish, make a contribution to the village by purchasing some of the locally-made handicrafts. By doing so, you will support the local economy and have a beautiful souvenir or present to take home.
After that, transfer back to Muang Sing. Located in a fertile valley in the mountainous north, Muang Sing is a very charming town that served as a garrison during the French era. You will have a chance to walk around Muang Sing, enjoying the local architecture consisting of traditional Thai Lü, Thai Neua and Yunnanese styles as well as the informative tribal museum..
• Transfer by public bus or minivan to and from Green Discovery office in Luang Namtha is additional charge.
• If you wish to travel to Muang Sing one day in advance. Accommodation can be arranged as additional charge.
• This tour is shared, no private option is offered
• NT-T-08 (3 days)
* Maximum of 8 per tour
The Muang Sing Tourism Office
The Muang Sing Tourism Office
Moderate 5 to 6 hours of trekking per day. Some up hill climbs involved. Trekkers must be in good shape.
From lunch day 1 to lunch day 3
What to bring:
Hat, sun-screen, mosquito repellent, shoes to get wet, warm change of clothes for the evening and a sarong for bathing, 2 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.
What is included:
Water, meals, local English speaking guide, transport as listed above, trekking permit, accommodation and entrance fee, service charge, government tax