Luang Namtha is an ideal tourist destination for people who enjoy physical recreation. Located in Northern Laos, this city offers vacationers several opportunities for cycling, hiking, paddling, and so on.
Other than that, the region also has some of the best fine dining restaurants in Laos, and lots of scenic tourist spots. So here are 10 things you can do on your visit to Luang Namtha.
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Best Things to Do in Luang Namtha | Laos
1. Appreciate the magnificent Golden Stupa
A trip to Luang Namtha wouldn’t make much sense unless you’re visiting the spectacular Golden Stupa. Hailed as the city’s primary landmark, it is entirely covered in gold and features traditional architecture native to Laos.
Visitors who are fascinated by historic religious architecture will love this place. Due to the stupa’s location atop a hill, you will also obtain a panoramic view of the city below. Make sure to visit this place in the morning to see the Stupa glimmer in the sunlight.
2. Purchase fresh produce at the Morning Market
The Morning Market is the most popular farmer’s market in Luang Namtha. If you are looking for organic fruits and vegetables brought directly from the farm, then this place should be on the top of your list.
There are also numerous options for breakfast here. Among their vast selection of breakfast items, the bowl of noodles is particularly appetizing. However, make sure to check the ingredients before you purchase any of the dishes. Some of the common contents include animal skin, silkworms, and intestines.
3. Enjoy a boat ride at Nam Tha River
Luang Namtha has several affordable boat rental services that can take you to areas close to the Nam Tha River. Traveling to some places, such as the astonishing Huay Xai, can be a bit more costly unless you bring your friends along with you. Despite the additional expense, a boat trip to Huay Xai is indeed worthwhile. You get to camp in nearby villages, and the region is great for trekking. A trip to Huay Xai can take up to two days on a boat, so you will get to enjoy the scenic view of pristine waters on the way.
4. Feast on local dishes at the Night Market
The Night Market of Luang Namtha is praised for its exquisite selection of authentic Laotian dishes. However, not all the dishes may be to everyone’s liking. Some of the dishes can be composed of ingredients such as beetles, animal bile and chicken embryos. The local food found in this place is prepared by individuals from ethnic groups. Other than the food, vendors also sell homemade jewelry and other crafted wares.
5. Watch exotic animals at the Nam Ha NPA
Nam Ha National Protected Area is one of Luang Namtha’s most recognized nature reserves, housing several threatened species. This place is admired for its dense foliage and woodlands and is home to the exotic clouded leopards and tigers.
However, it might take a bit of exploring to discover these animals. On your visit, you will also stumble upon many tribal villages sheltering ethnic groups from Khamu, Akha and Lao Huay tribes. Spanning 2224 square kilometers, this nature reserve is a great spot for outdoor activities such as hiking and paddling.
6. Travel back in time at the Luang Nam Tha Museum
Luang Nam Tha Museum is an amazing place to learn about the history and culture of the natives of the region. The galleries of the museum have a vast selection of ancient exhibits at its disposal. These include local musical instruments as well as several aged crafted items and pottery pieces. In addition to that, you will catch a glimpse of numerous Buddha statues, and pamphlets narrating native folklores.
7. Dine at the wonderful Minority Restaurant
If you are looking for ethnic cuisines in Luang Namtha, then don’t forget to try out the renowned Minority Restaurant. This restaurant serves dishes popular amongst people belonging to Akha, Tai Dam, and Khamu tribes.
If tribal food isn’t up your alley, you can also grab a bite of common Laotian dishes like laab. Their vast menu is sure to satisfy a variety of guests. Make sure to visit this place if you want a unique dining experience!
8. Explore the outskirts of the city on a motorbike
There is no doubt that Luang Namtha has its fair share of amazing tourist spots. However, if you want to explore and discover outstanding areas close to Luang Namtha, you may need to hire a motorcycle. You will be able to swiftly reach amazing villages and towns in the vicinity, such as Muang Nalae and Muang Sing. Furthermore, you can also choose to drop by majestic national parks on your way.
9. Re-energize yourself with an herbal sauna
Towards the end of your vacation, you are bound to be exhausted from all the traveling and strenuous outdoor activities. Thankfully, Luang Namtha is well-known for offering some of the best herbal saunas in the world.
Here, you fill find separate saunas for men and women, and a single heating element is used to power the saunas. Moreover, the steam produced in the saunas is complemented with a blend of medicinal herbs to enhance the cleansing process. Afterward, you can also obtain a full body massage at an affordable price.
10. Ride a bike to Boten
Renting a cycle is a great way to roam around the picturesque city of Luang Namtha. You will get to enjoy an amazing view of the city, and also meet hospitable locals. Furthermore, you can choose to visit the small village of Boten close to the Chinese border on your bike. You have to make your way across beguiling hillsides and wide open paddy fields to get to Boten. This scenic route is truly a sight to behold!
In conclusion, Luang Namtha is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. This amazing city offers tons of outdoor activities and stunning locations to visit. Book your tickets to Luang Namtha to have the experience of a lifetime!