There are many different ways to explore the Luang Namtha area. Some depend on your wishes and possibilities. Do you want to cover a longer distance? Then Luang Namtha is a fantastic area to explore by motorcycle. One of the most beautiful places in the Luang Namtha area is the Namtha National protected Area. To visit the area inside this pearl of nature you have to go organized with an agency.
However the road from Luang Namtha to Muangsing passes through the Namtha National protected Area and it is allowed to drive without going by organization. The trip to Maungsing can be done by car, motorbike (scooter) or bicycle. However keep in mind the distance from Luang Namtha to Maungsing. The total distance is 58 kilometers, so it can take 6 to 8 hours by bicycle.
If traveling this route by motorcycle its possible to go both ways on the same day. Best is start he trip early in the morning. After renting a motorcycle in the village, refuel the motorcycle or scooter before you exit the village. Then travel to the north on the highway 3A at the edge of the village there is the roundabout. Direction to Muangsing is straightforward to highway 17.
The first part of the trip the highway follows the Nam Tha river. The road sloops up and down with curves. Frequently curves can be sharp and surprising because the road turns from asphalt into sand with rocks. The road can also be heavily traveled by trucks and cars. This depending on the day and time. So a good sense of perception is required.
The trip with motorcycle on this road is a real pleasure. On this trip the green forested area presents you more then enough diversity. With a relaxed speed traveling with mountains on one side and river on the other. Regular passing through small villages that are located on he road. Some of the villages are located just a short distance of the main road. For some you have to go down hill on a small bridge.
You could pay a visit if you wish, though some villages are the size of just a few residences. However it usually gives incredible views. When the Nam Tha river has itself parted from the view remains tempting. However it is always smart to also keep your attention on the road. As the main road passes through the Namtha National protected Area there are side roads that go into this area.
Keep in mind that for going into that protected part of the area traveling with a licensed organization is required. The highway 17 brings you along the rice fields areas too. Though there not so much rice field areas there as at other places. On this highway there is a distance marker at usually ever kilometer. Most part of this road is not straight forward. This brings you excellent viewpoints at every turn.
There are many parts where the natural environment protects you from the sun. at a few kilometers distance from Muangsing there is a pink gate that welcomes you to the Sing District. When you endured the holes and sand-rocky parts in the 58 kilometer road you are welcomed in Muangsing. The town Muangsing is not to big so you can see most of it in an hour.
Interesting is that Muangsing is located about 12 kilometers distance from the border with China. When you wish tho catch a view from that area it is possible to drive north east on the Highway 17B to Phanga. The border customs office at Pangha is about 8 kilometers from Muangsing and 4 kilometers from China border. Keep in mind that without the proper documents you cannot pass the border.
Going to the south west on the highway 17B you will arrive at the village called Xieng Kok. The town Xieng Kok is beautifully located near the Mekong river. Also Xieng Kok borders with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar however there is no border crossing here. If it is worth to do the 100 kilometers trip to Xieng Kok is a good question. Probably you also have to head back too.
After viewing the town Maungsing and its beautiful area the trip back to Luang Namtha was started. It would seem that the way back to Luang Namtha would be the same as coming from there. However the area here is never boring. Together with other points of view as traveling in opposite direction the trip back had the same feeling of joy.