Visiting Laos the village Luang Namtha is regular overlooked by travelers. The ones that pay a visit to it usually are surprised by its wide range of activities and possibilities. With its population of 3500 villagers, Luang Namtha is located up in the North west corner of Laos. In the North Luang Namtha area borders with China and in the west it borders with Myanmar, Shan state.
The village is beautifully settled at an equally leveled terrain. Which gives it an advantage of having an airport. The northern edge of Luang Namtha touches the mountain area. So for mountain hiking trips you don’t have to go that far away. It can be just around the corner. In all directions around Luang Namtha you can spot the mountain area. However the distance to the mountains in the south take somewhat more time to reach.
Spending 3 full days in Luang Namtha first day was selected for a hiking tour. With temperatures between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius the trek went to the Nam Dee Waterfall area. The Nam Dee waterfall is located in the mountains east of Luang Namtha. When you hire a bicycle it will take about 15 to 20 minutes cycling to reach the trekking path Entrance. Naturally depending on your speed of cycling 😉 . The entrance is easy to recognize by its nice wooden gate, with a huge trekking Map at the entrance. If you are with bicycle of other vehicle you can park it there.
After paying the entrance donation at the ticket office all was ready to start the hike. The trail starts easy to the waterfall and then changing into a more difficult trail that leads you around the mountain. The selected trail for this hike was the complete longer trail. The signs showed clearly which one to take. Later in the hike it gave the advantage of more cover from the sun light. This way the temperatures where bearable.
The gravel path followed its way behind the entrance area. Immediately it overwhelmed positively with is beautiful varied nature. With the trees on mountain on one side the blossom in the trees on the other and the gravel path in the middle. After a short while the gravel path brings you to a bend gangway where you can cross the stream. Then the path continues its way to the waterfall besides the stream
At the time of visit it was the hotter, so dry season. The waterfall here was because of this only a small flow of water. However it did not spoil the joy. Near the waterfall there is another crossing to the other side of the river. After crossing wooden bridge, there the real hiking begins. Here starts the more difficult trail along the side of the mountain.
The path turns into a sand path sometimes with parts of gravel or rocks. On occasions the path challenges the hiker with some blockades. Fallen trees, slippery mud and rocks to navigate through. This means some balancing and carefully choosing your steps. However this is the exciting part of it and if you take required time it is a great hike to do. On many occasions the nature here offers views of beautiful plants and flowers.
While the trail follows its way around the mountain, it also sloops up and down. With situations where it goes in a gently flow up or down. Also there are enough parts where the path is very steep and the surrounding trees or fence (if there is one) can offer some support. Only a few sections of this trail have concrete stairs. Means most of the time you follow the path of nature.
When the trail has almost finished its circle around the mountain the path returns to wide and easy. Near this end the are a few farms which are part of Namdee village. Namdee village in its quietness is very small and a short walk through here is quite relaxing. Also here is the end of the waterfall trail.
When turn right at the end of the trail its is only a few meters across the bridge and you are at the entrance where you started. The shop here offers some cold drinks, ice cream, and snacks and a toilet. Great place to sit down and relax for a while… If you lucky the house cat keeps you company.. Leaving here you can choose to go left back to Luang Namtha or right to Sida village which is about 5 kilometers..
Other interesting things to do in Luang Namtha: