The first day of trekking takes you through 2 Lanten Villages and a Khmu Village. Ban Nalan Tai, a Khmu village, and Ban Nam Goy, a Lanten village, can only be accessed by foot or by boat. This trail climbs a ridge bordering the Nam Ha River and goes through forested areas bordering the Nam Ha Protected Area. Overnight will stay in the village lodge of Ban Nam Goy or Ban Nalan Tai. On this trip you will learn about the upland agricultural practices, the uses of the forest, and you’ll enjoy the hospitality and food of the Lanten. The first day is a day of trekking through forest and the second you spend kayaking down the lower part of the Nam Ha River through the Nam Ha National Protected Area. You will be paddling exciting but manageable 2 to 3 grade rapids. During low water the river becomes quite rocky, making kayaking strenuous.

Day 1: Luang Namtha - Ban Nam Leu - Ban Nalan Tai - Ban Nam Goy
The trek starts in the village of Ban Nam Leu, a Lanten village. The trail ascends from here to the ridge line. Along the trail we will pass through forest in various stages of regeneration as well as some upland rice fields. Ask the guide to tell you how we are working with the villagers to conserve and regenerate the forest. We will meet local villagers along the trail coming from or going to the market. Descend from the ridge down to the village of Ban Nalan Tai on the banks of the Nam Ha river. In order to distribute the benefit evenly between villagers, trips alternate overnight stays between the lodges of Ban Nalan Tai (Khmu) and Ban Nam Goy (Lanten). If you are staying Ban Nam Goy you will walk another 40 minutes along the bank of the Nam Ha River from Ban Nalan Tai.

Day 2: Ban Nam Goy - Ban Sop Sim - Luang Namtha
After a leisurely breakfast continue down river. The section of the river will reveal the best forest views and the most exciting rapids of the trip. Arriving at the confluence of the Nam Tha and Nam Ha rivers paddle down the Nam Tha for a while before arriving at the Khmu village of Ban Sop Sim where your transport back to Luang Namtha will be waiting for you. The optional return on the river is in a traditional motorboat operated by local villagers. On your way up the river you will may see water birds along the banks of the river and make your last pass along the border of the Nam Ha Protected Area. If you’ve chosen to return by pick-up truck, the road may be a bit bumpy and dusty.

Note: The Nam Ha is best for rafting from July - November, for kayaking from July - December, Low water levels from January - June may make kayaking rocky.
Useful Links: http://www.luangnamtha-tourism-laos.org/


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