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SHOPPING & RELAXING IN LUANG NAMTHA
The Handicraft village Ban Pieng Ngam and The distillery village Ban Nam Ngaen
The handicraft village Ban Pieng Ngam and the distillery village Ban Nam Ngaen have two ethnic groups, the Thai Deang and the Thai Kao. The villages are famous for their many different handicrafts. A small lodge built by the Nam Ha Ecotourism Project, offers accommodation for anybody who is interested to experience the rural Lao lifestyle. Not far, within walking distance from Ban Pieng Ngam is the Lao Lao distillery village Ban Nam Ngaen, where people can see the process of making the famous Lao Rice whiskey. You can go by bicycle following the map in this guide book.
   
Muang Sing Market
The Muang Sing market is one of the best places to see ethnic groups in northern Lao, as people from Akha, Lue, Hmong, Yao, Tai Dam and Tai Neua villages come to sell their fruits, vegetables, meats, non-timber forest products and crafts. The best time to visit the market is in the early morning. The market is also a great place to get to know local food such as soybean paste, waffles and local sweets ("canome") often made from sticky rice and coconut.
   
Tai Dam weaving
Tai Dam Weaving and textile production is mainly performed in Ban Nong Boua and Ban Xieng Yun. Look for the large weaving looms located under or beside houses. Don't be shy to sit down and drink a cup of tea if you are invited into someone's home. Just remember: Ask before you take photos and remove your shoes before entering a house. To show your gratitude and support local crafts you may choose to purchase one of their handmade textiles.
   
Lao Whisky
Ban Koum is known for producing the best Lao whisky (lao lao) in Muang Sing. Lao whisky is distilled in big drums outside. If you decide to try some be careful, as it is extremely strong. Ban Koum is located off the road to Luang Namtha 4 km from the center of town.
   
Yao Crafts
Ban Nammai is a Yao village, also close Adima lodge. Yao tradition is quite strong here. Every year in November/December you can see the production of bamboo paper-used for making religious ceremonies and books-in this and other nearby Yao villages. The village has developed a small handicrafts cooperative which offers a good selection of traditional Yao textiles.
   
Useful Link: http://www.luangnamtha-tourism-laos.org/
 
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