Boasting emerald jade rice fields, friendly people, scenic rivers and wooden bridges, Muang La is a special corner of Laos that will entice and enchant visitors. Only a few hundred locals actually live here. Located in Northern Laos, one might expect Muang La to have a distinct climate and unique set of cultures. The natural beauty of Muang La is enhanced by hill tribes such as the Ikhos, Khmu and the Hmong. Mountain biking, cycling, trekking, photography, champagne, a second honeymoon and wedding vow renewal via the Baci ceremony, a visit to an ancient local temple, stunning sunsets and awesome displays of stars in the night sky are just some of the things that make Muang La so special. It is also an ideal place to base yourself for a few days to explore the scenic surrounding area.
Let’s explore what to do in the pretty region!
Visit Wat Pha Singkham
Wat Pha Singkham is a holy temple that is believed to be able to make wishes come true. Therefore, every year, a lot of people come here to ask a wish. Indeed, this is not an old temple but it remains the sacred 400-year-old Buddha statue of this nation, which is the most attractive thing of Wat Pha Singkham. Anyway, its architecture is pretty impressing with curved roofs.
Visiting hot springs
Hot springs are very popular in Muang La. It is considered as a perfect treat for the aches and pains, bringing you with exciting and relaxing feelings. The sides of the springs are covered by tub stones so that people can soak in the warm water while admiring the picturesque scenery. Just feel the fascination of hot springs in Muang La.
Being a mountainous area, trekking would be a favorite activity when traveling to Muang La. The way to the peak of the mountain may be dangerous but it would bring you interesting experiences. You would see a lot of wooden small houses scattered on the sides of the roads. Green forests and paddy fields appear in front of your eyes. On the top of the hill, just take a deep breath and take an overview of Muang La, feeling the peaceful atmosphere of this charming rural area.
Another choice for someone who does not want to trek is mountain biking. You can hire a bicycle and begin your trip to discover rural beauty of Muang La. You can have a picnic lunch to take a rest before you continue your trip in the afternoon.
River cruising to see hill tribe villages
Undertake a river cruise and accompanying trek to visit with hill tribes such as the Ikhos, Hmong and Khmu. Enjoy an authentic meal in one of the homes of the local hill tribes. The Ikhos came from Yunnan and Tibet between 1799 and 1809. The Hmong are a rugged people who are also found in Vietnam, where they are called Montagnards.
The treks take between two and three hours and are conducted above three-quarters of a mile above sea level. The Hmong village of Ban Tauser offers a spectacular 360 view of the surrounding area. Talk with the Hmong about their ancestors who once tamed the high steppes of Tibet. The Khmu are one of the largest ethnic groups in Laos and are found in China and Myanmar as well. The Khmu are one of the oldest peoples in Laos and their presence in China goes back to 40,000 B.C.
Admire Nam Kai Waterfall
Being a rural mountainous region, you would see many waterfalls in Muang La, one of them that you shouldn’t miss is Nam Kai Waterfall. Whitewater flow pouring into the river looks so majestic. Travel to Muang La without seeing this waterfall would be a shame.
Homestay in Muang La
One experience that almost tourists feel excited is homestay in houses of ethnic people. You would eat meals with local people and have mutual daily activities with them. Acquiring knowledge of the local culture is a great thing as it is totally different from yours. You also can help the host with housework and farming. That would be amazing!
Photography in Muang La
Muang La is situated between Oudomxay and Phongsaly and the gorgeous lush greenery and bamboo houses are augmented by the weaters of the Nam La and the Nam Pak. Engage in photography along the Nam Pak River as you investigate nature and the antique way of life which lured the French colonialists. Forests, gilded temples and pagodas are tempting photographic targets, but the quiet banks of the Nam La offer the chance for fishing, nature observation and splendid photography – especially at dawn and at sunset.