The Deep North: Top 3 Hiking and Trekking Experiences in Northern Laos


Laos is a landlocked paradise for adventure travelers. Mountains, rivers, jungles, and stunning views await those willing to put in the extra effort and walk the extra mile for a moment they will never forget.

However, there is so much more to this country than natural beauty. Culturally speaking, Laos is a melting pot, home to several ethnic groups that I have migrated here over the decades and centuries, infusing Laos with a diversity bound to captivate your guests and leave them wanting more.

Any hike in Laos, particularly those organized by Easia Active, is an opportunity to explore incredible landscapes and meet the people who bring these places to life. In fact, many of the trails we will take your guests on are the ones locals have used for decades, well before the arrival of the country’s high-speed rail.

Laos Geography 101

There are three main mountain ranges in Laos:

  • The Annamite Range runs along the border between Laos and Vietnam and is home to some of the highest peaks in Laos, including Phou Bia (2,819 meters) and Phou Louey (2,692 meters).
  • The Luang Prabang Range in northern Laos is home to the Phou An National Park, a popular destination for trekking and hiking. The highest peak here is Phu Soi Dao (2,120 meters).
  • The Phi Pan Nam Range in northeastern Laos is home to the Phu Hin Bun National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Doi Luang Phi Pan Nam peak(2,079 meters).

Another prominent geographical feature in Laos is the Mekong River, which has shaped the land, its people, and their cultures in countless ways. It flows through the country from north to south. It divided it into two distinct regions:

  • The western lowlands, where the majority of the population lives
  • The eastern highlands are more sparsely populated, where various ethnic minority groups live.

Luang Prabang the Active Way – Level 1

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Luang Prabang should be at the top of any Southeast Asian bucket list. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a peaceful town, steeped in history and surrounded by lush nature. It offers a balance of adventure and culture that perfectly matches Active Travelers.

Day 1 – Luang Prabang for foodies

  • Laos is a foodie destination, and there is no better way to kick off an adventure in Luang Prabang than a self-guided food tour.

Day 2 – Hike to Kuang Si Fall

  • A Hike to Kuang Si Waterfalls is necessary for any nature lover visiting Luang Prabang. The Easia Active team has created a great experience that will take your guests away from the crowds, through ethnic villages, into the jungle and reach Kuang Si Falls in the most memorable way.

Day 3 – Explore Luang Prabang

Day 4 – A hike up one of Luang Prabang’s sacred mountains

  • After a day exploring the city, your guests will be happy to return to nature for this unique trekking activity, complete with a jungle temple, mystery, and myth.

Day 5 – On to the next adventure

Interested in how to best integrate these activities in your following itinerary? Contact Matteo, our Brand Director, to find out the best ways of exploring Laos.

 Would you like to find out more? Contact our Sales Team

Cultural immersion in the hills – Level 2

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Laos is home to some 50 ethnic minority groups, a patchwork of cultures and people that continue to shape the country today. Over the years, many of these groups have settled in urban areas, adopting new customs without forgetting their roots. While visiting northern Laos, travelers can learn firsthand about two of the country’s largest ethnic groups: the Hmong and the Khmu.

Day 1 – Night in a Homestay

  • Your guest will spend the night in a charming homestay and catch a glimpse of local life. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn how to fish and discover the different produce local farmers cultivate.

Day 2 – Nong Khiaw View Points

  • Situated on the banks of the peaceful Nam Ou River, Nong Khiaw is a charming town surrounded by some of northern Laos’s most incredible limestone mountains. There are a few different viewpoints close to the city with something to suit travelers of all levels.

Day 3 – Muong Ngoi – Hike to Ban Na Village

  • After a short boat trip up the river from Nong Khiaw, your guest will reach Muang Ngoi, a remote village and the starting point for a charming walk into the countryside, past caves, and through rice fields.

Day 4 – Return to Nong Khiaw

  • After a night in Muong Ngoi, your guest will head back to Nong Khiaw and onto their next adventure, either back to Luang Prabang or deeper into the north for more hiking experiences.

For more experienced hikers, consider adding our new Phong Saly module. More challenging, these hikes take travelers to the heart of northern Laos, where few tourists dare to go. However, the reward is worth the effort: villages lost in time, unique cultures, and incredible nature.

 Would you like to find out more? Contact our Sales Team

The Cloud Forest Challenge – Level 3

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Described as one of the best in the world by CNN, this trek in the remote northern parts of Laos is for experienced hikers. Challenging but equally rewarding, this hike to the heart of Nam Et Phou Louey National Park is the opportunity to view rare wildlife in one of the most beautiful natural areas of the country. This is all possible thanks to an eco-tourism initiative designed to support alternative livelihoods for local people and generate community support for wildlife conservation.

Our Cloud Forest module is a great way to explore this remote part of Laos while having a positive impact.

Day 1 – Hike to the Jungle Camp

  • Accompanied by a guide, your guests will go to the jungle camp, passing by the Tad Ang Waterfall.

Day 2 – Climb the Cloud Forest and descend to the Tad Loy Camp.

  • Today, your guests will wake up early for their most challenging day of hiking—the reward of the Phou Louey and its famous Cloud Forest.

Day 3 – Hike over Phou Phamai to the Nests

  • After checking the camera traps for wildlife photographs, it will be time for your guests to make their way to the Nests campsite and the Poung Nied saltlick and wildlife observation tower.

Day 4 – Gibbon calls and hiking out of the National Park.

  • On the fourth day, your guests will hike out of the park and return to Muang Hiem by car.

Day 5 – Relax at Muang Hiem Hot Springs

  • There is no better reward to a challenging hike than to relax in a hot spring before your guests move on to the next leg of their trip.

If your guests are keen to visit this part of Laos, we have also designed 2- or 3-day treks that are less challenging yet still as exciting! Get in touch with our sales team to find out more.

 Would you like to find out more? Contact our Sales Team

Adventure travel tips for Laos

Here are a few tips for planning an adventure travel trip to Laos:

  • Choose the right time of year to visit. The best time to visit Laos for adventure travel is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather during the dry season is mild and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
  • Pack the right gear. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing and footwear for the activities that you plan on doing. You may also want to pack insect repellent, sunscreen, and a hat.
  • Hire a guide. Hiring a guide is a good idea for trekking or other activities in remote areas. A guide can help you navigate the terrain and avoid potential dangers.
  • Be respectful of the local culture. Laos is a Buddhist country, so respecting the local culture and customs is essential. Dress modestly and avoid making loud noises in temples and other religious sites.

Laos is the perfect destination for active travelers. Still untouched by mass tourism, many areas of Laos are an ideal playground for the culturally curious and adventurous types. Hikes for days, welcoming homestays in remote villages, and a mosaic of cultures make Laos one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting destinations.

 Would you like to know how to integrate these treks into your itinerary? Contact Matteo or get in touch with our sales team right away.

Matteo Galeazzi

Easia Active Manager

Matteo not only has extensive academic background in tourism, but has also gained valuable insight while living and working in multiple destinations around the world. His energy and enthusiasm for active as well as sustainable travel are what make him a strong driving force within the Easia Active team.


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