7 Most Ideal Trekking Routes to Explore in Laos

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Forget about sandy beaches, adventurers usually find Laos as a land of mountains and rainforests which offer plenty of ideal trekking routes.

The landlocked country is home to many unspoiled jungles and remote areas where everything is laid back and transportation is slow. It’s perfect for adventure enthusiasts to follow the impressive trails on their trekking journey. Head towards these recommended trekking destinations if you’re in pursuit of thrilling and enjoyable experiences in Laos.

1. Tad Lo Village

Tad Lo is such a laid back village located in Salavan Province, 85 kilometers away from Pakse. Trekkers can spend a couple of days to find a chilling vibe for a small-scale backpacking hangout.

Following the banana-pancake jungle path, you’ll feast your eyes at a series of three impressive waterfalls within 10km of Tad Lo. The first set is Tad Hang, the smallest and gentlest providing the best opportunity for taking a dip and enjoy a cold beer. The second one is Tad Lo, about 1,5km walk upstream and the third named Tad Soung is 8km upstream. If you want to climb up and even jump off the top of the waterfall, check the area first. There is a dam released every day around 4pm, which causes the water sharply rising.

Tad Lo Village

Aside from trekking, you can visit the local tribes to have a chat to Katu and Alak tribal people. In case you want unique experiences in the Land of Million Elephants, enjoy an elephant riding in the surroundings of the falls or an elephant bathing at the Tad Lo Lodge in the afternoon.

2. Bekeo Nature Reserve

Established in 2004 in northwest Laos, Bekeo Nature Reserve preserves 123,000 hectares of primary rainforest which is home to rare biodiversity of animals such as tigers, bears, elephants, chimpanzees along with a wide range of birds and insect lives.

Bekeo Nature Reserve trekking route

Immersing yourself in the nature of wildlife, you’ll find the site marvelous with authentic trekking routes amidst the lush tropical forest as well as the monkey bridges and zip-lining experience. Your trekking journey at Bekeo Nature Reserve will be incomplete if you don’t spend an overnight stay in the stunning Gibbon Experience, the unique tree house providing a fabulous perspective on the jungle.

The Gibbon Experience zipline

Note that the deeper you trek, the harder the trail will be. However, the appealing forest spectacle is worth your efforts. Just make sure you’re fit enough to overcome the jungles challenges.

3. Nam Ha National Protected Area

Nam Ha National Protected Area is a touristy attraction in Luang Namtha, the top keyword searched by the overseas adventure seekers of an authentic trek in Indochina region. The northern Laos always remains pristine and spectacular trails featuring the wildlife and jungle experience.

Trekking in Nam Ha National Protected Area

The Protected Area is covered by a mix of deciduous forest with a range of mountains running to the border with China. This is such a lush area that the trek only should be in dry season. Sometimes there’s no trail at all, all you could do is following the streams.

There are three large rivers consisting of Nam Tha, Nam Fa and Nam Long, drain southward to the Mekong. An on-foot exploration in the area is perfect for either nature discovery or cultural knowledge.

4. Kuang Si Fall

Luang Prabang has been a popular region with charming nature, ethnic villages, rich cultures and beautiful wildlife to enjoy memorable treks. Strikingly, Kuang Si Fall is the most wonderful masterpiece that makes your trek full of delight.

Kuang Si Waterfall is a perfect harmony between the blue of crystal water and the green of lush jungle, which paints picturesque scenery of swimming pool in the sky. Trekking through the scenic landscape, you’ll have a chance to join the natural beauty of turquoise water, the trail nested in verdant tropical jungle and the mystic tales from the locals. After hiking up to the top of waterfall, take your time swimming in the breathtaking water.

Kuang Si Fall, the wonderful masterpiece in Laos

Beside Kuang Si Fall, it’s highly recommended to visit nearby attractions in Luang Prabang. Trek across rice paddies, farm land, jungle forest and local villages will offer a peaceful experience to gain a true insight of the rural life and diverse culture of ethnic minorities in the area.

5. The 100 Waterfalls

Involving a series of cascading falls in northern Laos, the 100 Waterfalls hike trail has been used by locals for decades as a direct route between the dispersed villages of the Nam Ou Valley. The trailhead is located about 10km downriver from Nong Khiaw, on the outskirts of Don Khoun Village.

The 100 Waterfalls

The hike contains various levels of intertwining waterfalls where you’re engaged in challenging trekking spot and water ground. It’s might not be exact 100 waterfalls, but it’s the thrilling trail that urges the pro trekkers to uncover the grappling ropes, the splashy streams and the climbing rocks.   

6. Attapeu

One of the rare trekking trails in southern Laos is Attapeu which treats the thrill-seekers the untamed nature and interesting ethnic culture. The off-the-beaten-track trails bring you a getaway from hustle city to the rugged mountains, scenic valleys and restful rivers. The sightseeing includes dense jungle, two captivating Tad Phok and Tad Phaphong Waterfalls, Xe Pian National Protected Area, Ban Mai Village and other ethnic communities.  

Tad Phaphong Waterfall

The ethnic diversity in Attapeu has outstandingly attracted the Western travelers to fulfill their enquiring cultural diversity and awe-inspiring trekking experiences. The day-and-night stay in Attapeu can please trekkers with adventurous spirit and wanderlust passion. If you find a homestay, head for Ban Mail Village on the corner of the critical National Protected Area.

7. Phongsali

Phongsali is one of the most remote and adventurous destinations for wilderness treks. The charming and high-altitude town is home to mystical waterfalls, hidden caves, jungle trails, rugged mountains and local hill-tribe villages.

Phongsali offers one of the most adventurous treks in Laos

The trekking routes in Phongsali have been tested and appreciated by the majority of worldwide trekkers. It’s also a great combination between physical trip and cultural learning. Many people have visited the Khmu, Hmong and other minorities groups and got inspired by their stories. You should spend few days staying in their homes and see how the local life is going on here.

Staying valuable with the impressive trekking trails, Laos is an ideal destination for every peace seekers to get away from modernized cities. Let’s bring your boots and a spirit of adventure to experience the charm of Laos.

Hong Nhung

(Image Sources: Internet)

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