Naturally beautiful and ethnically diverse Luang Namtha province is situated at the northwest tip of Laos with Luang Namtha town and the famous Nam Ha national park at its centre.
It is a town with many choices for accommodation and places to eat and provides an excellent base to get out and explore the surrounding nature and ethnic villages either on a trekking excursion or by yourself on 2 wheels. Luang Namtha’s nature and ethnic minority villages are much more untouched, unspoiled and authentic than places such as Pai, Chiang rai and Chiang mai in Thailand and Sapa in Vietnam.
Luang Namtha is placed at the natural crossroads of the major routes to Thailand, China, Vietnam and soon Myanmar, which makes it a natural entry/exit point into or out of Laos from other countries:
Proximity to China: Luang Namtha is 50km from Boten; the Chinese border town; this is an overland border crossing to China that tourists can travel through to get to nearby Jing Hong and Kunming in Yunnan province and also nearby Sichuan province.
Proximity to Thailand: Luang Namtha is also 180km (along the best road in Laos) from Huay xai the Lao border town across the Mekong river from Chiang Kong, Thailand. Chiang kong is a 2 minute boat ride across the Mekong from Huay xai and is a 2.5 hour bus ride from Chiang rai (and 5 hours from Chiang mai), with buses departing every 30 minutes. In the next few months a friendship bridge will be completed across the Mekong linking Huay xai to Chiang Kong in Thailand. To get from Chiang mai to Luang Namtha it takes 10 hours by bus and can easily be done in 1 day.
Proximity to Myanmar: Also a friendship bridge across the Mekong from Xieng kok in Laos to Kainglap in Myanmar is currently being built in the north of Luang Namtha Province this should be completed in the next 2 years with overland border crossings between Laos and Myanmar able to be done then.
Proximity to Vietnam: Northern Vietnam borders Phongsali province (the province to the right of Luang Namtha) and the major overland border crossing is into Dien Bien Fu from Muang Kwa in Laos. There is now a daily bus that departs Luang Namtha at 7.30am for Dien Bien Fu where you can easily bus or fly to Hanoi or Sapa.
Proximity to the Rest of Laos: Huayxai (Thai border) is 180km or 3.5 hours from Luang Namtha with buses going there at 9am and 12.30pm (buses come from Huayxai to LNT at 9am, 12.30pm, 2pm and there is a VIP bus at 5pm, minivans also leave in the morning too).
Oudomxay is 120km or 2.5 hours away, there are buses at 8.30am, 12.30pm or 2.30pm. There are quite a few buses that depart to LNT from here each day. Oudomxay is where you have to go to get to Phonsali province and Muang kwaw to cross into Vietnam.
Luang Prabang is 300km away or 9 hours by bus. Buses leaves Luang Namtha at 9.30am, 2.30pm, 5pm (VIP) or a night bus at 9pm (VIP). There are various buses departing LP each day for LNT and Huayxai.
Nong Kiau (Pak Mong) is 180km or 6.5 hours away you can leave to get there at 9am, 2pm, 5pm (VIP) and also 9pm (VIP). There is a daily bus and minivan from Nong Kiau to LNT each day at 8.30am and 9am as well as the daily buses from LP passing Pak Mong on the way to LNT or Huayxai
Vientiane is 700km or 20 hours away! Buses leave to get there at 8.30am or 2.30pm. There is also a flight every day to Vientiane at 2.30pm
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