Who are we?

Hello!!  Our names are Andrej and Karen Brummer.  We first arrived in Luang Namtha in September 2010.  We were travelling around Asia and never for a second thought that a town could steal our hearts like Luang Namtha has.  We never even intended to stop anywhere long term!  We are totally, utterly in love with this place, and want to stay here as long as we can.  Before our first time here, we spent time on the internet searching for information on Luang Namtha and found that there was very little.  Since then, we have left several times, missed this place so much that we’ve come back and spent 5 months here as tourists, and now have lived here for 3 years, spent a LOT of time exploring the area, and met many travellers.

Karen and Dre - Luang Namtha Guide - with the Nam Tha river behind us

We have been amazed at the huge increase in travellers coming here – it seems word is spreading fast about this amazing town.  And since we now have people coming to town actually looking for us, we thought it was about time that we started a website to help people learn about Luang Namtha before they get here, to give correct information, and just to generally help out.  We know a lot about Luang Namtha and it’s surrounding area, and we’re learning more all the time, so why not share our knowledge?

Since our first efforts to help Luang Namtha by writing every businesses sign in English, we have set up the Forest Retreat Training School, as well as Project Laos and also have a few more things up our sleeves to help this cool little town in rural northern Laos.

We are mainly teaching the local community about western standards when it comes to organisation, cleanliness, hygiene, customer service and stuff like that.  This has also expanded into getting volunteers to teach western standard building, English, and other hospitality skills.

It’s a much bigger project than we originally anticipated, and it’s also way more fun than we could have imagined.

So, from here on we will attempt to write about our adventures in Luang Namtha and in Laos in general, as well as provide our personal recommendations about cool stuff to see and do.  There is SO much to see around here, after 3 years here continuously we are still finding things we haven’t done before and we still have a list of stuff we want to do.

If you come to town, please come and visit us, we mostly hang out in the green building in the centre of the main street… you can’t miss us, it’s one of  most fun our projects to date.  Comfy chairs, western music, the only green building… come and say hi :-) .


Comments (16)

  1. Dave Butler

    I am heading to Luang namtha in the next week, does that mountain view guesthouse in Vieng Poukha still exist, if it does do they have any contact details, or do you just show up?

    Dave

    • Brummer

      Hi Dave

      Sorry for the slow reply. Yes it still exists, but they don’t have any way of booking, you just have to turn up. Vieng Pouhka is a VERY quiet town, there is no way they’ll be full. More likely you’ll be the only person staying, and the only tourist in town ;)
      Karen and Dre

  2. Dan

    Hi Karen and Dre,

    My family will be travelling from Chiang Mai into Laos next February. We initially were planning to fly to Luang Prabang but after reading a bit on your site I am now thinking of taking the bus from the Thai border to Luang Namtha and spending afew days and then taking the bus on to Luang Prabang. Our daughters are 8 and 10 and we were wondering if this itinerary would be suitable for young children. We would really like the kids and ourselves to be exposed the authentic Laos but we also want to be safe. Any thoughts you could share would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Dan and Karen Lake

    • Brummer

      Hi Dan and Karen

      Thanks for your message. Luang Namtha is definitely an awesome place for kids – and safer even than Thailand. In the north there is zero crime rate, and the road from the border is also the best road in all of Laos. You should definitely come here if you’re looking for the authentic Laos… this is where it’s at!

      See you in February.
      Dre and Karen

  3. Kelly

    Hello,

    We will be in Laos in late January or early February 2014 and plan to spend a few days in Luang Namtha. Could you recommend a place to rent scooters or a motorcycle for a day or 2? This will be the end of a 3 week trip that will include Cambodia and a little time in Thailand and we are hoping to relax and just explore the area on our own. Thanks! Kelly

    • Brummer

      Hey Kelly,
      There are 3 places in town to rent a range of scooters, mountain bikes and motorbikes. You can go from a fully automatic Honda 125cc scooter all the way up to a Kawasaki 250cc dirt bike. There are automatic, semi-automatic (step-through) and manual options. Chinese made bikes are the cheapest (about 30 – 40,000 kip for the day) but least reliable, a Honda scooter will set you back 50,000 kip per day. The 250cc dirt bikes are the most expensive at 250,000 kip per day. The best place is the bike shop right beside Manichan restaurant, Zuela guesthouse also has a good range but is slightly more expensive.

  4. Adele

    Hi Dre and Karen,

    My partner and i are planning to visit Luang Namtha in December 2013. I know this sounds like a typical traveller’s question but i’m just wondering about the issue of mosquitos during the late december period and also leeches in the jungle while trekking. I’ve looked around online and have found varied answers. Just wanted some clarifications. Are mosquitos and leeches still a big issue during that period. Thanks!

    cheers,
    Adele

    • Brummer

      Hi Adele,
      In December it will be too dry and cold for mosquitos and leeches, these guys only come out for a few months of the year up here at the end of wet season (which is late April to September). There may be the occasional leech in the jungle but not many at all. Also we have been told but western doctors in Laos that there is no malaria up in Luang Namtha and no known reported cases of Dengue fever to our knowledge.
      cheers,
      Andrej (Dre).

  5. Richard Abbott

    Hello There Dre and Karen,
    Can we come across in our Thai car?
    thanks Richard

    • Brummer

      Yes, you definitely can; over the new friendship bridge from Chiang Kong, Thailand to Huay Xai (Bokeo provence) Laos PDR.

  6. Bojan

    Hey, I just want to ask you if you rexomend some place to stay in Luang Namtha and if you have some contact of guesthouse? Should we book in advance?

    Thanks for reply!

    Bojan from Slovenia

    • Brummer

      We can recommend Dokchampa Hotel, Thoulasith Guesthouse and Zuela Guesthouse, all on the main road within 50 metres of the restaurants, trekking companies and night market.

  7. Ronald Minnaard

    Hi,
    I have just been to Luang Namtha (I’m in Vientiane now and on my way to Hanoi) and I absolutely loved your place. I had the big breakfast there almost everyday I was in Luang Namtha. The fresh bread from the wood-fired oven, the great coffee (if you don’t take sugar the Lao coffee just isn’t an option) and the staff, both Lao and foreign really made it an oasis in an already charming place. Two thumbs up!

  8. karin

    Hello,
    we are thinking about coming in Luang Namtha soon and we would like to go after that in Vietnam.
    You are saying that a bus departs for Dien Bien Phu everyday but is it possible to make it through the Vietnamese border in one day or do we have to stop somewhere? Do xou knoe how long is the trip approximately?
    Thank you very much for your website.
    Best.

    • Brummer

      Hi Karin,
      Yes, a bus departs every morning for Dien Bien Phu at 7.30 from Luang Namtha’s long distance bus station. It DOES go all the way to Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam in one day, crossing the border.
      The distance is 280km and I think it would take about 7-8 hours from the last person I spoke to about it.

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