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Laos Photos: Luang Namtha province - northern Laos: (2002 - 2003)

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Iko children - Luang Namtha province
Iko children in a village. Muang Sing was believed to be part of the group of towns loosely linked under the leadership of Sipsongpanna whose political center was in the southern Yunnan province.
Iko tribe people
Iko tribe people. Luang Namtha is the home of variety of ethnic minorities and their textiles, which borders Myanmar on the west across the Mekong river, and China on the north.
Iko people
Iko people. The mountainous, pleasently cool many months of the year, and scenic province is a good place for eco-tourism as well as to get to know the different hilltribes.
Iko people
Iko people. It is also very easy to get socio-cultural and environmental problems if tourism is promoted carelessly. Many ethnic minority groups including Hmong, Yao, Iko, Thai Deng, Tai Lu live in the province and beyond. Each group has their own style of dress and ways of living.
Iko people
Iko people. The conditions of the roads most of them are laid along the mountains are not very good as of early 2005. Many of them are safely passable only in the dry season between November to June.
Iko people
Iko people. The Mekong on the Myanmar border and other rivers such as Nam Tha offer alternative mode of transport in which you can travel slow-motion and interact with the local people and enjoy the scenery.
Iko children
Iko children. The rivers in the hilly regions (especially in the north) have rapids or white waters to pass though. These mountain rivers will have shallow water, and thus exposing stone fields in some places, in the dry season.
Iko lady weaving cloth
Iko lady weaving cloth. Nam Ha NBCA (National Biodiversity Conservation Area) is located in the north where the head waters of Nam Tha river are, close to the China border. The area consists of forested hills and fast flowing streams. Thus it is believed that there could be some sizeable number of wildlife there.
A village near Muang Sing
A village near Muang Sing. Old Russian and Chinese trucks could still be seen on these mountain roads. Japan and Korea made buses are also arriving.
Botene Laos-China border
Botene border. The border crossing with China is at Botene check point. On the China side is Mohan of Yunnan province You need to have entry visa in hand before doing cross country travel in either direction.
Nam Ha river boat stand
Iko and other tribe people - Nam Ha river. Nam Ha and Nam Tha rivers in the province are important for the transport of both people and goods. Local people build wooden boat body, but they import engines from outside.
Nam Ha river boat stand
Another photo of Nam Ha river boat stand. Visitors can take part in one to three days nature tours overnighting in the villages. It is necessary to use the arrangement of local nature eco-tour operators and local guide and keep the impact on the local lives and environment minimum.
Nam Ha river boat pier
Tribal people at a boat pier on Nam Ha river. How to come:
  • domestic flight to Luang Namtha from Luang Prabang or Vientiane
  • boat upstream along Mekong from Huayxai to Xieng Kok, and by road to Muang Sing
  • road (dry and cool season recommended) from Hyauxai to Luang Namtha (expect one full day)
  • boat upstream on Nam Tha river (2 days) from Pak Tha to Luang Namtha
  • road via Muang Xai (Oudomxai) from Luang Prabang, Phongsali, or Pakbeng
  • from China's Yunnan province


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